SPRINT NAME TO DOMINATE AFTER MERGER WITH NEXTEL

Ads Will Still Refer to Nextel Brand and Technology

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SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- Nascar will continue to race its Nascar Nextel Cup Series at least through 2006, but otherwise the Sprint name will dominate once the $35 billion merger between telecommunications companies Sprint and Nextel Communications obtains government approval.
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Mark Schweitzer, designated chief marketing officer of the combined company, said the marketer officially will be called Sprint Nextel, but Sprint will be its name in the marketplace. Advertising, using the Sprint name, will include an additional line: "Together with Nextel."

Will remain a product brand
Nextel will remain as a product brand and will continue advertising its walkie-talkie and other products to business, government and high-use consumers. In those ads, the line "Together with Sprint" will be used.

"The Sprint name, brand attributes and the sentiment they evoke in minds of consumers are relevant today and provide a great foundation for the future," Mr. Schweitzer said.

A new logo for the merged telecom combines a visual reference to Sprint's long-running "Pin drop" campaign with Nextel's yellow and black color scheme, one the company said "commands attention."

Nascar signage
Mr. Schweitzer said that pending discussions with Nascar officials, over time about one-third of the signage at Nascar races will be changed from Nextel to "Sprint together with Nextel." The remaining signage will remain in place as they are on uniforms and in other difficult-to-convert properties.

Last week, Sprint and Nextel announced that Nextel's agency, Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/Day, New York, will handle the launch of the new brand, an expected $500 million marketing effort. Sprint's agency, Publicis Groupe's Publicis & Hal Riney, will handle business-to-business aspects of both Sprint and Nextel, Mr. Schweitzer said.

The merger, announced in December 2004, is expected to receive final government approvals as soon as late summer or in the third quarter.

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