cable network closes first launch partnership with Universal McCann
(April 25, 2012) ASPIRE, the new cable network from Earvin "Magic"
Johnson set to premiere in June, announced today it has signed its first
launch partnerships in a deal with Universal McCann for multiple clients
including Nationwide Insurance and L'Oreal USA brands L'Oreal Paris,
Maybelline New York, Garnier and Soft-Sheen Carson. The deals provide
the L'Oreal brands and Nationwide Insurance category exclusivity for an
undisclosed period of time.
In addition to the on-air buys, L'Oreal, Nationwide Insurance and
additional Universal McCann clients will retain the right to customize
an event hosted by Johnson for their employees and consumers, as well as
have the opportunity to feature their brands in a GMC World Premiere
Play or GMC World Premiere Movie.
Johnson, chairman of ASPIRE, stated, "The team at Universal McCann and
their clients, Nationwide Insurance and L'Oreal Paris, Maybelline New
York, Garnier and Soft-Sheen Carson, share our vision for a new network
that encourages and challenges African-Americans to reach for their
dreams; one that will create tremendous opportunities for
African-Americans in front of and behind the camera."
"We are pleased to be part of the launch of the ASPIRE cable network,"
said Chris Chesebro, U.S. director of media investments, L'Oreal USA.
"This opportunity provides L'Oreal's brands with an innovative platform
to reach our ethnic consumers in a way that is unique and compelling."
Matt Jauchius, chief marketing and strategy officer, Nationwide
Insurance, said, "ASPIRE is a perfect match for the Nationwide brand. We
have a long history of supporting the African-American community and
we're excited to be a part of the future success of ASPIRE."
Mary Jeanne Cavanagh, executive vice president ad sales for ASPIRE and
GMC, said her team is on the verge of closing additional ASPIRE launch
deals before the upfront.
"We are delighted to welcome prestigious clients from Universal McCann,
including Nationwide Insurance and L'Oreal brands, as ASPIRE's very
first ad partners," Cavanagh said. "The buzz and excitement surrounding
ASPIRE began as soon as details of the new network were announced last
month, and the enthusiasm is continuing to grow as we get closer to
securing additional launch deals in other categories. ASPIRE and GMC
provide unique value to advertisers by enabling them to place their
brands in positive, uplifting and engaging entertainment environments, a
rarity in today's television landscape."
Yin Rani, president, Universal McCann North America, said, "The
multicultural audience remains an important and growing segment of our
clients. We believe the passion and energy that Magic Johnson and his
partners are bringing to this network will create a great platform for
our clients' brands to engage with key consumers."
ASPIRE will be an African-American targeted network designed to
entertain, inform and inspire through a diverse slate of original and
acquired programming in the categories of movies, documentaries, short
films, music, comedy, visual and performing arts and faith and
inspirational programs. The network will be dedicated to shining a light
on the successes, achievements and accomplishments of the
African-American community. ASPIRE recently was awarded one of the
first four, new and minority owned and operated independent network
launch commitments by Comcast.
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