AOL, NBA, WNBA Kick Off Marketing Alliance

In a deal that builds on Time Warner’s
broadcast relationship with the National
Basketball Association
and the Women’s
National Basketball Association
, the two organizations have tapped America Online Inc. for a multi-year
marketing deal aimed at raising the profile of their Web properties.

Time Warner partners and properties are likely to get more
integrated with America Online, as the merger between the
two companies comes closer to completion.

The agreement, the financial terms of which were not disclosed, calls for
the companies to engage in extensive online and offline cross-promotion.

The deal includes promotion of and on several AOL
properties, including AOL, CompuServe, AOL.COM, Netscape, Digital City, and ICQ. Users of those AOL brands will also be
given easy access to NBA and WNBA content and merchandise, and the content
will be integrated into the AOL offerings. One of those efforts at
integration will include the development of a fantasy basketball game. and will distribute AOL tools, like AOL Instant Messenger
and AOL Search. The two organizations may also use AOL Digital City to
explore selling tickets online, and will also do cross-promotions with
Digital City.

As part of the deal, AOL will get on-air promotion during NBA on TNT and
NBA on TBS game telecasts and on WNBA game telecasts. AOL will also
advertise on non-game NBA programming.

Separately, America Online also forged a marketing alliance with comparison
shopping company DealTime. The
three-year deal, for which financial details were not revealed, calls for
DealTime to contribute its technology to the [email protected] section.

DealTime will aggregate shopping data from [email protected] merchants, and use the
database to improve search results on that property, as well as on Digital
City, Compuserve and Netscape.

Those search results pages will also contain a link to DealTime, which will
allow users to expand their search from [email protected] to the whole Web.

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