He’ll Be There for You: Jon Bon Jovi and MTVU Announce Commencement Crashing Contest
MTVU and Jon Bon Jovi recently announced a contest for graduating seniors to win a Bon Jovi performance and commencement address from the rock star himself. From March 29 to April 23, students can enter by tweeting a photo of their favorite college moment with the hashtag #JBJReunionContest and their schools’ handles. MTVU will announce the winning school across MTVU’s social media platforms during the first week of May and will air the performance on the network in June. As of April 3, the contest had received more than 500 entries.
Sample Contest Entries
By embracing the idea of Bon Jovi crashing commencement, MTVU has disrupted the traditional model of commencement speaker selection, wherein school selection committees spend months considering potential options before extending an offer to a speaker well before the contest’s scheduled announcement date of the first week of May. Instead, potentially just a week before graduation ceremonies begin, the selected school would have to accommodate Bon Jovi by jilting its chosen speaker or squeezing the musician into its planned event.
By branding the contest as the #JBJReunionContest, it becomes as much about promoting Bon Jovi’s 2016 benediction of nostalgia and impending change, “Reunion,” as it is about the celebrating 2017 graduates. The song, which premiered at Rutgers University’s 2015 commencement, where Jon Bon Jovi was the invited commencement speaker, was released on the band’s late 2016 album, This House Is Not for Sale, and recently debuted as a music video. In addition to the song’s class reunion theme, Bon Jovi cites the impending college graduation of two of his four children as an impetus for the event. “I know, having two kids graduating college this year, the joy that families that have gone through the years with their children getting ready for this moment,” he said recently on Good Morning America. “The idea that we would come by [to a commencement]…it’s pretty neat.” Bon Jovi is currently on its This House Is Not for Sale tour, which started in February 2017.