IT Mailer Hands the Ball to NFL Star

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A prospecting mailer from Network Associates that dropped two days before the Super Bowl offered a football autographed by Oakland Raiders Pro Bowl wide receiver Tim Brown to recipients who scheduled a meeting with a sales representative.

"We wanted to get the mailers out and use the football theme because of the Super Bowl taking place," said Carolyn Newburn, director of worldwide marketing campaigns at Network Associates. "Our new company theme of 'Pass the Hassle' also lends itself to this time of year."

Network Associates also shipped the piece First Class to help it stand out, the first time it has done that.

"The goal was to get the mailings in the hands of the targets right around the time of the game," she said. "And we sent it out First Class so we could help our sales force generate sales for this current quarter."

The campaign is for McAfee Security, one of the software security developer's three main products. The goal not only is to generate qualified leads for the software but to rebrand the company after the introduction of a new logo and colors.

Network Associates, Santa Clara, CA, targeted 100,000 IT and anti-virus professionals at small and mid-sized companies.

The piece is a self-mailer with Brown's image on the cover and the campaign's theme of "Pass the ball to the Experts." The football theme continues inside with the heading of "The best defense is a great offense."

Network Associates uses four sections to highlight the benefits of its system. Each section heading contains football jargon: Score daily updates; Save big Money -- come in 80% under the salary cap; Instant replay; and Get cutting-edge play-calling.

The offer of the free autographed football requires recipients to order a free information kit and free trial download of the software in addition to setting up a sales appointment. Network Associates qualifies the offer further by stating that free footballs will be awarded "while supplies last."

The piece contains three response mechanisms: a business reply card, a Web address and a toll-free number.

The goal is to generate a 3 percent response rate.

Newburn said the list was compiled from various sources and was provided by an agency. The company worked with Rapp Collins, Dallas, to design and run the campaign.

An e-mail campaign also was executed to the same 100,000 targets as the direct mail portion. The e-mail contained the same offer and language as the direct mail piece.

Ads also ran in financial publications including the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and Investor's Business Daily.

Newburn said she could not reveal the campaign's cost.

Network Associates is the sponsor for the Oakland Coliseum, where the Raiders play.

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