Things have come a long way since a rock band simply performed a gig in front of a logo and their manager saw the brand owner as merely an open cheque-book.
One reason is a group has formed (Brands and Bands) that brings together all the different parties to share success stories and best practice. Another is brand owner and band managers are getting more knowledgeable about how to set up things in the right way and manage relationships. There are also specialist agencies in the field. Here are some top tips
-Set it up as partnership and start early on this. Share objectives and work out how the brand and the band can use their assets ( eg sales channels on the brand side/exclusive access on the band side) to mutual benefit.
See this as a business partnership deal rather than a sponsorship. ( this is probably the most important lesson)
-For brand owners Set up a music platform that is bigger than any individual band
A good example is Guinness Arthur’s day which involved 60 bands playing live in four Irish cities on one night.
Another is Smirnoff’s nightlife exchange project-which is now being give a massive boast by involving Madonna.
The key point being that the platform pre dates Madonna (and will carry on after Madonna is no longer a part of it)
There is an opportunity for brands to support emerging talent. This is more of a risk/more entrepreneurial but on the other hand it can be surprisingly inexpensive and very fruitful with strong mutual commitment in the long term. It can also be very good for brands wishing to keep their street cred fresh and current
The watch words are Authenticity and credibility– Consumers can smell a cynical relationship between a band and a brand just based around money. So there needs to a true story told about the relationship.
Bands have to commit to it.If you are sponsored by Puma you can’t go on stage wearing Addidas
Why this is set to grow.
1) Brand owners have the money and the bands do not, so bands are becoming much more business and brand aware and comfortable with it- it is no longer a sell out to commercial interests. How things have changed. Can you imagine The Clash or The Jam or The Sex pistols being up for this.
2) Brand owners want different kinds of creative ideas. It is not longer about pushing ad messages down channels but creating activity that people want to be a part of and share. Brand owners now use many platforms and need what MEC call Liquid Content. There are few more forms of content more liquid and shareable than Music.