DIGITAL MEDIA MASTERS;RICH LEFURGY;STARWAVE CORP.

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For rich LeFurgy, it wasn't enough to work 70 or more hours a week creating ad packages for Starwave properties on the Web. Something was missing: a group to bring the Internet ad industry together.

Earlier this year, working with key ad sales executives from Prodigy, Microsoft and other companies, he helped to found the Internet Advertising Bureau, becoming its acting chairman in June.

The group, which already counts more than 50 member companies, "was born out of an incredible level of frustration in our daily jobs. We had no choice but to step up to the occasion," he said.

Mr. LeFurgy's passion for the Web grew almost overnight. By the end of his 17-year career with Ayer, he had begun to dabble in interactive marketing. But joining Starwave (http://www.starwave.com) was a whole new world.

In a little more than a year with the company, Mr. LeFurgy has developed several creative Web marketing programs, including the Pizza Hut NCAA Final Four Challenge on ESPNET SportsZone (http://espnet.sportszone.com), which netted 100,000 registrants vying to correctly pick the winner of college basketball's big tournament.

SportsZone is one of the most-trafficked sites on the Web and has had equal success in generating advertising, consistently ranking in the top 10 sites.

The site generated $2.4 million in ad revenue in the first half of the year, according to Jupiter Communications' WebTrack.

Still on the docket: Helping the IAB create voluntary industry guidelines for online advertising.

"Right now, everything's custom, but we need to get to a point where there's a basic understanding of what people are buying and how much it is."

Betcha didn't know: Mr. LeFurgy, a gourmet cook, may someday open a restaurant. "Is it any harder than what we're doing now?" he muses.

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