DOCKERS, CREATIVE LABS BACK PRO LEAGUE FOR ONLINE GAMES: PGL'S OTHER PARTNERS INCLUDE 3COM, GTE, AMD AND ZIFF-DAVIS

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Total Entertainment Network has inked Levi Strauss & Co.'s Dockers brand and Creative Labs as sponsors of the AMD Professional Gamers' League, the first online pro organization for computer game players.

CNET's "tv.com" syndicated TV show and Ziff-Davis' Computer Gaming World and GameSpot (gamespot.com) have also signed on as media partners for the league, which is being launched today.

BUSHNELL AS COMMISSIONER

Total Entertainment Network is expected today to name Nolan Bushnell, creator of Pong and founder of Atari Corp., as PGL's first commissioner, underscoring the venture's positioning as the NBA or NFL for home entertainment console jockeys.

The addition of Dockers and the Ziff-Davis media properties means PGL will start with $2 million-plus in sponsorship revenue, said Erik Lundberg, Total Entertainment's director of sales and interactive marketing.

OFFERING CREDIBILITY

Landing Dockers extends PGL credibility as a league and as a marketing vehicle, he said.

"Our research shows that most of our players are professionals, which is a big thing for Dockers because it markets casual workwear," he said. "It bodes well for [PGL] that marketers recognize this market just doesn't spend their money on computer games."

Dockers is the official apparel sponsor and Creative Labs is the official sound technology and speakers sponsor. The other companies involved include the league's title sponsor Advanced Micro Devices, 3Com Corp. (modems), GTE Internetworking (network provider), Logitech (game controllers) and Rendition (graphics technology).

Total Entertainment is expected soon to announce deals in the airline and browser categories, and also is closing a deal with a TV property that will cover PGL with regular features and updates.

PGL is structured into three-month seasons. In its inaugural season, beginning this week, PGL will feature two gaming categories: action and strategy. id Software's Quake is the action game, while Westwood Studios' Command & Conquer: Red Alert is the strategy game.

MODELED ON PRO TENNIS

The professional aspect of PGL is loosely based on the model of pro tennis. To participate in PGL, players must register at pgl.net and either subscribe to Total Entertainment's online gaming service or pay a $9.95 fee. The open qualification period ends Nov. 30; players who qualify move on to league play, which will run through December. Playoffs will be held in January, and the finals will be played at an entertainment software retailer venue in southern California in late January. Players will compete for $250,000 in cash and prizes. Dockers will contribute merchandise to that prize pool.

Sponsors get exclusivity in their categories, and Total Entertainment will plug them into PGL promotions, marketing programs and media. Those media vehicles include "tv.com," which averages a 1.0 rating on 131 stations; Total Entertainment's Web site (ten.site); pgl.net, produced by GameSpot, a leading Web site for PC gamers; and Computer Gaming World, which will provide monthly

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