The 2017 music festival season is quickly approaching, and a new round of categories are joining the party.

Below, five nontraditional categories making their mark on the music festival scene:

Car Share Services
The car share category is growing, and that’s good news for the sponsorship industry.

Automobile manufacturers, auto rental companies and other companies are launching or expanding car share initiatives, and a growing number are using sponsorship to promote their services.

The car share industry is expected to post a nearly 35 percent annual growth rate from 2016 to 2024, per Global Market Insights. The research firm expects revenue to grow from $1.2 billion in 2015 to $16.5 billion in 2024.

Deals include Car2Go (Daimler) and Bumbershoot, Maven (General Motors) and Shaky Knees and ReachNow (BMW) and the Upstream Music Fest + Summit.

Sponsorship hot buttons:

  • Build awareness
  • Promote personal mobility options
  • Drive trial
  • Reward members

Camera Companies
Instant camera companies are increasingly partnering with music festivals to promote their products in a fun and photo-worthy atmosphere.

Case in point: Fujifilm has signed a new partnership with Governors Ball in New York City on behalf of its Instax camera. Fujifilm will activate the sponsorship with life-sized picture frames where attendees can have their photo taken with festival imagery.

The company is also using the partnership to promote the Fujifilm Wonder Photo Shop, a “one of a kind” creative space in New York City where consumers can “unlock the power of imagery.”

Fujifilm is activating the sponsorship with a national sweepstakes dangling a trip for two to the 2017 Governors Ball. The grand prize includes two VIP passes, two roundtrip airfares, hotel accommodations and two Fujifilm Instax cameras.

Fans can enter the contest by following Governors Ball and Fujifilm on Instagram or by sending their full name to

Other deals in the category include Polaroid Snap and Polaroid Zip and the Project Pabst music festival in Denver.

Sponsorship hot buttons:

  • Demonstrate product functionality
  • Gain promotional platforms to drive store traffic
  • Build prospect database

Quick-Service Restaurants
While QSRs have historically had minimal involvement with music festivals, one company is serving up a handful of new deals.

Subway this year has partnered with Bonnaroo, Governors Ball, Hangout, Outside Lands and other music festivals around the country.

The sponsorship campaign has a major surprise element: every festival contacted by IEG SR said they were contractually prohibited to talk about the sponsor and its sponsorship.

That said, the campaign is expected to include sampling and surprise guests at Subway’s on-site experiential buildout.

Subway is expected to kick off the campaign later this month at the Hangout music fest.

Sponsorship Hot Buttons

  • Gain sampling opportunities
  • Promote new products
  • Gain promotional platforms to drive store traffic
  • Drive relevancy

Shoe Retailers
While it may not be the biggest category or the most active, at least one shoe retailer is trying on new sponsorships.

Designer Shoe Warehouse is sponsoring Hangout, the CMA Music Festival and other events to bring its products directly to the people.

The retailer is leveraging the festivals with the DSW Shoe Box (“a major shoe party on wheels”) where attendees can relax, have their picture taken in a photo booth and check out the summer’s hottest styles.

And in at least one case DSW is sponsoring with—and presumably receiving money from—a shoe manufacturer. DSW is sponsoring the Hangout music festival with Sperry, a marketer of nautical-themed footwear.

Sponsorship hot buttons:

  • Showcase product
  • Gain promotional platforms to drive store traffic
  • Gain pass-through rights for vendor partners

Eyewear manufacturers and retailers are setting their sights on new sponsorships, including music festivals.

Maui Jim this year has signed new partnerships with We Fest and Country Jam, while Sunglass Hut is sponsoring Bonnaroo, Governors Ball and other music festivals.

Product sampling and sales play a key role in the category. Maui Jim, for example, uses two large experiential buildouts to showcase and sell product at the festivals.

Sponsorship hot buttons:

  • Demonstrate product functionality
  • Access new sales channels
  • Engage trade partners
  • Gain promotional platforms to drive store traffic