The Firm Launches With Xbox

Microsoft sponsors Korn,Limp Bizkit tour

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%%STORYIMAGE_RIGHT%% In an attempt to launch the new records of two of its mainstay rock bands, Beverly Hills-based management outfit The Firm, has put together a 12-city club and theater tour for Korn and Limp Bizkit that is sponsored by Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox. The tour is dubbed "Xbox Live: Back 2 Basics Tour."

"We're continually trying to find corporate sponsors that are credible and tie into the audiences of the rock bands we work with. This is important as the labels don't have the money anymore to pop for these cool ideas to launch new records," said Peter Katsis, senior VP-music at The Firm. "Jonathan [Davis, Korn vocalist] is also a big gamer and loves playing Xbox. It's a natural fit."

The Xbox brand has been integrated into the show at each venue in several ways. During the intermission between Limp Bizkit and Korn, Davis will play the winner of a radio contest in a round of the Xbox game Rainbow Six. According to Katsis, Xbox's Music Mixer feature will also be on prominent display.

Also during the intermission, a couple of kids will come onstage for a round of "Korn Karaoke." They'll sing the Korn hit "Freak On A Leash" and the contestant with the least amount of boos wins an Xbox.

%%PULLQUOTE_LEFT%% Also, the first 150 kids to walk into each venue will get their pictures taken and stored in the Music Mixer, which will then be projected onto the venue's big screen as part of the Korn show's opening.

The tour winds up in Seattle, near Microsoft headquarters, in December with one lucky winner flown in and given both a tour of the Microsoft gaming facility as well as backstage access.

The deal was brokered by Danny Socolof at Las Vegas-based The Marketing Entertainment Group of America.

Katsis said he hopes to extend the relationship with Xbox in 2004 as Korn embarks on an arena tour in late spring.

"In the past, a lot of sponsors have been approaching the labels, but it seems there are better results when we do these deals directly," said Katsis. "We as managers are the direct access to talent and we know best what will work in terms of tie-ins with artists."

Korn is signed to Sony Music label Epic; Limp Bizkit is on Flip/Interscope.

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