XBox Goes Live At The House of Blues

Console king continues championing music

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%%STORYIMAGE_LEFT%% Music remains a key component of Microsoft Corp's xBox brand's strategic marketing efforts. Its overarching deal with the House of Blues live-music franchise is a testament to that emphasis.

For the next year, xBox will sponsor two specific concerts at each HOB venue across the country each month. XBox will also host "xBox Live" nights at the HOB locales with celebrities taking part. The program is set to kick off in August.

"One of the great things about the House Of Blues is the huge variety of artists that play there. Music is a big way that we market because music is a big part of the [xBox] games," said Bill Nielsen, director of U.S. subsidiary for xBox, based in Redmond, Wash. Nielsen went on to say that concert-goers should expect to see and experience a more inventive type of branding at the venues. "We are not big on cheesy signage," said Nielsen. "We did the Korn tour last year with no signage. We don’t interfere with artists, which is why they like working with us. We use the message of how artists like playing xBox and not have it be about signage."

Andrew Klein, who runs New York-based entertainment-marketing company Revolution Marketing and brokered the deal, agreed that the xBox integration would be done creatively. "If you've ever been to a HOB club, it's got a folk-arty feel. We'll create original folk art with xBox branding in it."

%%PULLQUOTE_RIGHT%% He said 40-50 monitors at each House of Blues club will be branded xBox as well. Branding will also be projected via gobo lighting. At every concert that xBox sponsors at the HOB, the band will get an xBox on its way out the door. There will also be xBox consoles in the green room for the musicians.

XBox's relationships with the music community include tour sponsorships of bands like Blink 182, Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit. The brand also has an informal relationship with singer John Mayer, who happens to be a huge HALO (blockbuster xBox game which has posted nearly $200 million in sales) fan. Before Mayer shows, snippets of the HALO soundtrack will play before he takes the stage.

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