Lycos Signs to Sponsor for New Basketball League

Lycos Inc. signed up to sponsor a team in a fledgling basketball league for college-age players.

Lycos agreed to provide approximately $400,000 annually as part of a three-year agreement with the Collegiate Professional Basketball League.

The league, formed earlier this fall, aims to start play in November of 1999 with eight teams competing in a 28-game regular season. The teams are to be located in the nation’s top 13 media markets, including Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, DC.

Lycos said its team, dubbed “Team Lycos” and to be based in Boston, would be the first in U.S. professional sports to be named after a corporate sponsor. The practice is more common in European, Asian and Latin American sports.

Under the agreement, Lycos will provide the league with Internet services, including keyword links, banner advertising for the league and its other corporate sponsors, live Internet chats with CPBL players and Internet broadcasting of games.

“Lycos understands the power of sports marketing for building brand awareness,” Lycos promotions director Jim Hoenscheid said in a statement. “Lycos has a track record in promoting our brand through involvement in various sports marketing endeavors.”

The Waltham, MA.-based company has previously sponsored NASCAR auto racing teams, as well as snowboarder Anton Pouge.

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