DirecTV Sets Promo For ESPN Game Plan

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In an effort to attract college-football pay-per-view buys, DirecTV Inc. will team up with ESPN to create a sweepstakes campaign for the "ESPN Game Plan" package.

Beginning Aug. 1, DirecTV will launch the "DirecTV/ESPN Who's #1" sweepstakes campaign in support of ESPN's college-football subscription package.

The sweepstakes offers consumers the chance to win a trip for two to the Orange Bowl for this season's college-football national-championship game Jan. 3, DirecTV vice president of sports marketing Jayne Hancock said. Other prizes include ESPN merchandise such as golf jackets, duffel bags and T-shirts.

DirecTV customers purchasing ESPN Game Plan subscriptions by Sept. 30 will be automatically entered into the sweepstakes. DirecTV will offer ESPN Game Plan at an "Early Bird" price of $89 through Aug. 31 or at the regular-season price of $99.

DirecTV customers not purchasing the package can enter the sweepstakes through an 800 number or by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope, company officials said.

"Promotions such as the DirecTV/ESPN Who's #1 sweepstakes allow us to provide added value to those DirecTV customers who already subscribe to ESPN Game Plan, as well as to provide added benefit for potential subscribers," Hancock said.

"In addition, we enjoy invaluable brand positioning for DirecTV sports through the association with college football's most important event, the national championship game," she added.

DirecTV will support the package through a number of marketing vehicles targeted exclusively toward its subscribers, featuring such top college-football coaches as the Texas Longhorns' Mack Brown, the Tennessee Volunteers' Phil Fulmer and the UCLA Bruins' Bob Toledo as official spokesmen, DirecTV officials said.

The marketing campaign will include DirecTV cross-channel television spots on its weekly sports show, This Week on Sports, as well as print ads in DirecTV on Sports magazine and the company's soon-to-be-launched Internet site, DirecTVsports.com.

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