RealTime IT News

IAR Bits and Bytes for Monday

Val-Pak, E-Centives Deal for Web Coupons

Internet couponer e-centives said it will begin delivering locally targeted, online versions of coupons from offline promotional marketer Val-Pak.

Through terms of an agreement, financial details of which were not disclosed, Largo, Fla.-based Val-Pak will provide e-centives with about 30,000 daily coupons. The online marketer will distribute electronic versions of the coupons. Consumers using e-centives' services log onto an online e-centives Organizer to view and retrieve their coupons, which can be printed for redemption at nearby merchants.

The deal gives Bethesda, Md.-based e-centives access to a source of coupons for local businesses. E-centives handles opt-in couponing either independently or via a private-label agreement with partners that include Excite, iVillage and USAToday.com.

Best known for its blue coupon envelopes, Val-Pak is the largest offline coupon mailer, moving about 15 billion coupons annually. Through the deal with e-centives, Val-Pak nets another channel of distribution.

Earlier this month, it inked a deal with e-mail and wireless marketer LifeMinders that will distribute electronic coupons regionally, through its ValPak.com Web site.

AdForce Launches Emerging Media Ad Sales Unit

Outsourced ad server AdForce said it has incorporated a dedicated sales team for its AdForce EveryWhere initiative, which aims to serve ads on emerging media.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based firm said EveryWhere's Ad Media Sales unit will provide a full-service offering of interactive marketing solutions for publishers in interactive television, wireless and point-of-sale/kiosk content.

"We recognized a true need for an advertising infrastructure in the new media market and have assembled a team of knowledgeable and experienced new media sales experts to complement our ad management and delivery offering," said AdForce executive vice president Dee Cravens.

AdForce said EveryWhere supports banner, rich media, streaming and e-mail advertising across all new media.

The program is designed to enable advertisers to reach the wired audience in any medium with a single creative theme.

AdForce recently became a wholly owned subsidiary of CMGion, which specializes in emerging media content delivery.

NetZero Taps NASCAR for Sponsorship Program

Ad-sponsored ISP NetZero Monday announced a marketing and primary sponsorship program with NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team Hendrick Motorsports and famed driver Jack Sprague.

The multiyear deal is aimed at broadening NetZero's appeal to middle America and the southern U.S. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"This is a big day for everyone associated with NetZero," stated Brian Woods, chief marketing officer of NetZero. "We are very impressed with NASCAR racing as a marketing vehicle and feel like it is a perfect fit to add even more power to the already rapid growth we've experienced since introducing NetZero in October 1998."

The NetZero logo will appear on Sprague's vehicle throughout the NCTS circuit, which begins next February. Sprague is one of the most-watched drivers in the sport, with 19 NCTS race wins and two championship titles under his belt.

Auto racing is picking up as a way for tech and Internet firms to reach a broad offline audience. Last month, e-business technology firm SAP announced its worldwide sponsorship of Formula-1 racing.

NetZero chairman and chief executive officer Mark Goldston said its corporate partner General Motors suggested the ISP launch an auto racing marketing campaign. In January, NetZero inked a deal with GM to create a co-branded version of its Internet access software, which GM would distribute. GM also became a major advertiser on NetZero's floating ad bar.