S Tyvon Branch, P Marquette King, T Jared Veldheer, RB Rashad Jennings, WR Rod Streater pose for a photo with Pandora founder Tim Westergren. Photo by Tony Gonzales
Earlier this month, the Oakland Raiders visited Pandora Radio headquarters in downtown Oakland. The Raiders and Pandora have entered into a relationship for the season, in which Pandora has created a Raider Nation Station using iconic Raiders-themed songs and players song choices. The station is now live on Pandora Radio and can be found by clicking here: Raider Nation Station.
It is the first-ever endeavor of its, kind and it brings two great Oakland brands together. The partnership also includes an in-game "vote for your favorite song" promotion, presented by Pandora. Fans in attendance at home games will get to participate throughout the 2013 season.
To kick off the relationship, five Raiders players spent the afternoon at the Pandora headquarters learning about the behind-the-scenes process that helps deliver music to people around the world. SS Tyvon Branch, RB Rashad Jennings, P Marquette King, WR Rod Streater and T Jared Veldheer also had the opportunity to go into the studio and record some spots for the new Raider Nation Station.
"We will be hosting the Raider Nation station which is going to be a bunch of tracks to get you pumped up and ready for Raider football," explained Alia Calhoun, Pandora's Partner Marketing Manager. "We wanted to bring some of the Raiders in to record some spots for the station so the fans who are listening get a chance to hear their players as part of the music experience and to teach the players a little bit about how Pandora works, how we do what we do."
Branch, who seems to know the lyrics to every song ever recorded, thrived in the studio. "We did a couple drops. I did my thing on the mic," said Branch. "They were just showing us how everything works, how they break down songs, how they characterize songs and showing us the ins and outs of their every day jobs here at Pandora."
Music is important to the players who visited Pandora. "I love music and Pandora is like the next step in radio. It gives you a chance to listen to different songs but actually have some input on it. It's not just a DJ in the studio playing whatever he wants. It's a cool experience," said Branch.
"It's been great listening to all the different aspects of what goes into Pandora Radio from the founder to the people that work within the Music Genome Project and everything else in between," added Veldheer. "It's unique and kind of cool to see how everything works. I'm a big user of Pandora and it's delivered a lot of good music to me so it's cool to see how that gets delivered to you."
The players had visits from various departments, including the curation team, artist partnerships and even the CFO and founder. "I love music so coming here and seeing how everything works is pretty cool, and seeing how the stations are broken down and how my music is chosen is pretty cool to see," said Streater.
Jennings enjoyed seeing the behind-the-scenes of the local company. "I wanted to participate because I like expanding my mind," said Jennings. "I like to learn. That's a part of who I am. I love Pandora Radio and I listen to it daily so I wanted to see some of the masterminds behind it and how it operates and what causes me to like it so much."
The two organizations are both distinctly Oakland. "Being an Oakland company is actually a very core part of Pandora's identity," said Calhoun. ". We've been in Oakland since the beginning. It's something that's incredibly important to our founder and is important to us as a company, so it's a pretty incredible natural fit to be working with the Raiders."
The players enjoyed their experience. "You can listen to Pandora and know that they're in your same neighborhood," said Veldheer. "The more connected to something you are, the more you like it."
Raider Nation Station is now on Pandora Radio. Make sure to tune in and listen to Branch, Jennings, King, Streater and Veldheer show off their radio skills.