Lycos highlights its sports with Elway, McGwire effort

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The Lycos Network kicks off a TV and online campaign Oct. 6 featuring two retired sports legends-John Elway, former quarterback for the Denver Broncos and Mark Mc-Gwire, the St. Louis Cardinals first baseman-in an effort to showcase its sports and entertainment content.

The highly integrated campaign, created by Interpublic Group of Cos.' Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston, includes two 30-second TV spots breaking on sports programming on News Corp.'s Fox network and a contest sponsored by Yum Brands' Taco Bell.

Steve Gross, VP-marketing, Terra Lycos, the global Internet network that runs the Lycos brand, put the media spending in the $15 million to $18 million range. Lycos spent $20.3 million in measured media in the U.S. in 2001 and $10.4 million from January through June, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR.

The cheeky TV spots encourage fans to imagine what life would be like as the best friend of either Mr. Mc-Gwire or Mr. Elway. The spots features the track "Best Friends" from the 1970s sitcom "The Courtship of Eddie's Father." The Elway spot closes with Mr. Elway and his pal munching on Taco Bell burritos with the hunky ex-quarterback wiping taco sauce from his friend's mouth.

TV ads will run on Fox network sports and cable programming including Fox cable's "Best Damn Sports Show Period." That show will feature on-air promotion of the Lycos contest "Championship with a Champion" presented by Taco Bell. The contest sends two winners and their guests to Super Bowl XXXVII with Mr. Elway and a 2003 World Series game with Mr. McGwire. Running through early December, the contest invites fans to enter online at champion.lycos.com or Fox-Sports.com, which is powered by Lycos. Online ads appear on other sports sites as well.

Mr. Gross said the Champion promotion is designed to lure traditional advertisers to the benefits of online marketing.

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