Although specific ad pricing and marketing budgets haven't yet been finalized, one thing is certain-advertising will fit more logically into the Prodigy content.
"The old Prodigy had ads all over the service that were unrelated to the copy," said Scott Schiller, Prodigy's VP-advertising. "Now certain types of ads will appear in context-sensitive content areas, and in personalized areas."
As for initial sponsorship deals, Mr. Schiller said it's going to be a "soft launch." "We're not going to have [audience] numbers on the service that justify [marketing] until 1997."
While ad sales have traditionally been handled by New York-based TeleRep, Prodigy has begun to sell ads in-house as well.
STREAMLINING AD SALES
"We're trying to streamline the [selling] process," said Mr. Schiller.
The company hopes to cultivate the kind of sponsorship deals that its partner SonicNet recently crafted with Sidney Frank Importing Co.'s Jagermeister (http://www.jagermeister.com).
The Jagermeister deal, which goes live June 15, will involve sponsorship of national, local and live event coverage with tie-ins to a contest hosted on its site.