Excite@Home, Infiniti Forge Cross-Marketing Pact

Internet access and portal player Excite@Home 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 Excite@Home 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 Excite@Home 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 Excite@Home 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 Excite@Home 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 Excite@Home.

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 Excite@Home’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, Excite@Home 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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