UPDATE: Access Worldwide and J. Patton Form Exclusive Relationship

Marketing services provider Access Worldwide Communications Inc. said this week it formed an exclusive relationship for J. Patton Sports Marketing Inc. to provide sports-related marketing venues for Access' clients.

Access, a database company specializing in the health care industry, mails weekly sports newsletters to doctors, pharmacists and other medical professionals on behalf of its health care clients. The Boca Raton, FL, company, which also operates a 1,200-agent call center and provides other fulfillment services, distributes the newsletters as part of its AccessSports division.

JPSM, Atlanta, has licensing agreements with the NFL, NHL, PGA Tour and 171 universities that allow it to use their data, logos and other information to develop the newsletters and other marketing vehicles, such as speaking engagements featuring sports stars.

The new contract makes Access the exclusive partner of JPSM for health care, telecommunications and insurance clients.

Also, Access and JPSM are in negotiations with NASCAR to acquire the rights to develop marketing vehicles based on NASCAR races. An agreement is expected within the next few weeks, according to James Patton, president and founder of JPSM.

Currently, JPSM uses data, logos and statistics from the NFL and the PGA to create four-page, four-color newsletters for Access called NFL Insider and PGA Insider. Each mailer profiles a game or a golf tournament scheduled to be played in the coming week. Access mails the newsletters in 6-inch-by-9-inch envelopes — which often contain business reply cards or toll-free numbers — and provides fulfillment for the programs.

The cost varies according to the volume being mailed, but marketers can expect to spend slightly more than they do on traditional direct mail pieces because of the licensing rights involved, according to Patton. He said marketers could expect to spend about $1 per newsletter for the mailings.

Orders generally range from about 10,000 to 72,000 pieces, according to Joseph Macaluso, vice president of sales and marketing at Access. He said his clients sometimes purchase the product for specified periods, such as for six weeks during the NFL season or for four PGA golf tournaments.

SmithKline Beecham, the British pharmaceutical company that has a U.S. headquarters in Philadelphia, recently used the PGA Insider as a vehicle to promote its Bactroban Cream treatment for skin infections. The program tapped Access' databases to reach physicians who receive limited visits from SmithKline's sales force.

Macaluso said some previous mailings have had response rates as high as 40 percent. Access is also seeking to expand its client base to include more financial services firms. Patton said one way the newsletters might be used for financial services marketing is to offer them as an incentive for people to apply for a credit card. Prospects could be offered the opportunity to receive one or more of the Insider publications for a specified period, such as the duration of the football season, in exchange for applying for a credit card, he said.

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