Love them or hate them, there’s no denying the cash and marketing power than brands can bring to independent record labels and other types of content producers and distributors.
I recently spoke with Rob Miller, co-founder of Chicago’s Bloodshot Records, about his take on working with corporate partners, concerns over commercialization and the label’s current partnership with Rolling Rock beer. Below are edited excerpts from the conversation. more
The changes in the music and recording business in recent years have generally not been kind to musicians. However, they have created some compelling opportunities for musical artists to partner with corporations to help market singles, albums, tours, etc.
Now, however, along comes R&B artist Riz, who is about to go out on tour in support of his second album, iRIZistible. Riz and his team have come up with their idea of a unique marketing opportunity for corporate America—selling ad space by the square foot on Riz’s 45-foot-long tour bus.
As mentioned in part one of the series, of all of the categories of tangible benefits (both measured and non-measured) that I come across, valuing “can’t buy” hospitality, unique access opportunities or interactive/highly integrated benefits are some of the hardest tangible benefits to value. Of course, these also happen to be some of the most valuable pieces of a sponsorship package.
The second part of the series concentrates on unique access opportunities. Many of the principles for valuing VIP hospitality apply to unique access opportunities. Keep in mind, there isn’t always a clear delineation between categories; the line can be a little blurry. more
Of all of the categories of tangible benefits (both measured and non-measured) that I come across, valuing “can’t buy” hospitality, unique access opportunities or interactive/highly integrated benefits are some of the hardest tangible benefits to value. Of course, these also happen to be some of the most valuable pieces of a sponsorship package.
Initially, I wanted to address all of these types of benefits in one blog but I quickly realized that there is too much information to cover, so I am going to do a three-part series and the first part will concentrate on VIP or “can’t buy” hospitality. Even for my blogs, this one is a little long, but I think that if you can stick with it, there is some really valuable information here (maybe too much).
What is it about nostalgia that is so engaging and why do brands that have successfully captured it stir up such an emotional response? Additionally, what are some current examples and what is the role of nostalgia in sponsorship?
I don’t quite understand it, but consumers (me included) seem to respond to almost anything that is reminiscent of earlier times in their lives, and strangely enough, people often have a fondness for decades that occurred before their birth (think Kenley Collins from “Project Runway” and her fascination with fashion from the 40’s and 50’s).
In fact, although most of us were not alive during the Great Depression, the 1930’s depression era is currently in vogue as we experience our own modern day economic uncertainty. Apparently, especially in times of turmoil, there is comfort in the familiar. more
It will be interesting to see what Sprint Nextel does once it completes its just-announced acquisition of Virgin Mobile USA. The purchase gives the company two prepaid wireless brands: Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile, which it already owned.
Both brands have been active and inventive sponsors (IEG Sponsorship Report subscribers can read our article on the prepaid category here, so I hope that combining forces will bring more spending, additional innovative programs and continued creative excellence in activation. But of course there are no guarantees.
Virgin Mobile’s conversion of its ticketed Virgin Mobile Festival to the free Virgin Mobile FreeFest, which was announced last month, was a brilliant stroke. It recognizes the impact of the recession on consumers and also rewarded Virgin Mobile customers by giving them first shot at the free ducats for the August 30 music event.
I have to admit that I am a terrible consumer and a marketer’s nightmare. I almost always record any TV program that I want to watch so that I can fast forward through the commercials. I change the radio station when there are commercial breaks. I can drive past a billboard every day and still not be able to tell you who the advertiser is. I totally ignore all online advertising. I almost never open direct mail pieces or email marketing messages. I skip the ads and flip to the articles in magazines. A lot of the time I still call U.S. Cellular Field, Comiskey Park. I have almost zero brand loyalty. On a personal level, I block out or ignore a majority of marketing messages that I come across. (However, as marketing professional, I do have to be aware of what is going on in the industry). I know I am definitely not alone.
We want to think that we are above the influence of marketing messages. We are too smart to be swayed by simple advertising. We are different and unique. For me, maybe it is linked to my “alterna-cool” high school attitude or my grunge college days.
To add to my frustration, as a Gen X-er I am often overlooked by marketers who are interested in the more massive Gen Y or Baby Boomers or even Gen Z.
I’ve recently received a number of requests for examples of good post-event fulfillment reports, and I came across a great one today with Chicago’s Lollapalooza music festival.
If you’re not already giving your sponsors post-event fulfillment reports, do it. Without a doubt, the reports play an incredibly important role in your sponsor renewal efforts. And in these tough economic times, properties that don’t produce reports are at risk of losing their sponsors.
Case in point: According to the IEG/Performance Research Sponsorship Decision-Makers Survey, post-event reports are ranked as the most important service provided by a property, valued more highly than research on sponsor recall and loyalty, among other services.
If you’re anything like me – a self-admitted indie music snob who looks forward to Tuesdays’ new releases with the patience and control of Manny and A-Rod in a pharmacy – then you probably have noticed that the music industry has been blowing up with new marketing and sponsorship strategies aimed at the indie music community.
Case in point, just this month:
- ReverbNation launched “Sponsored Songs” which is an online distribution program that brings fans free songs from 1,000 artists which will feature sponsor ads alongside the album covers of currently playing tunes on fans computers, mobiles, etc.;
- Billboard Music & Advertising Conference featured a session on moving brand marketers away from major label music towards independent music to connect with consumers who are shifting away from anything mass produced, mass consumed and status quo;
- IDT Media Group and its subsidiary, DiskFaktory launched the Music Sponsorship Network, a system that will link start up musicians with commercial sponsors and feature sponsors’ ads on CD artwork.
In its latest music marketing endeavor, Rolling Rock beer has teamed with insurgent country purveyor Bloodshot Records to sponsor a series of concerts in 10 to 12 markets this summer, IEG SR has learned.
Confirmed markets for the Bloodshot B-B-Qs include Boston, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Seattle and Brooklyn, N.Y.
In addition to the one-off shows, Rolling Rock will sponsor tours by two Bloodshot acts: Ha Ha Tonka and the Deadstring Brothers. more