AT&T hits the road next month with a 20-campus tour that teams the telecommunications giant with Rolling Stone and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum to pitch a variety of telecom products to college students.
To make the tour national in scope, AT&T is also launching a major Web component, which will allow college students to register for a sweepstakes and sign up online for a suite of AT&T products, from long-distance service to AT&T WorldNet Internet access.
The tour will spend a few days on 20 of the largest 4-year college campuses, including Penn State, New York University and UCLA. The Web component, located at www.att.com and designed by Dugan Valva Contess Interactive, Morristown, N.J., will enable students elsewhere to view the exhibit and register to win one of three prizes, including a party for a winner and friends at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland. AT&T is dangling the trip to amass a database of 18-24-year-olds for future marketing purposes.
The U.S. college market represents a $10 billion business, said Earl Quenzel, vice president of educational markets at AT&T. "This is a very important time when students are forming brand loyalties," he said. "It's critical for us to be a contemporary brand for this generation of emerging communicators."
Specifically, AT&T will promote a new product offering dubbed the "students essential bundle," that includes a calling card, WorldNet Internet access, long distance, the AT&T Universal Card and a membership in the Student Advantage program that is good for product discounts. In addition, AT&T is trying to recruit more colleges to use its campus card--a school identification card that also functions as an AT&T telephone account and debit card.
The tour will feature an exhibit of Rolling Stone magazine covers, AT&T's technological contributions to recorded music, and, in some instances, a free CD-ROM that includes AT&T WorldNet software, music of featured bands and Rolling Stone art.
For Rolling Stone, the six-month tour is in celebration of the magazine's 30th anniversary and a chance to bring "a moving chronicle of our times" to college students, said Dana Fields, vice president, group publisher of Wenner Media, New York.