NEW YORK Jan 16 T-Mobile US Chief
Executive John Legere appeared to go back on his own words on
Thursday with the announcement of a plan to sponsor a concert by
rapper Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
T-Mobile announced the Jan. 23 concert in Los Angeles just
over a week after Legere said he was kicked out of a Macklemore
concert hosted in Las Vegas by archrival AT&T Inc after he
had crashed the event.
The companies are in a full-scale battle to steal each
other's customers after No. 2 U.S. mobile service AT&T on Jan. 3
offered to pay T-Mobile customers who switch to AT&T from the
smaller carrier following months of direct marketing attacks
Legere had said at his own company's press conference on
Jan. 8 that T-Mobile would focus on giving his customers a
better deal rather than charging more so it could afford to hold
expensive high-profile events, like Macklemore concerts.
"We didn't have a big concert with Macklemore the other
night. I had to crash because we don't waste our money on this
kind of stuff," Legere had told reporters in response to a
question about the potential for a U.S. price war.
But only days later, the executive - who peppers his
speeches with expletives and sharp criticism of his bigger
rivals - seems to have reversed course and found enough spare
cash for T-Mobile to act as presenting sponsor for the concert.
While AT&T fully sponsored the Macklemore concert last week,
ticket sales for the newly announced Macklemore event would kick
off on Friday.
"My appreciation for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis seems to be
the worst kept secret in the social hemisphere," Legere said in
a statement about the upcoming show.
Macklemore a rapper from Seattle performs with producer Ryan
Lewis. T-Mobile's headquarters are in Bellevue, Washington, near
Seattle. T-Mobile US is 67 percent owned by Deutsche Telekom