MSN, Microsoft's Internet division, on Monday linked arms with online loan service LendingTree in a joint marketing deal worth $10 million. Under the multiyear pact, MSN will feature the services of LendingTree in sponsorship and advertising placements across its network of sites, including CNBC on MSN Money, MSN Calendar and MSNBC.com. In addition, MSN will provide hosting services for the Web component of NBC's "Today" show money management segments, which LendingTree sponsors. "We appreciate the value of MSN's customer reach and of Microsoft technology in general," Bob Harris, LendingTree's marketing chief, said in a statement.
The deal is a throwback to the go-go days of the Internet, when online portals signed multiyear, multimillion-dollar sponsorship agreements with advertisers. Many such deals backfired for Web portals when formerly flush dot-coms went out of business and couldn't pay off the deals.