#1
To this day I still don't understand to process to receive sponsorship by a brand. Strings/accessories/whatever, I just don't understand it. Someoned who is more learned than myself on this matter please elighten me.
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#3
Call them up, ask if they're interested in a press packet. If they are you send them one. If you're feeling particularly bold just send your press packet cold with some flattering letter about how you love their crap and will sell it to all your groupies.

Then if they sponsor you they give you free/discounted stuff and you display their logos and products on your webpage and at your shows etc. The agreement varies wildly, they'll spell it out in a contract.
#4
Sponsorship is actually different from a product endorsement deal, which is probably what you are referring to. Sponsorship means a company or corporation picks up the entire cost of something - a festival, an event, a tour - in exchange for the opportunity to advertise itself along with you. You had better be an enormous draw if you want to snag a sponsor. Those deals involve millions of dollars.

Now; product endorsement deals are something else. These are quite common in the music business, and they exist at several levels. These deals have been discussed before on this forum, but let's run through them again. The basic product endorsement deal is one in which a company (instrument, amp, strings, pedals, what-have-you) uses you or your band in its advertising. In these most basic arrangements, you do not receive any products or payments. What you do receive is free advertising. You and/or your band appears in the company's advertisments - usually print - and you are mentioned by name. The adverts are shot by a professional photographer, and run anywhere from a 1/8 page in a magazine to a full page. A pro photographer can make even the most mundane garage band look heroic, which is what you want. It is a great deal if you can get it.

The next level is where the company provides you either with free gear, or gear at a reduced price. You generally have to have some degree of an established name to snag one of these deals. If your band has a contract and at least one album out, a string company might offer you a deal where they use your band in their advertising: "Exciting new band (insert your band's name here) uses our new such-and-such strings for maximum tone and clarity!" That sort of thing. Since a touring band will go through a hell of a lot of strings (or picks, cables, you name it) in a year, this is a very nice deal for you. Plus, you get the free advertising mentioned above.

The top tier is where the company actually pays you to use their stuff. This is reserved for big-name stars, and often takes the form of signature instruments. They market an instrument with your name on it, and you either receive a royalty on each one sold, or you get a certain number of free instruments per year. Some signature instruments hit the big time and spawn an entire series of instruments (think: Ibanez Steve Vai guitars and Joe Satriani guitars). These are the best deals, but you have to be a seriously big name in the profession to land such a deal.

Almost every manufacturer with a website has a link with instructions for artists and bands seeking endorsement deals. Usually, they want a copy of your press kit, albums that you've recorded, etc. You send it to them and if they think that you would help them sell their products, then they contact you. It is very hit-or-miss; at least until you are another Eric Clapton or Stevie Ray Vaughn. Then they will come seeking you.

Some companies - most notably Marshall - have any number of big-name endorsers on their roster, but they do not give you free gear. Marshall has always had a policy that states the endorser gets a chance to buy Marshall amps at wholesale price plus Britain's V.A.T. They don't care how big you are; they don't give their stuff away. Others are like that, too.

It is all part of the 'biz, you know.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
Last edited by FatalGear41 at Aug 9, 2013,
#5
Wow, Roc8995, and fatalgear41, thank you so very much for that info, that makes a lot more sense to me than what I originally thought. So in a nutshell, for bands that are less known it's basically an exposure thing at first?
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#6
Even starting out, there can be free or discounted gear, as well as a bit of publicity- usually in the form of having your name & likeness- maybe even a audio or visual sample of your work- on their website.
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#7
Quote by MightySumo
Wow, Roc8995, and fatalgear41, thank you so very much for that info, that makes a lot more sense to me than what I originally thought. So in a nutshell, for bands that are less known it's basically an exposure thing at first?


Exactly. It is all about exposure. It is about someone else making you look great and putting your name and face where people will see it. Most struggling bands cannot afford a half-page, four-color spread in Guitar World magazine, shot by a pro photographer and done up just right. But if you score a product endorsement deal, that is quite probably what you will get - for free! Any product - including your band and your music - needs to be advertised. The internet has definitely changed the game, but finding you in a sea of three million-plus facebook and YouTube pages is worse than the proverbial needle-in-a-haystack thing. Opening up a major trade magazine and seeing a really cool advert for, say, GHS strings that has your band bringing down the house in a dramatic live-action shot is something else entirely. That's what you need; that's what you want, and a product endorsement deal is a pretty cool way to get it.

I've advised a number of bands that have begun recording to put together the best press kit possible. That thing is your band's official business card, so make it as attention-getting and as professional-looking as you can. No photos taken with your cell phone camera. Find someone with a good camera and pick the best shots of the bunch. Simple bios that list your influences and accomplishments. Your Boy Scout merit badges and your model car hobbies will not impress anyone, so leave them out. Make the thing look like you've already conquered the world, and you'll have a better shot at an endorsement deal. You'd be surprised how good a press kit can look with a little effort and not too much money.

Once you've hit the big time, a sponsorship deal is the Holy Grail. You'll see major festivals sponsored by big-name companies like Monster Energy Drinks or whomever. Some companies have sponsored entire tours by specific bands - the Rolling Stones have had several of their tours sponsored. But as I said earlier, those deals involve so much money and logistics that only the really big names have a shot at them. But hey; who says you won't be one of those big names some day? There is only one way to find out, and that's to go for it.

I'll see you in an advertisement some day!
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
Last edited by FatalGear41 at Aug 9, 2013,
#8
I think Budweiser sponsors a lot of bands...
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