SBJ/April 17 - 23, 2006/This Weeks News

Roll Tide! A spirited way to e-mail

The University of Alabama has signed a two-year deal with, a Nevada-based startup specializing in interactive e-mail templates featuring team logos, photos, links to online ticket and merchandise stores, and sponsorship inventory.

The e-mail template plays up ties to
the University of Alabama.
Looking somewhat like pages out of a university team media guide, the templates are the outgrowth of a business-to-business application used in many internal corporate e-mail systems. has taken that technology to the public by selling monthly and annual subscriptions to the templates, which also provide branding and sales opportunities for participating schools. The subscriptions cost $6.95 per month or $59.40 per year.

The Alabama deal, struck through Crimson Tide Sports Marketing, marks advancement for nationally after an inaugural deal with the University of Nevada. Company officials said as many as 15 more schools and leagues could sign on by the end of May. paid Alabama an undisclosed five-figure sum for use of the school’s marks. The two sides will share sponsorship revenue from companies paying to attach themselves to the e-mail templates. “You compare this to something like a stadium scoreboard sign and there’s just a ton of value here,” said John Johnson, president and chief executive. “This is year-round, completely interactive, and when you consider the average person sends out 12 to 23 e-mails a day, the potential amount of consumer impressions is huge.”

Like Nevada, Alabama intends to make an outreach and recruiting tool for its coaches. Each team will have its own individualized template to use. Negotiations are under way with Alabama sponsors to place coupons and online promotions within the e-mails.

“We’re looking to get every advantage we can, and this is a huge opportunity to get our identity, our brand, out there in a new way,” said Michael Alford, general manager of Crimson Tide Sports Marketing.

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