JetBlue Pacts With News Corp.

Stromans broker far-ranging content deal

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%%STORYIMAGE_LEFT%% In its continuing efforts to distinguish itself against the major carriers by leveraging entertainment, upstart, low-cost carrier, JetBlue Airways, has inked a pact with News Corp. that goes beyond the usual basic content licensing deal for in-flight entertainment systems.

In a deal mediated by Mark and Erik Stroman at branded entertainment consultancy, Entertainment Marketing Partners, the airline and News Corp. will also explore JetBlue-branded content creation across the gamut of the media behemoth's properties. The Rupert Murdoch-run vertically integrated company includes Fox Network, 20th Century Fox Television, HarperCollins Publishers, and the 20th Century Fox movie studio.

"Everything is on the table in terms of exploration," said Tracy Sandford, marketing director of JetBlue, based in Forest Hills, New York. "This deal is not about last year's recycled movies that didn't do very well at the box office. We were very interested in talking to a company that was willing to look at this as something that can be an integrated marketing partnership as well."

%%PULLQUOTE_RIGHT%% Mark Stroman said that he pursued other deals at other "vertically integrated monsters" but that ultimately the brands matched up. "JetBlue, News Corp., and the Stromans, now that's a trifecta of irreverence," Stroman enthused.

The Stromans launched EMP last year with JetBlue as one of its founding clients after a stint at Endeavor Marketing Solutions.

Stroman said it required tenacity and persistence over the course of a year to land the JetBlue account. "It took just shy of a restraining order for the Stromans to sign JetBlue," he said.

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