September 28, 2006
Roster of NFL Stars Align with Sprint for 2006 Season
Sprint uses multifaceted marketing campaign to promote NFL sponsorship
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — 09/28/2006
Emmitt Smith, Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison and Marcus Allen are among 14 current and former NFL stars tabbed by Sprint (NYSE: S) to be part of an aggressive marketing campaign to support Sprint's NFL Mobile service, it was announced today.
The marketing campaign includes print and broadcast media buys, business leadership conferences, and a broad publicity campaign. The campaign was created to generate awareness of Sprint's exclusive NFL-related products and services in its second season as the official wireless telecommunications service provider for the NFL and its players.
The roster of athletes "drafted" for the campaign includes Hall of Famers Allen and Len Dawson. Also taking the field for Sprint this year are Pro Bowlers Harrison, Tony Gonzalez, Chad Johnson, and Deion Branch, as well as budding stars such as Philip Rivers and Mike Nugent.
Adding a unique flair is the addition of Olivia Manning, mother of Peyton, who joins Smith as spokespeople for Sprint's NFL Mobile, the exclusive and free mobile service that provides real-time scores and statistics for every game; audio and video highlights; and customizable text-message alerts to ensure delivery of the kind of information fans want, when they want it.
Smith, the NFL's all-time leading rusher, has the name recognition to appeal to the NFL's traditional fan base. Olivia Manning's work is designed to reach female NFL fans, one of the NFL's fastest growing demographics. Both Smith and Manning will be promoting NFL Mobile at various times throughout the season.
Peyton Manning currently stars in Sprint's broadcast advertising campaign. In the spot, he wears a poorly designed wig and stick-on mustache and talks about how fans can use NFL Mobile to track their favorite player or team, "… maybe like Peyton Manning's team, maybe," he suggests.
Sprint features Gonzalez, Rivers, Johnson, Nugent and Daniel Graham in its print campaign that invites readers to "Join Sprint's Fraternal Order of Fantasy Football." The ad shows these players as marionette puppets being manipulated by a fantasy football team owner. It also includes a shot of Branch on the screen of a Sprint phone highlighting his statistics for a game. Gonzalez and Harrison will be appearing in a myriad of advertising mediums including print, online, direct mail and in-store point of sale locations in Sprint stores nationally.
Business partners of Sprint will be treated to presentations from several NFL legends including Allen, Dawson, Ed McCaffrey, Irving Fryar and Darrell Green. These events will occur throughout the fall.
Sprint has found other unique avenues to promote its NFL sponsorship beyond utilizing players in traditional advertising. This includes:
- By integrating its brand into EA SPORTS™ Madden NFL 07 console game, Sprint tapped into the gaming community in a unique way. For the first time when some gamers play the popular football video game they'll see the Sprint NFL Mobile Drive Summary after every score. Madden NFL 07 is also available to Sprint customers in a version that can be played on the phone, and Sprint sponsored the fifth annual EA Sports Madden Challenge.
- The Sept. 7 "NFL Opening Kickoff 2006 Presented by Sprint" marked the second year Sprint served as the headline sponsor of the NFL's marquee season-opening event.
- Sprint is the sponsor of NFL.com's fantasy football section and for the first time will exclusively offer NFL.com Fantasy Companion which allows participants using NFL.com for their fantasy league the ability to manage their team from their Sprint phone the same way they can from their desktop. NFL.com Fantasy Companion costs $3.99 per month. Sprint also offers several additional applications that allow fans to follow and manage their fantasy teams while on the go.
All player arrangements were made by PLAYERS INC, the licensing and marketing subsidiary of the NFL Players Association.
About Sprint Sports Content
Sprint continually produces wireless data services that are first, better and unique - and the company's sports offerings are a distinct example of this leadership. Sprint's sponsorship of NASCAR's premier series, the NEXTEL Cup, and the National Football League yield compelling and exciting content for Sprint customers, such as:
NFL Mobile, which provides:
- Exclusive mobile access to NFL video and audio game highlights;
- A live stream of NFL Network and exclusive mobile access to NFL Films;
- Real-time Gamecenter, providing up-to-the-minute details for every player and every game.
A variety of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup mobile exclusives, including:
- NASCAR NEXTEL FanView, a next generation scanner and the industry's first at-track wireless device providing exclusive access to fans in the stands;
- NEXTEL FanScan, which provides in-car team communication during each NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series??? race via Sprint Nextel phones;
- Driver ringers, call tones, screen savers and telecards which enable fans to personalize their phones with content from their favorite NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers.
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of communications services bringing mobility to consumer, business and government customers. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two robust wireless networks offering industry leading mobile data services; instant national and international walkie-talkie capabilities; and an award-winning and global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.