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Virgin Gets Naked on MTV

Virgin Mobile USA kicks off national cellular service, announces partnership with MTV at 'outrageous' Times Square event; Dick Branson strips (again)

July 24, 2002

2 Min Read

NEW YORK -- During an outrageous event in the heart of Times Square, Virgin Mobile USA, LLC unveiled both its national, youth-focused cell phone service and its multi-year strategic partnership with MTV Networks, a division of Viacom, Inc. (NYSE: VIA) (NYSE: and) (NYSE: VIA.B) . The deal provides for exclusive wireless content and consumer products from MTV and VH1, as well as additional wireless content from Nickelodeon and CMT -- a deal certain to blow the roof off current cellular content offerings. Wearing only a mock Virgin Mobile USA cell phone to cover his "nether regions," Sir Richard Branson, chairman of the Virgin Group, said, "Today I'm here to physically prove that Virgin Mobile USA's national cell phone service has nothing to hide. We give young Americans the features they want, while offering a straightforward price plan with no contracts to sign and no fine print. And because it's our mission to understand and meet the needs of the youth market, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with an organization as dedicated to this demographic as we are. MTV Networks is the ideal partner for Virgin Mobile USA." Beginning later this summer, every Virgin Mobile USA customer will have access to content from MTV, VH1, CMT and Nickelodeon. Commenting on the agreement, Dan Schulman, Virgin Mobile USA chief executive officer, noted that the combined strength of the Virgin and MTV Networks brands will establish a whole new framework for delivering music and entertainment content to cell phones. "We're taking cell phone content to a whole new level. MTV Networks is home to some of the most recognized youth and young adult brands in the United States and has unparalleled reach for the under-30 market. The Virgin brand is all about fun, honesty and great value for money, which is what our target market wants. Together, we believe that we will not only seize the youth market's attention, but we will also give our mutual customers the most exciting cell phone features along with outstanding service," said Schulman. Beginning later this summer, MTV Networks and Virgin Mobile plans to start rolling out a wide variety of branded content, including games, graphics, ringtones, text alerts and voicemails. Later in the year, Virgin Mobile plans to integrate M-commerce capabilities so that its customers will be able to purchase the latest CDs. MTV and VH1 will work with Virgin Mobile to promote customized wireless CD stores featuring top albums from the VH1 Top 20 or the most cutting-edge MTV Buzzworthy artists. Virgin Mobile will also offer MTV-branded faceplates, phones and other accessories that are popular with the youth and young adult markets. Virgin Mobile USA LLC

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