RIM Rocks as U2's 360 Tour Sponsor

 
 
By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2009-03-10
 
 
 

U2 is looking to rock with a new tour this summer, and the Irish band, which has been closely associated with Apple, has now turned to BlackBerry maker Research In Motion for corporate sponsorship.

U2 plans to kick off its 360 World tour in Barcelona, Spain, on June 30, with RIM as a main sponsor.

Beyond the benefits of having its name pasted across international venues, the move is a turf coup of sorts for RIM, as the wildly beloved band has long been associated with Apple.

U2 frontman Bono starred in an Apple commercial, and Apple made a U2 Special Edition iPod.

Additionally, Bono is an investor in Elevation Partners, which is a large investor in Palm.

In a March 6 interview with Bloomberg, Bono's partner, Roger McNamee, was working hard for their investment, talking up the Palm Pre and putting down the Apple iPhone. The Pre, expected to be released in June, is Palm's answer to the iPhone and its hope for financial redemption.

Of the band's new favorite smartphone maker, Reuters reported U2 manager Paul McGuinness expressed his fondness for the BlackBerry maker.

"This tour announcement marks the first stage of a relationship and shared vision between RIM and U2 that we expect will lead to new and innovative ways to enhance the mobile music experience on the BlackBerry platform for U2 fans," said McGuinness.

The tour is U2's first since its 2005-2006 Vertigo tour. Supporting acts will change but will include Glasvegas, Black Eyed Peas and Snow Patrol. The first North American venue is Soldier Field in Chicago on Sept. 12.

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