PR Technique: BET’s 2009 Black College Tour gains traction with major PR brand sponsorships from Xbox, Verizon Wireless and others

NEW YORK, NY – BET Networks announced it has secured several partners in support of their award-winning 2009 Black College Tour, including such high-profile brands as Microsoft, Microsoft XBox, Verizon Wireless, Def Jam, U.S. Air Force, and Sierra Mist.  The 2009 BET Black College Tour, the largest and only tour of its kind, returns to 14 historically Black college and university campuses across the country for the eighth consecutive year.  Together with its key marketing partners, BET will bring a day of entertainment, games, contests, product samples and consumer information exclusively for college students.

“The BET Black College Tour is a highly impactful initiative on college campuses,” said Michelle Garner, Vice President of BET Consumer Engagement. “This year, we’ve expanded the range of partners and opportunities we’ll be presenting to the students to provide them with an even more engaging, relevant and lively school event.”

  The partnerships in support of the 2009 Black College Tour include:
  —  Microsoft
In their Tech Tent, first-time sponsor Microsoft will have a Tech Trends representative onsite to distribute free software, specifically their Dream Spark and IT Academy Student Pass e-learning courses.  The Microsoft representative will also be available to discuss career opportunities and internships with students.

—  Microsoft XBox
Also, the Microsoft XBox business division will hold a Video Skills Challenge at each campus, where the winner will receive an XBox 360 game console.

—  Verizon Wireless
Longtime sponsor Verizon Wireless will continue to host the popular 3-point shoot-out basketball contest.

—  Def Jam Recordings
Def Jam will present a concert with up-and-coming artists, including Lil Ru, Ace Hood, Triple C’s, Lil Scrappy and Playaz Circle.

—  U.S. Air Force
The U.S. Air Force returns to host the exciting, action-packed, 2-on-2 basketball competition.

—  Sierra Mist
Sierra Mist will sponsor a Freestyle Flow rap battle. Sierra Mist is part of the Pepsi family, which has sponsored the Black College Tour since 2002.

In addition to the sponsored activities, BET Digital will engage the students in “Digital Karaoke,” BET Off-Channel Marketing will have a game tent to promote BET’s fall programming slate, and BET’s pro-social initiative Rap-It-Up will be onsite to provide free testing for HIV/AIDS.  Inroads will be onsite to speak with students about internship opportunities at major companies.

  2009 Black College Tour Schedule

  Miles College                             Wednesday, September 2
  Delaware State University                 Wednesday September 9
  Morgan State University                   Friday, September 11
  North Carolina A&T State University       Friday, September 18
  Alabama A&M University                    Friday, September 25
  Jackson State University                  Friday, October 2
  Fayetteville State University             Wednesday, October 7
  Winston-Salem State University            Friday, October 16
  Florida A&M University                    Wednesday, October 21
  Grambling State University                Friday, October 30
  Xavier University                         Wednesday, November 4
  Southern University                       Friday, November 6
  Texas Southern University                 Wednesday, November 11
  Prairie View A&M University               Friday, November 13