Gateway teams with Univision for cross-promo

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Gateway is joining forces with Univision Communications to inaugurate an integrated marketing alliance that will cross-promote Gateway PCs as well as the leading Spanish-language broadcaster's new Internet portal, Univision.com.

The one-year partnership, estimated at less than $10 million, includes placement of Gateway ads on the Univision TV network and Internet portal, and in print, and flags the brand during events and in outdoor advertising. The Univision.com icon will appear on Gateway computer screens.

The alliance -- which was set to kick off July 29 and 30 during an event at a Gateway Country Store showroom in Cerritos, Calif. -- is the official outgrowth of a plan unveiled last fall by the computer marketer.

ROCKY BEGINNING

In September 1999, Gateway announced its intention to market PCs, software and Internet services to the Hispanic market with Spanish-speaking telephone sales, tech support and showroom representatives. The alliance had a rocky start however, when Univision didn't agree to use Gateway's Gateway.NET Internet service as the preferred portal on PC hardware.

"It was a bit of a speed bump for us," conceded Hector Placencia, director of Hispanic marketing for Gateway. Gateway was eager to grow its own Gateway.

NET Internet service, which now has more than 1 million subscribers.

"We are going to download their icon on our desktops, and now because we're a partner, we'll have access to their network," Mr. Placencia said.

Gateway will have access to the vast Univision brand, cable and satellite TV programming, the Internet site, and other assets. Advertising for the new relationship will be handled in-house by Univision; by Univision's business-to-business agency Campbell-Ewald West, Los Angeles; and Dieste & Partners Publicidad, Dallas, for Univision.com advertising. Upbeat, family-oriented executions are anticipated.

Popular Univision TV celebrities also will promote the alliance. Talk show host Christina, known as the Spanish-language Oprah, and VJ Leslie Ann Muchada are among several celebs tapped to promote the new offer.

But the deal is non-exclusive, so other PC marketers could also enter into alliances with Univision. Insiders say that IBM Corp. also struck a deal with Univision -- for $20 a month, a consumer can get Univision's service, and for an extra $10 a month, an IBM computer.

TEACHERS, TOO

The Gateway deal is for a Gateway Essential 566c bundled with one year of Univision.com for $1,079, or $30 a month.

Mr. Placencia said the alliance is ideal for the direct marketer of PCs, which also operates 300 showrooms nationally.

"Not only do we sell you the product, but we teach you how to use it" with in-showroom training and support, said Mr. Placencia.

Univision.com can be found on the Internet, but hasn't officially launched. A spokeswoman was unable to confirm a launch date. Univision executives were not available for comment by press time.

Forrester Research projects that 43% of Hispanic households will have access to the Internet this year, up from 36% last year. Univision commands an 88% market share of Hispanic households. The Gateway and IBM programs, launching in Los Angeles, will extend nationally by early September.

Contributing: Nancy Coltun Webster.

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