Wireless Carriers Court Sports, Entertainment
As color screens, faster networks and more capable devices make mobile video more robust, wireless carriers such as Nextel are reaching out to sports and entertainment companies for partnerships.The 27-pound sterling silver trophy that NASCAR and Nextel Communications Inc. unveiled this week may have been the latest and most artistic tribute to the organizations partnership. But its the delivery of wireless content to stock car racing fans that runs closer to Nextels core business. Nextel and NASCAR have been testing that business model since April when on the eve of the Daytona 500 in Florida, the companies expanded a partnership that began with Nextels sponsorship of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series races, whose winner takes home the silver trophy. Digital Orchid, a San Diego-based content provider, is the third player in the tripartite affair that sends news, driver standings, statistics, schedules and real-time, lap-by-lap race updates from NASCAR.com to whatever mobile devices NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) fans are packing.
Nextels senior vice president of marketing, Mark Schweitzer, calls the services "a natural extension of our business."