This just in from Reuters/Billboard....
In a first for both sponsor and artist, BlackBerry will present musician John Mayer's upcoming North American tour, Billboard has learned.
Portable communication device BlackBerry will use the Mayer tour to help launch its upcoming AT&T-carried mobile phone, Curve.
The 40-date BlackBerry Presents John Mayer in Concert tour begins June 1 in Ridgefield, Wash., with Ben Folds supporting. Live Nation is promoting the majority of dates on the tour and reports that sales are strong in the early going.
Paul Kalbfleisch, senior director of corporate marketing for BlackBerry parent Research in Motion (RIM), said recent additions to the BlackBerry product line such as Pearl and the new Curve make live music a viable avenue to reach consumers in search of devices with plenty of capabilities.
"John Mayer's concert tour gives us that venue and that context to talk about BlackBerry to a group of people that maybe we haven't talked to before," Kalbfleisch said. "We're able to reach out to a new audience, maybe a slightly younger audience in their 20s, without at all alienating the existing BlackBerry audience," he added.
BlackBerry will launch a site highlighting the tour. Marketing in traditional and new media are part of the promotion, as is an on-site presence at concert venues. The details of consumer-interactive contests are being finalized, and BlackBerry will host VIP parties and backstage meet-and-greets at shows.