CNNSI.com Launches Basketball E-Newsletter

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As the 2000-2001 National Basketball Association season launched last week, CNNSI.com debuted a weekly e-mail newsletter targeted to fans of NBA basketball.


CNNSI.com's Pro Basketball Extra is an HTML e-newsletter that will be distributed every Tuesday during the eight-month NBA season and will contain content from Sports Illustrated, CNN/SI reporters and Turner Sports basketball analyst Ernie Johnson. After the season ends, the e-newsletter will be delivered monthly.


"Pro Basketball Extra continues our strategy of delivering target content via e-mail [and] establishing a relationship between CNNSI.com's Web service and the user," said Andy Mitchell, director of marketing at CNNSI.com.


Pro Basketball Extra is the second e-mail newsletter CNN/SI, Atlanta, has launched in the past three months. In August, the Time Warner division debuted Pro Football Extra, a weekly e-newsletter devoted to covering the National Football League. In October, only two months into the campaign, CNN/SI reported that some 180,000 online football fans signed up to receive the e-newsletter.


The new basketball and football e-newsletters, as well as an existing golf version and an upcoming baseball e-newsletter, are an attempt by CNN/SI to drive traffic to its Web site and build a larger, more concentrated subscriber base. The company is collecting small pieces of marketing data, such as a user's favorite basketball team, in order to offer users more-targeted products. CNN/SI has said, however, that it does not intend to collect personal information for its marketing campaigns.


Online direct marketer Responsys.com, Palo Alto, CA, is delivering the basketball e-newsletters. Responsys' Interact service will enable subscribers to set their own preferences and tailor the newsletter content to their favorite teams and/or players.


Mitchell said CNN/SI selected Responsys because it believed the application service provider model would simplify the process of creating the e-newsletter and allow CNN/SI to keep the process inhouse.


The next scheduled CNN/SI e-mail newsletter is expected to debut next April to coincide with the start of the 2001 Major League Baseball season.
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