Bands & Brands

Music sponsorship is a booming business. Last Tuesday, the Atlanta chapter of the American Marketing Association hosted a signature panel luncheon, Bands & Brands: How live music promoters are partnering with marketers to grow the next generation of fans. Panelists included Katrina Johnson, Pandora; Joe Bellioitti, The Coca-Cola Company; Josh Antenucci, Rival Entertainment; Jason Carter, Soul Fusion Music Group; and Mike Walbert, AC3 Festival and Conference. 

The panel addressed topics that ranged from helping the audience understand the current surge in music marketing and where the opportunities exist in this niche moving forward. One of the key topics was partnerships because like with any musical collaboration, everyone must be in harmony. The speakers spoke to their experience in planning events and forming relationships with sponsors and artists alike with an overall common theme of authenticity. 

Joe Belliotti, Director of Global Entertainment Marketing at The Coca-Cola Company, shared that the ideal partnership for their brand comes when an artist uses, loves, and enjoys their product. To have a product that connects with the artist, the fans can see the obvious authenticity behind it, without feeling a forced “sale” infringing on their experience.

Having an online plan to match event activations was another notable topic. Knowing how the brand will appear online- the how, where, and why to share on social media- is crucial to leaving a digital footprint behind once the fans have all gone home. The big bonus is being able to reach more eyeballs than those who just attended the event.  And true to any 2017 marketing event, the topic of data came up.

Which data tools can be used to refine the game of “matchmaker” between music and brands. While our panel said they take data “with a grain of salt” since it can be manipulated to support anything nowadays, our speakers also recognized that smaller agencies have found tools to use data in unique ways, taking a lot of the guesswork out of the research and creation process.  

It’s hard to stand out as a musical artist today. Even the biggest acts work hard to stay relevant and to constantly challenge themselves and their art. This is one reason why many artists look to brand partnerships to help fans discover their work, or to broaden their listener base. For their part, marketers value musician partnerships to help build buzz, stand out from the crowd, or reach fans who may otherwise be elusive or skeptical. 

More and more brands are recognizing music marketing as an invaluable and memorable way to connect with their audiences.  Goldman Sachs published a report that predicts by 2030, music industry revenue is expected to double, ushering in a new digital revolution for us to take anywhere and everywhere- with wireless headphones or 3D glasses.  

The future sure does look (and sound) bright!