Friday, August 8

AT&T Pimps Out The Olympics

Let's face it, AT&T—most people are hoping to see less of you, and not more. Generally the more we see your logo, the more our checking-account balances drop. But alas, you have made yourself an official member of Team USA and will be all up on our TVs for the next 16 days.

I'm thinking that AT&T is letting their affiliation with Apple go to their heads, and they seem particularly charmed by iTunes; starting today, the phone company will sell exclusive music from a dozen Top 40 artists, a program they're calling Team USA Soundtrack. The tracks are meant to inspire America's Olympians and will be available only between the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2008 Games.

They want to inspire you too--into seeing AT&T as an "entertainment brand" and not just a monthly bill or a necessary evil on the path to owning an iPhone. "It's a great opportunity to showcase our support for these amazing athletes--and our international wireless services and technologies," a spokesperson told me for a short piece on Clear ulterior motives, but supportive nonetheless. The proceeds will go to help Team USA, and I bet Chris Brown's song's pretty good. Other artists onboard include country sweetheart Taylor Swift, Mia from One Tree Hill Kate Voegele, Nelly, the dude's that's married to Katharine Heigl, and some '90s peeps like Goo Goo Dolls, who I really think are more "Winter Games."

The company is calling this part of a "three-screen integration" movement: Hear the songs on TV, download them to your comp, and listen to them on your AT&T-powered phone.

Oh, and while you're rearranging your iTunes library, why don't you show support for our athletes by adding an AT&T widget to your Facebook page?

Because clearly, Facebook is the new Superbowl commercial.

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