REDMOND, Wash., May 2, 2002 — Microsoft Corp. today announced a strategic promotional movement with leading brands in sports, music and consumer products categories to promote the Xbox (TM) video game system. Microsoft has entered into a multipartner program for spring and summer, teaming Xbox with synergistic and prominent brands intended to propel the Xbox brand and system into the lifestyles of video game players everywhere. Key alliances include the multicity Pop Disaster Tour, featuring blink-182 and Green Day; the Number One Parts Inc. (NOPI) drag racing series; Pepsi’s new SoBe soft drink, Mr. Green; the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP); Vans extreme sports; and Zumiez, a chain of youth-oriented apparel stores.
“The hottest video game console on the market today, coupled with some of the most popular names in music, sports and consumer goods, provides all partners with unique opportunities to build brand awareness in a way that we believe our audiences will positively respond to,” said Cindy Spodek Dickey, group manager of Xbox Promotions and Events at Microsoft. “These activities will ensure that the Xbox brand stays at the top of consumers’ minds.”
Pop Disaster Tour
“We’re happy that Xbox is on the tour,” said Tom DeLonge, lead guitarist and vocalist for blink-182. “That way playing video games can be our first priority and our second priority will be playing great shows.”
Xbox will be seen at this year’s 46-city Pop Disaster Tour, featuring the multiplatinum-selling bands blink-182 and Green Day. The tour, running now through mid-June, will include Xbox signage and radio promotions. Contest winners in seven cities will get to compete against band members on an Xbox game, and an additional 48 consumers will win an autographed Xbox console through promotions on local radio stations and Xbox.com.
NOPI Drag Racing Association
As previously announced by NOPI, the country’s top drag racers will compete for the Xbox Cup, the year-end trophy awarded to the top points winner of the NOPI Drag Racing Association (NDRA). Xbox will be a series sponsor for the inaugural season of the NOPI The Fast and The Furious Racing Series. A full onsite interactive video games area will be located at each series event, featuring Microsoft Game Studios’ “RalliSport Challenge” and “Project Gotham Racing (TM) .” Xbox also will receive title sponsorship at the premier event in the series and the largest compact auto show in the United States, the NOPI Nationals Motorsports Supershow.
“NOPI, the NDRA and Xbox are thrilled about the NOPI The Fast and The Furious Racing Series for 2002,” said Michael Meyers, president of NOPI. “This series will rewrite all the rules about conventional drag racing forums and create a major lifestyle event.”
Mr. Green, Newest Pepsi Product From SoBe Brand
The recognizable green color of Microsoft’s video game console will be appropriately represented in Xbox promotions for Mr. Green, the distinctive new Pepsi soft drink under the SoBe trademark. Xbox fans and beverage drinkers will get an exclusive chance to win a rare green Xbox unit by entering a contest on the Mr. Green Web site, http://www.mrgreen.com/. In addition, Xbox consoles, games and accessories will be given away by three Mr. Green touring vehicles that will travel to 31 cities nationwide offering consumers samples of Mr. Green for approximately 20 weeks.
“Xbox has taken video game technology to a whole new level, and SoBe is thrilled to partner with Microsoft to deliver a special edition ‘green’ Xbox; it is the perfect complement to our Mr. Green sampling tour,” said Russ Findlay, senior marketing manager for Mr. Green. “Mr. Green’s edgy, irreverent personality and unique taste is a perfect fit for people seeking a beverage as extreme as Xbox video games.”
AVP Professional Beach Volleyball Tour
Xbox will hit the sand this summer with the popular Association of Volleyball Professionals beach volleyball tour. Xbox banners will be seen at all tour events and will be included on the AVP Web site, http://avp.com/, and in radio promotions, print ads and newspaper supplements. Xbox consoles also will be given away during the tour, which will stop at five California locations as well as Chicago and Las Vegas between May 24 and Sept. 7.
“The AVP is delighted to welcome Xbox as presenting sponsor of both of our ‘live’ events on NBC,” said Leonard Armato, commissioner for AVP. “Xbox will also be the official video game system and games of the tour. The AVP is particularly proud of its association with Xbox because Xbox is widely regarded as one of the hottest and fastest-growing brands in the world.”
Xbox and Vans have expanded their relationship from the existing Xbox sponsorship of the Vans Triple Crown Series (TM) to include Vans Skateparks. An Xbox custom video game area will be featured at 12 Vans Skateparks nationwide, the first nonretail sites to include an Xbox games area. Xbox is currently a title sponsor for the Vans Triple Crown Series, featuring the world’s top athletes competing in three championship events in each of the following sports: skateboarding, wakeboarding, surfing, snowboarding, and BMX and freestyle motocross.
“Xbox has been a great partner for the youth market, and it has added value to everything we’re involved in,” said Chris Strain, vice president of marketing for Vans. “We look forward to bringing the Xbox experience to millions of Core Sports enthusiasts through the Vans Triple Crown Series and Vans Skateparks in the upcoming year.”
Skateboarders and other extreme sport enthusiasts get their clothing at Zumiez stores, the premier retail chain for youth-oriented apparel, where Xbox will be seen throughout May. Zumiez will showcase the latest in the top-selling skateboarding video game franchise with “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3” on Xbox at its top 40 retail locations. Zumiez customers will get to play the popular Activision title in retro-style living rooms, and, with every purchase through May 27, shoppers will receive a coupon for $5 off “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3” or another Xbox title at major video games retailers. Xbox storefront materials will be seen at the 40 Zumiez outlets to promote an in-store “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3” tournament on May 18 and 19.
“Our staff is excited to offer Xbox as an additional component of the interactive ‘Living Room’ sets in our stores,” said Steve Nygreen, vice president of retail operations for Zumiez. “The combination of product and entertainment is important to maintaining a fun and credible lifestyle shop.”
Xbox is Microsoft’s future-generation video game system that delivers the most powerful games experiences ever. Xbox empowers game artists by giving them the technology to fulfill their creative visions as never before, creating games that blur the lines between fantasy and reality. Xbox is now available in North America, Japan, Europe and Australia. More information on Xbox can be found at http://www.xbox.com/.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.
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