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360 Group Bats for Cricket

Cricket Communications, part of Leap Wireless International Inc., has named 360 Group, San Rafael, CA, to handle its $2 million direct marketing account.

There was no direct marketing agency incumbent on the account. However, The Johnson Group, Nashville, TN, will continue to handle TV, radio, print and outdoor media for Cricket.

“The reason we were selected is that the president of Leap Wireless [Sue Swenson] used to be the president of CellularOne and we had done a couple of projects for CellularOne,” said Carolyn Goodman, vice president at 360 Group. “So, Sue sought us when she came to Leap Wireless.”

Goodman's agency will create and execute a direct mail campaign to promote the Cricket Comfortable Wireless Service, a flat-rate, unlimited-talk-time service that is expanding across markets nationwide.

To prepare for the direct mail drop, estimated at 1 million pieces, 360 Group also will offer Cricket services such as predictive modeling, list brokerage, creative design, telemarketing, return on investment analysis and production.

The campaign for Cricket will be based on the look and feel developed by Johnson in its media campaign: various people congregated around a big green couch, talking on their Cricket cell phones about how comfortable they are using the service.

Cricket joins a 360 Group roster of clients that includes Peet's Tea and Coffee, Wells Fargo Bank, The North Face, University of Phoenix and Barclays Global Investors.

With 360 Group's appointment, Cricket hopes to open a new sales channel.

“They currently are selling their product through retail stores that are both proprietary and licensed dealers,” Goodman said, “and we've been tasked with helping them open a telesales channel. So, the direct mail will drive the recipient to either call the 800 number, order over the Web or through mail.”

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