MSN Rocks With Honda, Verizon Wireless

NEW YORK For the second straight year, MSN has signed Honda and Verizon Wireless as its exclusive advertisers for, the Web companion to the Mark Burnett-produced summer series Rock Star: Supernova.

This time around, the portal includes customized branded entertainment packages for each brand.

The CBS TV series follows the travails of a makeshift all-star rock band (including former Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee) holding auditions for a lead singer. This year, besides contestant bios and recaps of performances from the show, MSN is streaming a weekly compilation of original behind-the-scenes footage from the contest, allowing fans to view each performer’s weekly preparations for his or her audition.

For Honda, MSN is producing a fantasy game linked from the Rock Star site. Fans will be able to enter several different Honda-hosted pools, betting on which contestants will survive over the course of the series.

As for Verizon Wireless, MSN has built a mobile-themed microsite, where fans will be able to build custom screensavers for their cell phones.