June 29, 2006
Will Ferrell Stars in Sprint Commercials and Exclusive Mobile Video Shorts
As a major sponsor of the upcoming movie "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," Sprint casts its lead in a series of new television spots promoting exclusive mobile content
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — 06/29/2006
Aiming to rev the engines of both NASCAR and Will Ferrell fans alike, Sprint (NYSE:S) is releasing a series of original commercials featuring Will Ferrell, popular comedian and star of this summer's NASCAR-themed film "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," promoting Sprint's exclusive mobile content from the movie. As the title sponsor of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series™, Sprint is a leading promotional sponsor of the movie and the only sponsor creating original television ads and mobile content starring Ferrell. The first commercial will debut at the Pepsi 400, the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, July 1, on Fox.
The commercials - produced by TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York and set to begin airing nationwide in early July - feature Ferrell in character as NASCAR driver and national hero Ricky Bobby, hanging out in an RV trailer splashed floor to ceiling with his sponsors' products and watching exclusive clips from his new movie on a Sprint Phone. Sprint and Chiat\Day worked closely with Ferrell and his long-time writing partner Adam McKay (writer/director for "Saturday Night Live" and "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy") to ensure the spots truly reflected the character of Ricky Bobby.
"In these spots, Will Ferrell isn't promoting the exclusive movie content available on Sprint phones - Ricky Bobby is," said Mike Goff, vice president on national advertising at Sprint. "Just like any good NASCAR driver, Ricky is truly devoted to his team sponsors, and that comes through loud and clear in our commercials. What results is incredibly funny, but each spot clearly delivers the message that only Sprint customers can get this exclusive movie content on their wireless phones."
During the commercial shoot in May, Sprint also set up non-scripted scenarios, allowing Ferrell and McKay to improvise various off-the-wall situations involving Ricky Bobby. In one, he's talking to his friend Michael, a live chicken standing on the roof of his car. In another, he's posing for a glamour calendar. Taking footage from these improvised scenes, Sprint produced a variety of mobile video shorts that will be available to Sprint Vision customers at no additional charge for a limited promotional period, beginning July 1. Sprint also will offer custom Ricky Bobby Ringers, Call Tones and Telecard Greetings at $2.50 each.
Visit www.sonypictures.com/movies/talladeganights for more information about the movie, and find all the exclusive mobile content - including versions of the commercial not being shown on national television - on Sprint phones. Additional information also is available on www.sprint.com.
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.
About TBWA\CHIAT\DAY New York
TBWA\Chiat\Day is part of TBWA Worldwide. Clients include Absolut, adidas, Apple, Beiersdorf, Embassy Suites Hotels, Energizer, Infiniti, Masterfoods, Nissan, Pepsi, Pennzoil, Sara Lee, Sprint Nextel, PlayStation and Visa.
TBWA Worldwide (www.tbwa.com), Advertising Age magazine's 2004 Global Agency Network of the Year, is one of the world's fastest growing top ten agency networks. TBWA creates disruptive ideas for global clients, including Absolut, adidas, Apple, Beiersdorf, Häagen-Dazs, Henkel, Masterfoods, McDonald's, Michelin, Nissan and Sony PlayStation. In 2005, TBWA has been recognized as the most awarded network at the Clio Awards and for the second year in a row, as the most awarded network at Cannes, The One Show and AdFest. TBWA has 239 offices in 75 countries, and approximately 8,300 employees worldwide.
About Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures, part of the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, is a Sony Pictures Entertainment company. Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America (SCA), a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; digital content creation and distribution; worldwide channel investments; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of filmed entertainment in 67 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.sonypictures.com.