RICHMOND, VA: Sprint Nextel has hired CRT/tanaka to lead the PR and marketing effort for its consumer products and services.
CRT/tanaka will promote a portfolio of devices, launch new devices, and strengthen the brand position for the third-largest US cellular carrier. Sprint Nextel also works with Dan Klores Communications, among other agencies.
“The industry spends a lot of time talking about commodity attributes, bigger and better coverage, cheaper handsets, etc,” said CRT/tanaka CEO Mark Raper. “We’ll be working with Sprint to leverage their superior technology to address consumer behavior and desire.”
The agency will focus on new media efforts, tapping social network communities that could enable Sprint to communicate effectively with various key targets.
“The approach to new media is wide open,” Raper said. “Interactive will become a more significant player in communications going forward.”
Bill White, SVP of corporate communications at Sprint, said the company was making its Web presence a priority.
“We continue to hone our Web-based presence,” White said. “Goodby is responsible for the Web design of Sprint.com, and CRT/tanaka is really handling the PR side.”
White explained that Sprint uses multiple agencies for support in field operations, such as regulatory and government type of outreach.
“We have approximately four agencies right now, but it goes up and down,” White said. “We had 11 agencies, but we’ve been consolidating since Sprint and Nextel merged.”
Mike Mulvihill, CRT/tanaka president, added that Sprint's 2007 branding strategy will focus on the whole theme of "life at Sprint speed," and on the competitive advantage they have at speed, fast downloads, etc.
Analysts have been critical of Sprint Nextel’s post-merger strategy, citing confusion over brand strategy, but were heartened by recent new subscription numbers.
CRT/tanaka has also been handling PR for the wireless company’s 10-year, $70 million NASCAR Nextel Cup sponsorship, which will be called the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2008.