AOL Teams with Fusion to Launch Groundbreaking Action Sports Network on the Web: Lat34.comDULLES, Va. & PORTLAND, Ore.--June 27, 2006--AOL:
Online Network to Feature Events, Breaking News, User-Created Video, Blogs and In-Depth Coverage of Action Sports Jeep(R) Brand Signs On as Charter Advertiser
AOL and Fusion Entertainment today announced a joint venture called Lat34.com ( http://www.Lat34.com ), the first comprehensive interactive network dedicated to action sports, including skate, BMX, FMX, surfing, snowboarding and more. This surging category already claims upwards of 100 million U.S. fans.** The new network will emphasize both programmed and user-generated content, including action sports video on-demand, event coverage, action sports athletes up close and in-depth coverage of all aspects of the action sports culture.
Lat34.com - named for the company's location in Los Angeles (34 degrees N/118 degrees W), considered the unofficial home of action sports in the U.S. - is dedicated to bringing the most comprehensive action sports information to the Web. Capitalizing on AOL's leadership in online video, Lat34.com promises dynamic and timely video coverage of action sports wherever they occur. In addition, Lat34.com will offer fans the chance to contribute by uploading their video, photos, blogs and more.
The Jeep(R) brand has signed on as the charter advertiser and is currently running teaser ads for the all-new 2007 Jeep Compass which will be in dealerships later this summer. Jeep Compass is a compact Jeep 4X4 that delivers fun, freedom, utility and capability, and more - all at a great value - making it an ideal advertiser for the action sports enthusiast. Jeep will also be showcasing video ads on the site to highlight new models shortly. Lat34.com will allow advertisers to tap into the strength of the surging action sports category and action sports fans, in turn, will benefit from targeted and relevant ads that address their needs and interests. The network will offer instream advertising opportunities, including pre-roll, ad curtains and banners.
"The action sports world is a passionate, underserved community that, until now, has had to rely on individual sport sites, product driven print publications or scheduled television programming. Lat34.com is a 24/7 broadband network, combining Fusion's quality programming with content submitted by this passionate community," said Jim Bankoff, AOL's Executive Vice President of Programming and Products. "This joint partnership gives action sports fans an unparalleled experience by providing them with a powerful video platform and popular social networking tools, including AIM and AIMPages."
"Fusion Entertainment's extensive library of action sports video footage will be a vital component of Lat34.com," said Doug Allen, CEO, Fusion Entertainment. "Action sports fans want to connect with each other and generate buzz about the sports they love. This new network will provide a forum to share amateur and professional videos and photos."
"Lat34.com creates a central online hub where marketers and advertisers can reach this pivotal audience in a more targeted way," said Jeff Rowe, President and CEO, Lat34.com. "Action sports enthusiasts can be ensured that the marketing and advertising is relevant and appeals to their interests."
Key features of Lat34.com will include:
-- Comprehensive action sports event coverage and calendar, up-to-the-minute action sports news, action sports video on-demand, athlete profiles, action sports movie previews, gear information and connecting fans of specific sports together via AIM social network platform, blogs, meet-up groups and provide tools for uploading video and photos;
-- Video and photo highlights of action sports culture, including fashion, music, movies, local events and links to some of these popular sites;
-- An in-depth action sports database with vertical search capability to access athletes' past stats and current records, events, gear, tricks, movies, sites, etc. built by users;
-- Original programming such as athlete Blogs and profiles, photo galleries and video programming;
-- On-demand footage of various action sports events around the country; and
-- "Trick of the Day" - where users can upload their own video of action stunts and features and enter to win a weekly prize.
Lat34.com, currently in beta, will roll out additional features and content areas throughout the summer.
** American Sports Data Inc., May 2004
AOL and its subsidiaries operate a leading network of Web brands and the largest Internet access subscription service in the United States. Web brands include the AOL.com(R) website, AIM(R), MapQuest(R) and Netscape(R). AOL offers a range of digital services in the areas of education, safety and security, communications and music. The company also has operations in Europe and Canada. AOL LLC is a majority-owned subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. and is based in Dulles, Virginia.
About Fusion Entertainment
Fusion Entertainment is a full service Hi-Definition video production company which has built a solid reputation as one of the world's largest and most respected providers of action sports programming. Fusion produces and distributes action sports television to over 140 countries and has provided action sports programming domestically to networks such as NBC, ESPN/ESPN2, OLN, Spike TV, MTV/MTV2, FUEL TV, FUSE, USA Network, iNDEMAND INHD and Fox Sports Network. Fusion specializes in the entire spectrum of action sports from exotic adventure travel to event coverage to core lifestyle programming. Fusion is independently owned and has headquarters in Portland, Oregon.