Britney Spears: 2009 CM&P Award Finalist
Virgin Mobile USA, a leading provider of both prepaid and postpaid wireless phone services, signed on as the title sponsor of Britney Spears' national tour and initiated a 360-degree program linking the brand to the pop icon. The circus-themed tour also featured the Pussycat Dolls and began in New Orleans, La., in March, with 31 U.S. dates through early May.
Virgin's sponsorship of Britney Spears' 2008 tour, promoted by AEG Live, generated attendance of 600,000 and more than 30 million PR impressions. Activation at each concert featured the tour logo on all assets, including merchandise, advertising and promotional campaigns, online and onsite.
Virgin Mobile Angels were present onsite to promote the brand, offer phone demos, help people find their seats, encourage fans to upload videos of themselves doing a Britney Spears impersonation, give away premiums and help with contests. A special hospitality/VIP room backstage was set up as a party and meet & greet area, and Text2Screen and Pix2Screen texting opportunities were presented to fans before the show and during set breaks, using arena Jumbotrons to execute.
Addtionally, a microsite was set up where fans could upload videos of themselves "being Britney." The tour was also integrated with all Virgin Mobile properties, including virginmobileusa.com and our social networking sites.
Virgin Mobile USA viewed this high-profile partnership as an opportunity to leverage the huge interest in Britney's "comeback" tour, particularly to connect with her fans, Virgin Mobile customers and potential customers in local markets. The Circus Tour appeared in 88% of Virgin Mobile's key cities, providing ample opportunity to engage locally. With a limited advertising budget, VMU impacted every available touch point to connect with audiences through advertising, promotions, online, at point of sale where VMU phones are sold, as well as on site.
Several promotions were developed as part of the overall sponsorship, including a contest for some lucky fans to attend Britney's final private dress rehearsal in New Orleans the night before the tour. VIP ticket giveaways were held in 15 cities around the country. In addition to highlighting the Virgin Mobile USA brand, VMU leveraged the sponsorship by tying in its "Take Advantage of Virgin Mobile" marketing campaign, even incorporating Britney's name into one of our commercials. VMU also connected the tour to the launch of its new postpaid Ocean 2 multimedia device. Select fans at the rehearsal and other tour stops were provided with Ocean 2s to chronicle the event by blogging and posting to social networking sites and sending photos to share with friends and fans.