March 09, 2006
Sprint Furnishes Fix to College Hoops Fans
Delivers Exclusive Mobile Programming - Hosted by Veteran Sports Anchor Bonnie Bernstein - Featuring Current, Former College Basketball Coaches
Coaches Perry Clark, Jim Harrick Scheduled to Appear
RESTON, Va. — 03/09/2006
Today, Sprint (NYSE: S) marked an industry first and announced it will deliver exclusive, made-for-mobile collegiate hoops programming to its customers. Beginning March 13, Sprint customers' third screens will provide a wide variety of original news and analysis beginning with tournament bracket pairings all the way through the final buzzer.
Renowned sports anchor and reporter Bonnie Bernstein serves as host in the Sprint Tournament Center - the cornerstone of Sprint's exclusive college hoops content. Bernstein - along with current and former college basketball coaches - will provide in-depth tournament analysis only to Sprint customers.
Sprint's college basketball wireless content also features breaking news and analysis from the tournament, immediate and complete game scores, game reminders and nail-biter alerts for close games with less than six minutes remaining.
"Sprint continues to provide innovative, meaningful mobile content to its customers," said Jeff Hallock, vice president of marketing for Sprint. "Mobile phones offer so much more than just voice applications today - and we're literally 'changing the game' for the better with this original content. Sports fans are active, engaged and invested in these games - they want instant and up-to-the-minute access to their teams."
Sprint Original Programming
Bernstein anchors the Sprint Tournament Center, debuting March 16. These studio-based video segments - produced by Intersport, an award-winning sports programming producer based in Chicago - provide game predictions, in-game updates, post-game analyses and breakdowns of key games and players each day of tournament play. In addition, Sprint will offer news and analysis from other major college basketball events.
The Sprint Tournament Center will originate from Chicago for the first two weeks of the tournament; during week three, the Sprint Tournament Center moves to Indianapolis.
In Sprint Insider's Bracket, coaches will break down all first-round 32 tournament pairings; each game will be previewed in separate, one-minute segments. These exclusive vignettes, grouped by region, will be available March 13 to help Sprint customers make better-informed tournament bracket predictions.
Other Mobile-Exclusive College Hoops Content
In addition to its own programming, Sprint will also provide other college hoops-themed shows to its customers, providing them a chance to enjoy on demand when they want.
Installments of March Madness Coaches Preview, airing weekly from March 13 through March 31, will feature elite hoops coaches offering insightful analysis before each round of tournament play.
Sprint will also offer College Basketball's 10 Greatest Games, which features interviews with key game participants. These on-demand video segments, available early April, will rank the greatest college basketball games of all time.
Sprint customers can also prove their undying collegiate loyalties via Sprint's recently expanded multimedia content catalog, featuring a variety of college-specific screensavers, fight songs and more.
Sprint wireless customers can also "retire the ring" with exclusive Dick Vitale content. Vitale, synonymous with college basketball, offers up his marquee catchphrases only to Sprint customers. For example, Call Tones from Sprint allow songs, sounds or voices to replace the traditional "ring" people hear when calling. These can be assigned to all incoming callers, groups, individual numbers and even by time of day. Throughout the month of March, Vitale's distinctive voice can greet friends, family and work associates.
Cost and device compatibility
A majority of this mobile-exclusive content is free to Sprint VisionSM and Power VisionSM subscribers, or Nextel Data Access subscribers using Java-capable wireless phones. For other Sprint customers, "a la carte" pricing applies. All content is accessible in one convenient application, which is also free for wireless download. Available March 13, the application download is initiated through a simple process: customers simply text the word "HOOPS" to the shortcode 7777. Standard text messaging rates apply.
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.
Intersport is an Emmy Award-winning creator, producer and distributor of original sports programming content, and an industry leader in sports hospitality and event marketing. Formed in 1985, the Chicago-based Intersport's list of media partners includes ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, ESPN, FSN and the Speed Channel. Intersport also provides original sports content to wireless provider, Sprint. The company's television production division is an in-demand producer of branded content and sports-themed events for marketers at such Fortune 500 companies as Capital One, Chase, State Farm, General Motor's Pontiac, Cadillac and Buick divisions, Geico and PepsiCo. Intersport's hospitality division is an official NFL corporate hospitality provider at the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl and launched the first permanent corporate hospitality facility at the Masters.