Sprint focuses on choice after merger with Nextel

RESTON, VA: Sprint has launched a major marketing and branding campaign in the wake of its acquisition of Nextel.

RESTON, VA: Sprint has launched a major marketing and branding campaign in the wake of its acquisition of Nextel.

Centered on the new slogan "Yes you can," the campaign will highlight the choice and flexibility that Sprint offers, explained Mary Nell Westbrook, director of communications. She said the new brand promise is a marriage of Sprint and Nextel's brands.

"We're going to talk about the choice we bring to our customers - choice of networks, handsets, plans," she said.

While the campaign will include ads and refurbished retail stores, communications will focus on traditional press relations and some unconventional marketing, including the leveraging of its sponsorships with the NFL and NASCAR.

Sprint will spotlight its NFL sponsorship by promoting exclusive video clips and highlights available to Sprint customers.

"Sponsorships can't be just having your name on a stadium," said Westbrook. "The traditional models of media have changed. People aren't reading and watching the same media they used to. We must find new ways to reach those audiences."

Media outreach will have a strong local component, as Sprint is "trying to get at where our customers live," she said.

The campaign's rollout targets all company stakeholders - including customers and investors - with a special emphasis on staff. Sprint's 80,000 employees were informed about the campaign before other audiences.

"All of our C-level executives have a desire for transparent communications, and that includes making sure all of our employees know what we're doing first," said Westbrook.

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