Sprint builds 60-person in-house ad agency as cost-cutting moves continue

Sprint is creating an in-house advertising and marketing agency as the carrier continues to look to cut costs and reverse its financial slide.

Yellow Fan Studios, as the entity has been dubbed, is tasked with "assuming creative responsibility for the carrier's film and print production, design and other creative services," according to a report in The Kansas City Star. The effort will comprise roughly five dozen creative professionals – half of whom have been hired already, with another 30 to be added soon – and develop consumer marketing campaigns through social media, among other initiatives.

AdAge reported Yellow Fan will oversee local messaging for the "One Sprint" campaign and will develop an overall marketing and social media strategy.

Yellow Fan is Sprint's latest effort to cut costs and restructure its finances to survive a brutal financial storm. The operator slashed 2,500 jobs in a third round of layoffs in January, and its capex for the rest of the year is likely to be roughly two-thirds of what analysts had previously expected.

CEO Marcelo Claure reportedly began establishing the agency six months ago, which would have coincided with the naming of Roger Solé as new chief marketing officer, replacing Kevin Crull.

Sprint has also secured $11 billion in committed liquidity primarily from parent SoftBank's creation of financing vehicles involving Sprint's network assets and leased handsets. And Sprint recently announced a $2 billion bridge financing arrangement with Mizuho Bank.

Sprint owes $10 billion that will come due by the end of 2020 and must make $2.3 billion in debt payments this year. Company executives have said repeatedly they hope to cut as much as $2.5 billion from Sprint's overall bottom line.

Yellow Fan builds on an in-house production studio that has been used at Sprint's Kansas City-area headquarters for years, and it is led by Christopher Ian Bennett, a longtime corporate PR executive who joined the carrier last August as director of innovation and creative media. Interpublic's Deutsch L.A. will reportedly remain Sprint's agency of record for general market advertising, however.

For more:
- see this Kansas City Star report
- read this AdAge article

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