When E Mail Ads Aren't Spam

The new breed is glitzy--and targets people who want them

Recently, 40,000 Phoenix Suns fans opened their e-mail and experienced the latest marketing trick: the e-mail advertisement. They received a streaming video message from Suns star Penny Hardaway raving about the basketball team's new package deals on tickets and pointing fans to a link to the Suns' Web site. It's likely that more National Basketball Assn. stars will start popping up in fans' e-mail boxes soon. "It's the perfect way to reach people in a targeted manner with sights, sounds, and information all together," says Ray Artigue, the Suns' senior vice-president for marketing.

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