ESPN Aids Bresnan with Big Sky Rebranding


ESPN has lent its support to Bresnan Communications Inc.'s freshly acquired AT&T Broadband systems in four states through a variety of cobranded marketing and promotion materials.

The campaign — aimed both at customers and employees of the 330,000-subscriber cluster in Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming — is centered around the total sports network's Great Outdoor Games. It broke earlier this month and will run through July.

"We were very proactive," said ESPN vice president of national accounts David Preschlack. "We're the only network partnering on this campaign."

The parties "tossed around ideas" during a meeting held before the AT&T deal closed in March, said Bresnan senior vice president of operations Terry St. Marie. Eventually, they gravitated toward the Great Outdoor Games as an ideal means of boosting Bresnan's consumer awareness.

A key component in the effort is a GOG consumer sweepstakes that runs through mid-June. New Bresnan customers will get free installation and be automatically entered in the contest, which offers as its grand prize a July trip to the GOG in Reno/Tahoe, Nevada, said Preschlack.

ESPN provided all the creative for the campaign, including on-air promos featuring network talent, as well as customized bill-stuffers, newspaper and radio ads and a sweepstakes link from the Bresnan Web site.

Preschlack paraphrased one promo spot in which ESPN's Dan Patrick says, "On behalf of ESPN, we would like to welcome you to Bresnan Communications." It then touts the MSO's products and services.

Although ESPN talked with the operator about using a GOG trip as a digital-acquisition incentive for its CSRs and installers, St. Marie said Bresnan instead decided to offer that trip in a random drawing among all its employees at the end of the GOG promotion.

Its employees had just come aboard as well, he said, so they thought that contest would be a nice thank-you for their efforts. In addition, Bresnan gave all its employees ESPN co-branded premiums.

What's next? ESPN's Preschlack said he hoped to work with Bresnan "on an ongoing basis."

"We really like working with networks on these promotions," said St. Marie, who noted that Bresnan has spoken with several other unspecified networks about future tie-ins. "We're very interested in working with them."