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12/09/2005 7:00 PM Eastern

L.L. Bean Suiting Up With Weather License

AtlantaThe Weather Channel has given L.L. Bean Inc. a license to produce a new product line.

The retailer and cataloguer, currently the channel’s official outfitter, will begin selling its first apparel under “The Weather Channel Outerwear by L.L. Bean” Dec. 26, offering up the “Weather Challenger.”

Available in an array of colors, the women’s jacket will retail for $129, as will the men’s, except for tall large and extra-extra large versions.

The jacket will be available to consumers exclusively at L.L. Bean retail stores, catalogs and on L.L. Bean’s Web site (www.llbean.com).

The network’s “severe weather team,” which covers some of the nation’s worst and most extreme weather situations, as well as its “road crew” wears L.L. Bean outerwear while in the field.

Callbright Rings In Deal With Vehix.com

Salt Lake CityVehix.com, the Comcast Corp.-backed online destination for finding and buying a car, has selectedCallbright Corp. to power its toll-free telephone leads for some 1,500 automobile dealerships nationwide.

Inventory listings on Vehix.com now include a toll-free number that immediately connects the consumer with the Internet sales manager at the auto dealership. Utilizing Callbright features, users dial the number, hear a brief message thanking them for their request and telling them they will be connected to the dealership.

Concurrently, the Internet sales manager at the dealership hears a message that this is a phone lead from Vehix. Then, the parties are connected.

The service is included as part of a package of local cable television advertising and custom Internet presentation and features that Vehix offers to auto dealer members to maximize their advertising buys and advance their businesses.

Charter-Sponsor Trio Enroll With ESPNU

Bristol, Conn.ESPNU has signed Allstate, Buffalo Wild Wings, Cisco Systems Inc. and Energizer as charter sponsors.

In addition to running spots on ESPNU, which is now available in some 8 million households, each advertiser will have ESPNU-branded on-air features that can run on such sister platforms as ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN.com, ESPN the Magazine, ESPN Radio, ESPN Wireless and ESPNEWS.

The deals, terms of which were not disclosed, carry ESPNU category exclusivity, as well as provide each sponsor a marketing focus around a particular sports season.

For example, Energizer and Allstate are executing programs that will run during college football season, while Cisco’s initiatives primarily run live throughout college basketball season.

Spots for Buffalo Wild Wings will run during both of those sports.

September