OVERLAND PARK, Kan., Jun 03, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) --Sprint (NYSE:S), the first national wireless carrier to offer a 4G phone, HTC EVO(TM) 4G, today launched an integrated marketing campaign to support the phone’s nationwide availability. The campaign links iconic "firsts" with HTC EVO 4G, which goes on sale nationwide on June 4.
The integrated campaign includes TV, print, online and direct-mail elements that position Sprint as the first national carrier in America with a 4G phone and 4G network. Initial print ads highlight key HTC EVO 4G features and attributes, such as live video streaming to the Web and the phone’s mobile hotspot capability, which allows connections for up to eight Wi-Fi enabled devices. Subsequent out-of-home advertising, including ads seen on billboards, street furniture, bus shelters, transit, and mall kiosks will feature headlines and copy that leverage Sprint’s ongoing "Now Network" marketing campaign. For instance, "First Isn’t Later. It’s Now" and "EVO, the First 4G Phone."
In 30- and 60-second TV spots, "Firsts," a voiceover underscores the breakthrough nature of Sprint 4G’s rollout by stating that, "First resets everything." The spot’s visuals showcase a succession of inventions through time - the wheel, the train, the rotary phone, the camera - culminating in Sprint’s delivery of the nation’s first dual-mode 3G/4G phone.
"Sprint is leading the evolution to 4G and this campaign reinforces our 4G leadership position while highlighting what consumers can do with this incredible phone, whether it’s on 3G or 4G," said Bill Morgan, senior vice president of Corporate Marketing, Sprint. "There have been a number of notable ’firsts’ in our country’s history and just like many of those innovations Sprint is reshaping how we live, work and play with HTC EVO 4G."
One element of the campaign invites consumers to participate in history by capturing, sharing and ultimately bragging online about a variety of 4G firsts: the first tweet at 4G speed, the 4G first wedding vows streamed live, or the first photo of an eight-person 4G hotspot. EVO 4G users who are the first to post specific 4G experiences receive virtual badges validating their submission of 4G "firsts" for posting to their Web site or other online social networking space. More details are available at www.sprint.com/firsts.
With the launch of EVO 4G, Sprint customers will be able to enjoy capabilities they have never experienced before with a new video chat service from Qik. The two-way voice and video capability will be available as an upgrade to the preloaded Qik app on HTC EVO 4G to enable conversational, interactive, real-time sharing between mobile devices or from mobile-to-desktop.1
HTC EVO 4G provides access to unprecedented capabilities and features the latest version of the increasingly popular Android platform, Android 2.1, offering more than 35,000 apps. Among the phone’s other features:
Created by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, the new campaign builds on last year’s award-winning Sprint "Now Network" push. That effort, also created by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, recognized that the world has changed, and Sprint’s mobile phones offer an experience closer to that of having a PC in your hand. The campaign extends this idea by alerting consumers that Sprint now is putting mobile broadband in consumers’ hands for an even faster, richer multimedia experience. The new advertisements also pay subtle homage to Sprint’s impressive legacy of technology "firsts": its launch of the world’s first Public Data Network, its history-making move as the first carrier to offer commercial Internet access, and its boundary-breaking push as the first wireless carrier to complete a nationwide 3G 1X upgrade.
HTC EVO 4G will be available in all Sprint retail channels, including Sprint.com and national retail partners, RadioShack, Best Buy and Wal-Mart. Sprint will price the award-winning device at $199.99 with a two-year service agreement and after a $100 mail-in rebate (taxes excluded) with a new line activation or eligible upgrade on a select service plan with Premium Data add-on. Pre-registration is available now at www.sprint.com/evo.
In order to provide the best experience, HTC EVO 4G will use Sprint’s industry-leading Everything Data or Business Advantage Messaging and Data plans, which include, while on the Sprint network, unlimited Web, texting and calling to every mobile in America with Any Mobile, AnytimeSM. Everything Data plans start at $69.99 per month. A required $10 Premium Data add-on will allow customers to take advantage of all HTC EVO 4G features.
Additionally, an optional pricing add-on will turn HTC EVO 4G into a mobile hotspot, connecting up to eight Wi-Fi enabled devices, such as laptops, gaming devices and digital cameras, simultaneously at 4G speeds where available and at 3G speeds anywhere on the Sprint 3G network for just $29.99 per month - half the monthly cost of the current Mobile Broadband plan (pricing excludes surcharges and taxes).
With the Sprint Free Guarantee, customers can take advantage of HTC EVO 4G for 30 days. If not completely satisfied, customers may deactivate service and return the device within 30 days to have the opportunity to receive a full refund.2
Sprint 4G offers a faster wireless experience than any other U.S. national wireless carrier, and Sprint is the only national carrier offering wireless 4G service today in 33 markets. Sprint 4G delivers download speeds up to 10 times faster than 3G3,giving HTC EVO 4G the fastest data speeds of any U.S. wireless device available today.
As the first national wireless carrier to test, launch and market 4G technology, Sprint made history by launching 4G in Baltimore in September 2008. Today, Sprint 4G covers 41 million people and expects to have up to 120 million people covered by the end of 2010.
In 2010, Sprint expects to launch service in multiple markets, including Boston, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, St. Louis and Washington, D.C. Sprint is harnessing the power of 4G as the majority shareholder of Clearwire, the independent company that is building the WiMAX network. Sprint is the only national wireless carrier to offer 4G services on the Clearwire WiMAX network. For more information, visit www.sprint.com/4G.
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 48 million customers at the end of the first quarter of 2010 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, and is the first and only wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, Common Cents Mobile and Assurance Wireless and instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. With its customer-focused strategy, you can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
1 Third-party premium service charges may apply.
2 Refund excludes usage not included in plan, premium content, third-party billing, international charges and associated taxes and Sprint surcharges.
3 "Up to 10x faster" based on download speed comparison of 3G’s 600 kbps vs. 4G’s 6 Mbps. Industry published 3G avg. speeds (600 kbps-1.7 Mbps); 4G avg. speeds (3-6 Mbps). Actual speeds may vary. Sprint 4G currently available in more than 30 markets and on select devices. See www.sprint.com/4G for details. Not all services are available on 4G, and coverage may default to 3G/separate network where is 4G unavailable.
Kathleen Dunleavy, 310-709-3689