Portal Sees Rich Database Potential

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ActiveUSA.com aunched this month as a sports portal for athletes looking to sign up for team sports, intramurals and other competitions. The real usefulness of this site for marketers, however, will be its database of detailed consumer profiles that constitute a range of highly desirable demographics.

The site expects to quickly put together a database of as many as 8 million people "for starters," according to Tim Scott, senior vice president of marketing at ActiveUSA.com, La Jolla, CA.

To accomplish this, ActiveUSA.com has completed a number of mergers and acquisitions to become the premier online source for registering for athletic events. The following sites make-up this portal: LeagueLink Inc. reaches 50 million team and intramural participants, RaceGate.com contributes online registration capabilities; ActiveUSA.com provides grassroots sports information for the recreational athlete, and EnterOnline.com and GetSetGo.com adds additional online event registration capabilities and existing operations servicing several hundred events.

The site's goal is to become a necessity for the 120 million registrants who participate in 500,000 events annually. It currently provides online registration for approximately 7,000 events. For example, 85 percent of the 20,000 participants in the Suzuki Rock and Roll Marathon register at the site. Generally 30 percent of these event's participants use ActiveUSA.com.

To register, consumers must present detailed information such as address, age, gender and e-mail address.

"These are highly-qualified individuals that have indicated that they have an active lifestyle, given their credit card and personal information. If we maintain that proprietary information carefully, marketers will want it," said Scott.

Marketers will be able to target these consumers online and offline through advertising agreements.

"Say you're Microsoft and you want to reach triatheletes in California. When they register, they will receive a confirmation e-mail with a Microsoft message, coupon or deal," said Scott. An offline presence at the event, including signage and other elements can be arranged.

To market the site and build its database, ActiveUSA.com is attempting to reach event directors across the country through direct marketing, fax and e-mail broadcasts.

Its most effective marketing tools, however, have been sponsored educational programs at conferences and trade shows.

It has a presence at such shows as Event Director 2000 in San Diego and the Super Show in Atlanta. If the seminars prove useful, word spreads quickly because event directors "all know each other. It creates a viral marketing effect," said Scott.

The site is backed with $11 million of venture capital funding from Enterprise Partners, Kettle Partners and Austin Ventures as well as $18.5 million of strategic funding from Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch.

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