As an investor and newly named chairman of Naples, Fla.-based Attitude Network, Mr. Rasmussen hopes to make the Internet as legitimate an ad vehicle for package-goods marketers as a traditional mass medium.
"The chaos in the Internet now and cable then are similar," said Mr. Rasmussen. "You're going from broadcasting to narrowcasting."
A lifelong entrepreneur, Mr. Rasmussen oversaw the launch of ESPN in 1979 but left the following year. Since then he has worked for various TV sports ventures and IntelliNet, a home automation company where he remains vice chairman.
His first online challenge is the Attitude Network's first Web site, the games-oriented Happy Puppy (http://www.happypuppy.com), which Attitude bought last year.
33,000 USERS PER DAY
Attitude claims Happy Puppy is the most-read Web games site, with 33,000 original users per day, according to an audit by Nielsen I/Pro I/Audit.
Attitude plans to integrate advertising next month at $30,000 per 1 million impressions.
Mr. Rasmussen, however, wants to appeal to package-goods advertisers that normally have little to do with games.
As with ESPN, major "franchise" advertisers will get long-term positioning rights well beyond the end of their current contracts.
Attitude said it is developing a half-hour syndicated weekly TV show that will be offered as a joint buy with the Web site.
Attitude is already in talks with Coca-Cola Co. Chuck Fruit, the company's VP-director of media and presence marketing, was Anheuser-Busch's top media executive when A-B did its landmark ad buy to help get ESPN started.