Verizon Wireless has teamed up with the CoHo to bring San Francisco-based Third Eye Blind to campus for a free concert on Thursday, May 26. The concert is part of Verizon Insider’s Coffee Shop Series, a move by the company to bring local bands to bay-area coffee shops and promote its new XOOM tablet.
As part of its marketing campaign, Verizon offered opportunities for anyone to win free tickets to the event by testing out the new XOOM tablet at the Palo Alto Verizon store. Links to the contest application are also available on the CoHo’s Facebook page and on the Verizon Insider site.
“It started about two months ago,” said Erick Guzman, director of operations for the CoHo. “We wanted to put together an event as our way of thanking Stanford students and it sort of fell into place.”
With several hundred tickets available, the event is large for the CoHo, which will have to move out all of its tables and chairs and shut down its food service for the night.
In an email to The Daily, Nanci Howe, director of the Student Activities and Leadership, said the CoHo has been working with the Department of Public Safety, Office of Events and Protocol, Student Activities and Leadership and other groups to ensure the event goes smoothly.
In addition, Howe said the event would be treated like a typical concert, thereby requiring its organizers to abide by University policies regarding crowd management, security and promotions.
The Third Eye Blind performance is the latest of a marketing campaign by Verizon targeted at Stanford students. When asked about Verizon’s motivation for bringing these deals to Stanford, Jette Speights, public relations manager at Tribal Brands for Verizon Wireless, said Verizon thought the “tech-savvy, music-loving Stanford community would be a great fit for the next program” in the Coffee Shop Series. Speights added that Stephen Jenkins, the lead singer of Third Eye Blind, grew up near the campus and used to frequent the coffee house in the days when it operated under a different management team.
This recent campaign to gain campus visibility may also be part of a larger push by Verizon Wireless to challenge AT&T’s dominance at Stanford, an observation that has spawned rumors of a University-AT&T contract in the past. The marketing push also coincides with the release of the iPhone on the Verizon network.