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March 9, 2004

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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Bentley Commerce Forms Strategic Alliance With Hotel & Travel Industry Online Resource

Bentley Commerce Corporation (OTCBB:BLYC) has announced a new business alliance with the Ozean Group (www.hotelresource.com), a business to business network under the Hotel Resource umbrella that was launched in 1998. The network has grown to include an industry news wire service and other online products for the hotel, hospitality, and travel industries. Consumer Network was launched with Hotel Insider, an online hotel booking service with a database of 50,000 hotels.

Bentley Commerce (www.bentleycommerce.com) has launched two online barter exchanges, www.hotelresource.vbarter.com and www.restaurantresource.vbarter.com, for the 39,000 hotel and restaurant industry subscribers of Ozean's publications.

Ozean will provide marketing and promotion for the new barter exchanges on its web sites that reportedly receive millions of visits annually, and in its industry subscription newsletters and publications. The company will add trading information to its web sites to educate hotel and restaurant owners/managers, as well as vendors and suppliers to these industries, about the benefits of barter.


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"Official Oscar Gift Basket" Just Another Example Of Barter's Ubiquitousness

Products Exchanged For Valuable Exposure & Panache

The nominees of the six major categories at the Academy Awards are all winners, even though only one wins the coveted Oscar trophy. That's because the "losers" get a basket of goodies valued at close to $100,000! Various manufacturers gladly provide their product in exchange for the good will and publicity derived from the "exchange." Included in the gift basket were:

  • A $32,000 package from Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, including a $5,000 shopping spree.
  • A certificate for a $6,000 Samsung 43" TV with Voom HD satellite programming subscription.
  • A three-night stay at the Palmilla Resort in Los Cabos ($1,400 per night).
  • Two nights at the Carlyle Hotel in New York ($2,000).
  • Three days at the Opus Hotel in Vancouver ($8,000).
  • A $9,000 vacation in a luxury residence provided by Exclusive Resorts.
  • A certificate from Morton's steakhouse ($1,500).
  • A pair of Swarovski Hush Puppies ($500).
  • A Z Electric Scooter ($250).
  • A diamond pendant from Peace and Love Jewelry by Nancy Davis ($500).

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Hottest TV Producer, Mark Burnett, Insists On Barter Component For New Reality Show

A new economic reality, and a major turning point in what TV networks are willing to give to secure the most sought-after programs, was announced by NBC two weeks ago.

Reality TV-show producer Mark Burnett (the "Survivor" franchise on CBS and "The Apprentice" on NBC) and Sylvester Stallone are partnering together on the new show, "The Contender," which is about the real lives of professional boxers.

The twosome signed a contract with NBC that gives them six 30-second commercial advertising spots, revenue rights to any product placement in the show, as well as other licensing and merchandising dollars. (NBC will share in advertising revenue generated from the bartered spots.)

ABC Has Similar Barter Deal With Media Agency MindShare

ABC put together a similar arrangement several months ago with MindShare, wherein they will share advertising time within the show with the media buying agency.

MindShare will produce the show with money from their clients, such as Unilever and Sears, which in turn will get ad spots on the show. The new barter business model provides low-risk advantages to both parties: ABC gets to air a new original drama without putting up any cash, and if they produce a huge hit MindShare benefits because they own half the time spots.


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McDonald's Does It Again...Bartering For Olympic Sponsorship

Food Payment Feeds Hundreds Of Thousands Of Volunteers & Athletes

In the past issues of BarterNews we have reported on the enormous amount of in-kind trading that takes place between the large corporate sponsors and the Olympic Games. Staging an Olympics is unlike any other sporting event...similar to doing two Super Bowls a day for 14 consecutive days. Thus, the amount of goods and services needed for the Games is staggering.

McDonald's Corp. has been an Olympic sponsor for nearly three decades. And once again they've renewed their commitment, paying more than $50 million for the worldwide rights. Much of the payment will be in meals for the hundreds of thousands of volunteers and athletes attending the Games. The deal enables the world's largest hamburger chain to use the Olympic rings in its marketing efforts, and entitles McDonald's to call itself the official restaurant of the Olympics.


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Outdoor Gear Specialists Embraced Barter To Launch Company

Jim Holland and John Bresee, two self-described ski bums, started an online business of selling outdoor gear on a proverbial shoestring—$2,000. BackcountryStore.com has turned a profit for five years straight, and expects to ring up $15 million in sales this year. (They're the No. 2 online gear seller behind REI.)

Without start-up capital the two followed the path of other successful entrepreneurs—they put on their barter hats.

Wanting to maintain frugal but fanatical customer service, Holland and Bresee persuaded fellow ski bums to become phone reps as well as "experts." This was accomplished by rewarding the reps with free gear for "testing" new products, i.e. tents, hiking boots, etc. (Customers would then get firsthand knowledge from the reps.)

Holland and Bresee also pushed for a form of barter in the advertising arena by working out partnerships with thousands of affiliates where a commission was paid in exchange for pushing business to their site. To view their efforts go to www.BackcountryStore.com.


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Here & There...

  • Dale Mardak Sr., Vice President of International Monetary Systems (OTCBB:INLM), has been elected to the board of directors of the National Association of Trade Exchanges.
  • New advertising medium...is found on the lids of fountain drinks! That's right. LidRock embeds pop-music CDs and videogame CD-ROMs in the lids of fountain drinks, which theaters and fast-food establishments buy. In the 4th quarter of last year the company earned $8 million in revenue. The business was the brainchild of Jeff Arnold, former WebMd founder.
  • The National Association of Trade Exchanges (NATE) announced plans for a $100,000 barter media campaign. The campaign looks to target inflight magazines or specific industry publications such as for printers, hoteliers, and restaurant owners who will then see the NATE ads.
  • Have you signed up to receive a summary via e-mail of the Tuesday Report every week? If not, go to the top of this issue (right hand corner) and sign up!
  • Why are first-class seats being dropped in price? Airlines are getting tired of giving away their first-class seats to people who are using their elite status to upgrade. Fewer than 10% of domestic first-class seats are actually being sold.

    Fighting for every dollar, airlines have decided they have nothing to lose by lowering fares to see if more people will pay for a confirmed first-class seat, rather than buying in coach and hoping for an upgrade.)

  • Clear Channel, the nation's largest radio station owner with 1,225 stations, is thinking outside the box. Grand Management of St. Paul, a restaurant group with $40 million in annual sales, has inked a deal to operate a new line of Clear Channel-branded restaurants.

    The highlight of every Grand Management restaurant is a broadcasting studio in which live talk shows with celebrity guests can be seen and heard by diners. Under the arrangement, Clear Channel will get 5% of the gross sales.

  • The post-World War II generation began turning 50 in 1996. By 2009 this generation will make up 50% of all U.S. citizens aged 50 to 75.

  • A National Association of Manufacturers study two months ago found that the primary competitive challenge facing manufacturers was not cheaper foreign workers, but the extra cost of doing business in the United States. (The expenses contributing to the loss of jobs were high corporate tax rates, mandated employee benefits, tort litigation, regulatory compliance, and energy costs.)

We welcome your comments, questions, and observations.
Copyright BarterNews 2004. Redistribution of BarterNews content expressly prohibited without the prior written permission of BarterNews.

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