Archive for Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Sprint, NFL agree to exclusive deal

Local wireless company to provide updates, highlights

August 16, 2005

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— Sprint Nextel Corp. said Monday it has signed a five-year deal with the National Football League to become the league's official wireless sponsor.

The company, with corporate headquarters in Reston, Va., and operations headquarters in Overland Park, said it will use the arrangement to provide exclusive game highlights, updated scores, live game video and Fantasy Football statistics to its wireless customers. It said it is working with the NFL to develop much of the original programming, which will feature content from the NFL Network and NFL Films.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The deal would further the company's status in professional sports. Nextel Communications Inc., which Sprint acquired on Friday, has a 10-year $700 million sponsorship deal with NASCAR's Nextel Cup Series.

"You're talking about the No. 1 and No. 2 sports in the country from a fan loyalty perspective," said Tom Murphy, Sprint-Nextel's sponsorship chief.

Murphy said Sprint was an NFL sponsor between 1996 and 1999 and it and Nextel still have relationships with a number of individual teams, such as the Washington Redskins and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Shares of Sprint Nextel lost 10 cents to close at$26.05 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange. It is the first day of trading for the newly unified company's stock.

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