Lycos signs up tennis superstar to front marketing campaign

Tennis darling, Anna Kournikova, has agreed to endorse Terra Lycos in a bold move that shows dot.coms are far from dead and buried in the advertising world

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By  Barnaby Chesterman Published  March 21, 2001

Global Internet network, Terra Lycos has signed up the hottest property in world tennis to front its new marketing and advertising push. Terra Lycos has announced a multi-year marketing and advertising endorsement deal with the golden-girl of tennis, Anna Kournikova.

The multi-tiered alliance was created by Terra Lycos and Octagon, Kournikova’s management firm. The terms of the agreement require Kournikova to promote Lycos in television, radio, print, online and outdoor advertising and promotions exclusive to

Terra Lycos intends to launch a multi-million dollar campaign off the back of the popular tennis star, featuring commercials during prestigious college basketball tournaments on CBS, as well as on MTV, VH1, E! and ESPN, a sports channel that broadcasts throughout the Middle East.

“Anna Kournikova is a perfect match for Lycos,” said Steve Fund, vice president of brand marketing for Lycos. “She is a global superstar and her energy and appealing, hip image are what the Lycos brand is all about.”

The move is all the more surprising at a time when most dot.coms and portals are cutting back on advertising spend, especially in the US, after a number of high-profile bankruptcies.

“At a time when most other Internet companies are cutting back, we’re stepping up and making a powerful statement about the strength of the Lycos brand through aggressive marketing activities,” added Fund.

The choice of Anna Kournikova to front the campaign is a major coup for Terra Lycos as she is one of the most marketable athletes in sport and has a huge fan base, particular amongst young men. According to the Lycos 50, a weekly list of the top 50 people, places and things users search for online, between June 1999 and June 2000, Kournikova received more searches than Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods put together. Being more popular than the two most popular sportsmen in America put together is certainly no mean feat.

Lycos launched the campaign with a network-wide promotion featuring more than $1 million in cash and prizes with over 10,000 instant prizes. There also a number of online games to play that also carried prizes.

“The Lycos campaign stands apart form anything I have ever done,” said Kournikova. “The advertising is very clever, and the games and prizes are fun and unique. Lycos is giving me a great opportunity to interact with my fans all over the world online.”

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