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A small plane flies over T-Mobile headquarters on Friday Nov. 20, 2015 in Bellevue, Wash. (Stephen Brashear/AP Images for Sprint)
Sprint flies a plan over T-Mobile’s headquarters. (Sprint Photo)

We just saw the latest episode in the T-Mobile-Sprint wireless rivalry, as Sprint flew a promotional banner over its competitor’s Bellevue headquarters on Friday afternoon.

The marketing ploy came shortly after Sprint named Annette Jacobs its new president of the Pacific Northwest region. In an internal email announcing the promotion, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure wrote that she’s “eager to take on a challenge that will be one of her most important assignments: Beat T-Mobile in its own backyard!!!”

T-Mobile wrote "end overages now" in the sky above Basking Ridge, New Jersey. (T-Mobile Photo)
T-Mobile wrote “end overages now” in the sky above Basking Ridge, New Jersey. (T-Mobile Photo)

Sure enough, it looks like Jacobs has taken those marching orders to heart. The only problem: this isn’t exactly T-Mobile’s first rodeo.

The company that wrote the book on these kinds of stunts seemed unimpressed on Friday, pointing out via Twitter how similar the banner was to that time T-Mobile hired a skywriter to write a message above Verizon’s campus in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.

Skywriting seems a little bit cooler than flying a banner, though it appears neither really had the impact the companies were hoping for.

What’s more likely to get T-Mobile antsy this holiday shopping season is the resurrection of Sprint’s half-off promotion, which drove a record-setting quarter for the company last year.

But T-Mobile has the lead in the battle for third place right now, and it’s probably going to take a lot more than a few stunts to turn that around.

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