Marriot Scores With `March Madness` - New Ad Campaign

WASHINGTON, D.C. - March 14, 2002 - Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR) announced today it will launch a national advertising campaign featuring Mike Ditka, Jon Gruden, Lou Holtz and Phil Jackson during tonight`s CBS broadcast of “March Madness.” In each of the four spots, the celebrity coaches share personal advice with business travelers on how to get the most out of their trip and gain a competitive edge.

The campaign represents Marriott`s second wave of television advertising in less than four months and promotes Marriott Hotels, Resorts and Suites, Courtyard by Marriott, Residence Inn by Marriott and Fairfield Inn by Marriott. Each ad delivers the “Your Marriott Awaits” tagline and spotlights a new Marriott Rewards offer: make three stays, earn two free weekend nights and Silver elite level status. It is the first time the award-winning Marriott Rewards frequent travel program has been featured in a television ad.

“We`re leveraging the power of our brands and building on the momentum and success of last fall`s weekend campaign,” said John Marriott, executive vice president, sales and marketing, Marriott International. “The new advertising`s distinctive use of celebrity sports figures separates us from the competition and has strong appeal among our target audience, the business traveler. Tying the message to a high value Marriott Rewards offer also gives the campaign added punch.”

The coaches interrupt typical business trips to provide motivational advice and describe the core attributes of each brand. For Fairfield Inn, a businessman walks out of a gas station mini-mart and gets into his car. He’s startled to find Lou Holtz in the passenger seat. Holtz says, “Road game huh? I love road games. No distractions, just you against the world. It’s an opportunity to prove yourself. To show everyone out there that you can win no matter what.” The businessman says, “It’s just a sales call.” Holtz raises his voice, gets serious and replies, “Son, there’s no such thing as just a sales call.” A voiceover adds, “When you’re on the road, you can count on Fairfield Inn’s inviting, affordable rooms. Your Marriott Awaits.”

In addition to “March Madness,” the schedule includes airtime on CBS News, ABC News, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC and ESPN. Simultaneous with the television advertising, Marriott will launch a multi-brand print campaign in USA Today and The Wall Street Journal. The print ads will also include SpringHill Suites by Marriott, TownePlace by Marriott and Renaissance Hotels, Resorts and Suites. Both the television and print ads will encourage travelers to make reservations by calling 1 888 MARRIOTT (1-888-627-7468) or visiting


The campaign was developed by Marriott`s advertising agency, McCann-Erickson, New York.

MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, INC. (NYSE:MAR) is a leading worldwide hospitality company with nearly 2,600 operating units in the United States and 64 other countries and territories. Marriott International operates and franchises hotels under the Marriott, JW Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance, Residence Inn, Courtyard, TownePlace Suites, Fairfield Inn, SpringHill Suites and Ramada International brand names; develops and operates vacation ownership resorts under the Marriott Vacation Club, Horizons, The Ritz-Carlton Club and Marriott Grand Residence Club brands; operates Marriott Executive Apartments; provides furnished corporate housing through its ExecuStay by Marriott division; and operates conference centers. Other Marriott businesses include senior living communities and services, and wholesale food distribution. The company is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has approximately 140,500 employees. In fiscal year 2001, Marriott International reported systemwide sales of $20 billion. For more information or reservations, please visit our web site at