In an act of sheer epic randomness, one of my buds recently reminded me of one of SEGA’s most unlikely of past sponsors. It was back during the Dreamcast era, as many of their publicity stunts were. SEGA was trying hard to get their online service, SegaNet, to gain traction. To do so, they enlisted the help of none other than a certain popular band… one who had just made it ridiculously big with a song called Nookie.
Yes, I’m talking about Limp Bizkit. Believe it or not, they’re actually still around today, but there was a time when they were at the top of the music industry, and that time coincided with the final months of the Dreamcast.
With their album, Chocolate Starfish and the Hotdog Flavored Water, set to release in October of 2000, Limp Bizkit was preparing to embark on a major tour. SEGA, seeing their golden opportunity, chose to serve as one of the tour’s sponsors. It might seem ridiculous now, but at the time this was actually a huge snag for them, as Limp Bizkit and their form of rap metal was on the edge of releasing what would become the fastest-selling rock album on record; an honor that it, amazingly, still holds to this day.
For more, including a quote from SEGA from back then, read on.
Those who attended the shows had the opportunity to face off against a musician from Limp Bizkit in the Dreamcast version of Ultimate Fighting Championship, a session which was broadcast on a jumbo screen to an audience of fellow concertgoers. Signed Dreamcast systems were given away as prizes. A series of trucks, coined with the moniker “SEGA’s Mobile Assault Tour,” were also on site, offering those present the opportunity to play the likes of NFL 2K1, World Series Baseball 2K1, Space Channel 5, and Metropolis Street Racer.
SEGA’s then-VP of Marketing, Julia Miller, was enthusiastic about the collaboration.
“Limp Bizkit fans are parallel with our core audience of online gamers,” she said. “The tour is a key component in our crusade to ensure SegaNet is everywhere our target customer is.”
The late 1990s to the early 2000s still feel to me like such a magical and unreal period of time. Being reminded of and then going back to research things like this only add to the unbelievable charm that exists in my mind of 1999 and 2000. May both SEGA, and Limp Bizkit, continue to press on, doing what they do, whilst riding, steadfast, into the sunset.