T-Mobile Rocks Alcatraz

With no shortage of prison-related metaphors, Bellevue, Wash.-based T-Mobile, the mobile telecommunications subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom announced plans this week to host a rock concert on the historic prison island of Alcatraz in the San Francisco Bay.

Nicknamed “the Rock” by some of its more notorious inhabitants, which included Al Capone and the infamous “Birdman of Alcatraz,” the event’s moniker “T-Mobile Rocks the Rock,” and subsequent references to ‘breaking out’ and ‘getting more from life’ are the theme for T-Mobile’s outdoor concert, slated for October 10.

“T-Mobile Rocks the Rock” will feature the rock band “Creed,” whose debut album was aptly titled “My Own Prison.”

Co-promoted by VH1 and Infinity Broadcasting, T-Mobile is using the event on this isolated, wind-swept, and reputably haunted penal colony as continued promotion for its Western cell phone service.

The mobile carrier will award 500 “cellmates” with tickets to the party, including airfare and hotel accommodations, via nationwide radio promotions and an eBay auction that will include T-Mobile’s newly launched Sidekick, a personal digital assistant with Internet access, email capabilities, AOL Instant Messenger, and games.

Representatives for T-Mobile will also be making spontaneous visits to San Francisco-based Starbucks and awarding customers using T-Mobile’s Wi-Fi service with party tickets.

T-Mobile operates one of the largest voice and data networks in the U.S., and parent company Deutsche Telekom is the third largest wireless network in the world.

Formerly known as VoiceStream, T-Mobile consolidated its brand name with Germany-based parent company T-Mobile in September 2001. The company launched wireless service in California and Nevada in July through a “Get More” campaign that aimed to penetrate the saturated cellular phone market by luring in customers with glamorous actress spokesperson Catherine Zeta-Jones and the push that T-Mobile service provides cell phone users with more minutes and features.

Aside from being a favorite tourist destination for San Francisco visitors and the central location for the movie “The Rock” starring Sean Connery, this is the first-ever concert event for Alcatraz, said T-Mobile spokesperson Bryan Zidar.

Zidar could not comment on how T-Mobile was able to book the remote prison island for the event, but said his company’s event producers struck a deal with San Francisco’s National Park Service, which maintains the island.

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