In the first indication of how telecom player SBC Communications Inc.‘s
investment in Prodigy Communications
will shake out on the marketing front, the two
companies on Friday unveiled a joint marketing initiative.
The two companies plan to distribute Prodigy Internet access CDs at more
than 250 of SBC’s wireless retail stores and authorized agents. Prodigy will
be the exclusive ISP offered and promoted through the Pacific Bell Wireless
and Southwestern Bell Wireless retail outlets.
In addition the companies will work together to give Prodigy customers
access to information with SBC Wireless’ data services.
The joint marketing agreement is one of the first manifestations of a deal
the two companies cut back in November 1999. SBC took a 48 percent equity
stake in Prodigy, and the firms agreed to join their consumer and small
business Internet operations. The idea was to position SBC and Prodigy to
become a leading provider of DSL broadband Internet access, and further fuel
both companies growth.
“This agreement represents the synergies that Prodigy and SBC will achieve
under our new alliance to showcase and cross sell both companies’ products
and services,” said Prodigy president and chief executive officer, Charles
“Retail outlets are an important distribution channel for Prodigy, with the
majority of our subscriber enrollment in 1999 coming from retail. Therefore,
we continually look for ways to grow our retail presence.”
Other Internet service providers have found retail outlets an important
distribution channel, as well. America
has struck deals with everyone from Kinko‘s and Office Depot to Six Flags theme parks.
The Prodigy Internet CDs will be marketed and distributed under the “Prodigy
with SBC” brand name, and people will receive one of these CDs with any
cellular-related purchase. The free CD will offer a Prodigy Internet
introductory offer of three months of Internet service for $9.95 per month.
Consumers then are automatically enrolled in Prodigy Internet at $19.95 per
month after the three-month period.