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Aspire Writes Launch Sponsorship Deals

Fledgling cable network Aspire has lined up initial sponsorship partnerships with a host of Universal McCann clients.
The new cable network, majority-owned by Earvin ‘Magic' Johnson that is set to debut on June 27, has inked deals Nationwide Insurance and L'Oréal USA brands L'Oréal Paris, Maybelline New York, Garnier and Soft-Sheen Carson. The service, one of four minority-owned networks that Comcast will launch by 2014 as part of its government pledges to approve its majority ownership of NBCUniversal, also has parked a deal with Chrysler, according to The New York Times. The deals provide the L'Oréal brands and Nationwide Insurance and Chrylser with category exclusivity through 2013.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
In addition to their on-air schedules, L'Oréal, Nationwide Insurance and other Universal McCann clients have secured 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. GMC TV, the former Gospel Music Channel that is majority-owned by Leo Hindery's InterMedia Partners, is handling ad sales and affiliate negotiations for Aspire.
Mary Jeanne Cavanagh, executive vice president ad sales for Aspire and GMC, said the network is nearing additional Aspire launch deals before the upfront selling season
"We are delighted to welcome prestigious clients from Universal McCann, including Nationwide Insurance and L'Oréal brands, as Aspire's very first ad partners," Cavanagh said in a statement. "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."
Noted Yin Rani, presidentUniversal McCann North America: "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."