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THINK Selected To Build NFL Players Network

THINK New Ideas Inc. said that the company has been selected by National Football League Players Inc., the licensing and marketing unit of the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), to design, develop and co-market the new Players Inc. Interactive Network .

The partnership will utilize THINK's WebMechanic technology to create a network of individual Web sites for about 1,800 active and 200 retired NFL players. This network will provide a platform for every player to communicate directly with their fans while at the same time creating new revenue opportunities for the partnership.

Billings were not disclosed.

New York City-based Think said the Players Network will focus on creating a virtual Players Inc. Interactive Media Channel, providing the opportunity to open new marketing channels and business development opportunities, form strategic alliances and enhance licensee and corporate partner support via online interactive promotions and product development.

Sponsors of the site will include MBNA America and EA Sports.

"By combining THINK's marketing, technology and creative expertise we believe we can create a strong virtual brand for Players Inc. as well as a virtual business and communications channel designed to explore new markets, reduce costs, and strengthen fan loyalty worldwide," said THINK chairman and chief executive officer Ron Bloom.

"By leveraging THINK's interactive communications and technology solutions, as well as their branding and marketing expertise, we'll be able to build our brand online while marketing our players as both personalities and professional athletes," said Pat Allen, executive vice president and COO of Players Inc.

THINK's automated Web site and intranet building and management tool enables real-time generation of thousands of customized sites while providing the ability to edit, create and refresh content from any location in a non-technical process. THINK will also provide ongoing maintenance and back office support for the network.

Using WebMechanic, the players themselves will have the ability to update and personalize their sites directly.

THINK said it plans to integrate online and off-line features, such as a weekly radio show and various Players Inc.-sponsored and produced television shows, as well as providing updated statistics, merchandising opportunities, digital trading cards and various licensee offerings.