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Festivals Are Increasingly Music To Marketers’ Ears

Marketing Daily, April 26, 2010

By Aaron Baar

Marketers are looking to music sponsorship at an increasing rate. According to IEG Sponsorship Report, North American companies will spend $1.09 billion on music sponsorship (including venues, festivals and tours) in 2010, up 4% from the amount spent in 2009.

“Everyone loves music, and many people are very passionate about music,” William Chipps, IEG Sponsorship Report’s senior editor, tells Marketing Daily. “A corporate marketer can connect with consumers through that.”

The space has seen growth both from the diversification of marketers entering the space and the increasing opportunities available to them, particularly destination music festivals such as Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival (which includes corporate partners such as Canon USA, Budweiser, Ben & Jerry’s, Ford, Jansport, Vitaminwater, Odwalla and Chase), Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (Sony) and Lollapalooza (Budweiser, Sony, Citi and Toyota).

“They’re one-stop shops to reach a lot of consumers,” Chipps says of such festivals, which attract not only locals, but also attract a significant amount of nationwide tourism. “It’s almost like a national platform to some extent.”

And while many of the marketers involved have traditionally been those that appeal to a younger demographic (such as technology and telecommunications), other sectors such as autos and financial services are starting to approach music sponsorship as well, Chipps says.

Music sponsorship is the third-largest sponsorship sector following not-for-profit causes (projected to grow 6.1%) and entertainment tours and attractions (5.7%), and it should only continue to grow. “I definitely see music continuing its upward momentum,” Chipps says. “More and more advertisers are realizing that traditional [media] isn’t working the way it used to.”