Infiniti, Amex First Sponsors Of Slate's The Big Money Site

American Express and Infiniti advertisers for SlateInfiniti and American Express have signed on as the first sponsors of The Big Money, the soon-to-launch, business-focused property from Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive (WPNI)'s Slate Group. Digitas and OMD are behind the creative for American Express and Infiniti, respectively.

The Big Money, which is scheduled to go live in September, will cater to Slate Group's educated, affluent audience, according to Publisher John Alderman, but with a tech-savvy focus on business and finance. "Slate has an audience that's incredibly interested in business," Alderman said. "MoneyBox, for example, is one of our long-standing and most popular columns."

BizBox--which Slate launched in conjunction with American Express in 2006--also revolves around business, with blogs, forums and videos aimed at small business owners. The sponsored content links directly to OPEN, American Express' small business network. As part of The Big Money launch, Alderman, who also serves as general manager of The Slate Group, said that BizBox content will be expanded, with American Express spotlighted as a title sponsor.

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Meanwhile, Infiniti is currently running rich media ads against The Big Money teaser content on Slate.com. "Right now they're standard ads," Alderman said. "But we're working to integrate them into a section of the new site." He added that Slate's design team was working to make the sponsorship as seamless as possible, while still clearly labeling the divide between editorial and advertising.

The Big Money's ad sales will be handled by WPNI's sales team, which manages inventory across The Slate Group's three sites (Slate, Slate V and the recently launched TheRoot) as well as on Washingtonpost.com. Alderman said that luxury brands, as well as spirits and technology marketers were prime sponsorship candidates for The Big Money, although the site's audience would also be attractive to any advertiser seeking to reach Slate's "sophisticated" audience.

"Our readers' understanding and usage of technology and media is different," Alderman said. "It's sophisticated. They've grown up with tech surrounding them, and digital media is an integral part of their lives. They're also used to a different relationship with advertising."

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