[email protected], Infiniti Forge Cross-Marketing Pact

Internet access and portal player [email protected] on Wednesday inked a
three-year on- and off-line cross-marketing alliance with Infiniti that puts CD-ROMs for Excite’s
free ISP in the car maker’s showrooms, and promotes the vehicles in ads on
the [email protected] services.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

The deal is another example of how bricks-and-mortar companies are
embracing the Internet and leveraging their real-world assets and
distribution systems to help their online partners. The fact that
[email protected] delivers broadband access, too, is
significant. Major advertisers, especially car makers, have been said to be
eager for the growth of broadband, because they feel high-bandwidth is
necessary to show off their products.

The agreement also links [email protected] with Infiniti Indy car driver, Eddie
Cheever, Jr., through the 2000 and 2001 Indy racing seasons. The Team
Cheever sponsorships will include cable broadcasts and retailer appearances.

“Our [email protected] subscriber base is perfectly aligned with Infiniti’s
active and sophisticated customers and owners,” said Byron Smith, executive
vice-president, consumer broadband services and chief marketing officer for
[email protected]

The promotion alliance will give Infiniti banner ads and sponsorships on Excite.com, placed in relevant lifestyle
content areas.

The two companies will create around 4 million co-branded CD-ROMs to be
distributed in Infiniti showrooms and through direct mail, which will
contain software for [email protected]’s free ISP service, as well as music
tracks and multimedia product information on Infiniti vehicles. The two
firms will also build co-branded destinations on the Excite portal.

In recent days, [email protected] announced a new advertising campaign, and
received the resignation of its chairman, Tom Jermoluk, who has stepped
into another board seat.

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