Veterans Web Site Gets Boost From McCain

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Sen. John McCain will help launch Veterans.com on Memorial Day.


Spun off from A&E Television Networks' HistoryChannel.com site, the nonprofit Veterans.com is positioned as a service for an estimated 25 million American veterans and their families. McCain's appearance on a live chat is part of A&E's strategy of occasionally using noted veterans to attract Web traffic.


The site's "goal is to connect people associated with past wars, and to connect families of veterans to share veterans' stories with students and educate them," said Elizabeth Nix, director of content at A&E Television Networks' interactive division, New York.


Veterans.com plans to rely on prominent veterans such as McCain to draw attention to its service, but Nix wouldn't disclose names of other celebrities it is considering.


The site will be promoted heavily on the History Channel and HistoryChannel.com. Veterans.com also will share links with HistoryChannel.com.


Once traffic builds, Veterans.com hopes to parlay those eyeballs into advertising from networks like ESPN, automakers, and financial services. Ads on Veterans.com might be included as part of an advertising package with HistoryChannel.com. Doubleclick handles Veterans.com advertising.


"We'll be eventually selling ads on the site based on page views through message board views," Nix said. "But again, we're really more interested in building the community aspect because that will help strengthen the brand in general. I don't think we really have strong revenue projections, at least for the first few quarters on the site."
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