IQ News: Newcity Hires Avenue A, Readies Ticket Service




Newcity.com, an Internet media network targeting young adults aged 18 to 34, has signed an interactive agency, launched a ticket-selling service and expanded its newspaper network.
The Chicago-based network last week selected Seattle-based interactive advertising agency Avenue A to oversee its online marketing, said Brian Hieggelke, president of Newcity.com. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Since its launch in April 1999, the portal site has handled its advertising in-house, predominantly buying space on such sites as GoTo.com, chickclick.com, theonion.com, About.com and the Lycos network. “The bulk of our marketing right now is going online, and it challenges our bandwidth trying to keep up with the sales in-house,” he said.
He said the network chose Avenue A because of its trafficking ability, measurement tools and Internet relationships.
Avenue A will begin work on the account in February. “Initially, this will be an extension of the advertising we have been doing,” Hieggelke said, “but we are planning to revamp our advertising pretty substantially during the next few months. Our goal is to build the premier Internet media company serving young adults.”
Newcity.com will continue to add affiliates as well as develop its own content and launch new sites, Hieggelke said. It recently launched the Alternative Vote 2000 site, providing alternative coverage of the presidential campaign, and Newcityshop.com, an e-commerce site.
A ticket-selling service will be next. Newcity.com has partnered with Acteva.com, an online ticket resource in San Francisco, to create Newcitytickets.com. It will launch in Chicago within three weeks and expand nationwide within three months.
The launch is designed to expand e-commerce opportunities for the millions of events each year that are too small for current online ticket sellers. “Content and ticketing are naturally self-reinforcing, with editorial content driving consumers to the ticketing platform,” said Kathryn Surso, Acteva business development director.
The market is huge and expanding, Surso said, noting that online ticket sales are expected to grow from $290 million in 1999 to at least $4.3 billion in 2004. “We want to participate in all the transactions that are prompted by information delivered by our network of sites, and ticketing is one way to increase our participation,” Hieggelke added.
To increase the offering of information to its audience, eight newspaper sites, including those of the Colorado Springs Independent and Casco Bay Weekly, Portland, Maine, have joined Newcity.com’s network of 57 alternative weekly newspapers.
In addition, its content partners include ironminds.com, consortiumnews.com and sportsjones.com. The media portal is an online subsidiary of the media company Newcity Communications, Chicago, which operates Newcity National Sales, specializing in the sale of national print advertising in more than 100 alternative weeklies.