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Titan Takes On the King's Spread

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The Elvis Presley Ranch has assigned its global marketing duties to the Titan Network.

The Atlanta agency will promote the $600 million resort—hotels, condominiums, golf courses, honeymoon cottages and entertainment venues—which is being built on the Walls, Miss., ranch where Elvis honeymooned with his wife, Priscilla, and later relaxed with friends and associates known as his "Mississippi mafia."

"There are 500 million Elvis Presley fans around the world," said Titan CEO Tony DiMartino. "If we get a dollar from every fan, we're a smash success."

Titan originally brought in on a referral, clinched the estimated $20 million business when its public relations arm successfully intervened in zoning issues involving Mississippi's DeSoto County planning commission and EPR Enterprises, the development company driving the project.

"There was no other firm that could provide a diverse set of marketing services that we required and hit the ground as fast as Titan," said Paul D'Agnese, president of EPR."

The resort's groundbreaking is scheduled for Aug. 16, the 25th anni-versary of the entertainer's death.

Titan's first task will be to brand the 800-acre ranch. The shop will use direct and interactive marketing channels to tap into Presley's fan base.

The sale of commemorative bricks and memberships are among the early promotional tools that will be used to market the property.

"There are thousands of fan clubs," said DiMartino. "We plan to hit those clubs' Web sites. If you market the thing the right way, you can sell out before it's even built."

The second phase of the campaign will include print advertising in periodicals targeting the travel and golf sectors.

DiMartino suggested television advertising will later focus on Japan and the United Kingdom, hot-beds of Elvis interest.

One sticking point on the project has been concerns raised by Elvis Presley Enterprises, the business entity that controls the licensing of Elvis-related projects.

EPR, now in discussions with the corporation, is arguing that since Presley's name was originally on the deed, no licensing agreements are necessary.

The developers plan to build an Elvis "dream house." It will be modeled on the White House.

"It's a different kind of account," said DiMartino, "but right now there's a lot of people who would take different."