Nokia and Live Nation have teamed up in North American with Ticket Rush, a free presale program providing access to choice tickets for concerts and other live entertainment events.

The program is a melding of sponsorship, concert promotion, and ticket presales, reaching consumers where they live: their mobile phones.

As such, this deal is more than just another addition to what some consider a cluttered presale market, according to Jason Garner, president of North American music for Live Nation.

"Everyone in the business right now is looking at the mobile space and recognizing the opportunity that we have to communicate and interact with the consumer through their mobile phone," Garner tells Billboard.biz. "So this is a program where we've said to Nokia 'we want access to the consumer directly on their mobile phone' and they've said 'we'll give that to you in exchange for that consumer having the opportunity to buy a ticket before everybody else.' We think that's a great trade off."

Multiple programs are being made available to Nokia Ticket Rush members, including pre-sales and special lots of tickets made available only to members. Registration for the Nokia Ticket Rush program is free at www.ticketrush.com.

Essentially, Live Nation is branding and expanding its own existing presale efforts, but with the promotional muscle Nokia brings and LN's own considerable database of 20 million concertgoers, the Ticket Rush program is both a sponsorship deal with Nokia and what could be a highly effective concert promotion tool.

Once members sign up for the Nokia Ticket Rush program, they are alerted to exclusive ticket offers either via e-mail and/or by text message alerts sent directly to their mobile device, making for extremely targeted concert promotion.

Members can also access current Nokia Ticket Rush offers from their Internet-enabled mobile phones. The program will offer tickets for thousands of concerts at all Live Nation venues across North America, as well as exclusive perks for Nokia device owners at select events at 10 Live Nation venues in seven key Nokia cities: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and the New York Metro area.

Nokia Ticket Rush was first initiated last year in the United Kingdom, where the program has resulted in a substantial increase in ticket sales for participating artists.

Among the first events for Nokia Ticket Rush will be the multi-city Download 2007 fest, and certain dates on the Kenny Chesney tour.