NEW YORK — Tommy’s turning up the volume this summer.

Tommy Hilfiger U.S.A. Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Tommy Hilfiger Corp., has forged an alliance with LAUNCH, the music destination on Yahoo! ( for a one-month promotional sponsorship program beginning Sunday that spotlights new and emerging artists in association with Tommy Jeans Stage.

This story first appeared in the May 30, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Tommy Jeans Stage is the result of an exclusive sponsorship agreement signed last month between Tommy Hilfiger U.S.A. and Clear Channel Entertainment that features up-and-coming new talent on plaza stages this month through September at 10 amphitheaters owned and/or operated by Clear Channel in major U.S. markets. They are Boston, Charlotte, N.C., Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Virginia Beach, San Francisco, Indianapolis, Washington, D.C., and West Palm Beach.

The Tommy Jeans Stages are branded plaza stages, located outside the main amphitheater seating areas, featuring preshow performances by emerging musical acts. The program follows Hilfiger’s acquisition in May 2002 of exclusive naming rights to Long Island’s Jones Beach. That theater is now known as Tommy Hilfiger at Jones Beach Theater, where this summer Santana, Peter Gabriel, the Allman Brothers, Aerosmith, Steely Dan, Crosby, Stills & Nash, James Taylor and Chicago are among those who will perform.

At the Tommy Jeans Stages, Hilfiger plans to produce fashion shows and other brand-related programs throughout the summer concert season. It also will dress emerging talent; partner with retailers such as Filene’s in Boston, Belk’s in Charlotte, N.C., Carson Pirie Scott in Chicago, Foley’s in Houston, Burdine’s in West Palm Beach, and Macy’s West in San Francisco; display and distribute fragrance samples; run commercials on video monitors; place ads in the official concert program books, and post signage at designated areas.

According to industry sources, Hilfiger will spend between $1 million and $2 million on these two major initiatives.

“With the younger customer, you have to make contacts with them. You just can’t reach them with traditional media,” said Peter Connolly, president of Tommy Hilfiger Worldwide Marketing. “Yahoo! is one of the most trafficked sites in the world. We’ll get a lot of communication with our customers and in local markets specifically. We are targeting the brands that are relevant to them in each market.”

The Yahoo! deal provides branding rights for Tommy Jeans Stage on the Emerging Artist of the Month section of LAUNCH and heavy media rotation throughout the Yahoo! network from June 1 through July 1. There also will be a Tommy Hilfiger sweepstakes to selected concert destinations offered by LAUNCH has built a custom Internet radio player branded Tommy Jeans Stage that will feature Tommy Jeans Stage artists who will be on tour across the country this summer. These include performers such as Revis, Fingertight, C60, gelheads and Sally Anthony.

According to Connolly, the consumer can click on Tommy Jeans Stage on the LAUNCH site and then click on the market they’re interested in. They can then hear tracks and download bios from the artists in each market.

Tommy Jeans Stage audio advertising will run in LAUNCH’s customized Internet radio service, LAUNCHcast, which streams more than 13 million listener hours per month.

LAUNCH works with top music labels to identify hot new artists and spotlights them on the site, showcasing their music videos, interviews, live performances and new music.

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