[Dixielandjazz] Getting endorsements for your band

TCASHWIGG at aol.com TCASHWIGG at aol.com
Mon Nov 15 23:25:15 PST 2004

I am very proud to be working with the companies that I professionally 
endorse. I love these products, use these products, and would do so regardless of 
any professional relationship with these companies. That is the key to endorsing 
with integrity. You are looking for long term relationships and must be 
willing to service your endorsement. 

Almost every performing artist can secure an endorsement deal, at some level, 
but one has to bring value to the table, as manufacturers are not in the 
business of giving away product. The more value you bring, the better deal you can 
strike - usually anywhere from dealer cost to free product, and maybe even 
some cash for the road. Here's how to go about it. 

Choose products that you already use and really believe in - ones you would 
continue to use even if the competition tried to lure you away with free 
products and grand exposure. That is that kind of commitment that justifies your 
endorsement. Don't limit yourself to music gear, as cars and other household 
items (such as batteries) also yield opportunities. 

Assemble a one page marketing proposal, as the people receiving it are very 
busy. Include the reasons why you wish to endorse their product, the degree of 
exclusivity you are willing to give (I will not endorse two 
horn/drum/reed/mouthpiece/road case manufacturing companies, for example), and what advertising 
benefit the company will have from this relationship. Create as much added 
value as possible, and use real numbers to back it up. Consider your show 
attendance, the size of your email list on which you will include a link to their 
site, the number of hits on your own site (on which you will highlight your 
endorsement), and any other exposure that you can offer, such as conducting product 
clinics in your local and regional music stores...which is great promotion 
for everyone! 

Most major label unsigned artists simply cannot offer enough, but that does 
not eliminate the sponsorship/endorsement opportunities. Jim Beam, Budweiser, 
and others (mostly alcohol) have existing alternative marketing programs in 
place and offer financial support to bands through a submission and review 
process. You will be putting your name along side of theirs - everywhere including 
on your own website - so, unless you honestly and personally use and love the 
product, you are better off going elsewhere. 

Go meet your local Beer distributing company representatives, be aware that 
they donate and sponsor lots if not all State and Country Fairs and usually 
have a Beer garden with a stage of live music every day during the duration of 
the fair.  They put up Cash to book the bands, get to them before the fair does 
and make your own deal if possible you will get more money and better stage 
times usually.

Local businesses are often willing to sponsor a band for a particular gig. If 
you are playing a festival in say Connecticut, and the festival is not paying 
enough to cover your travel expenses, perhaps a local Connecticut car dealer 
will pony up the difference. Why? Because you will offer them exposure to a 
few hundred thousand potential customers - not your local fans, but their 
hometown community. "Your Band" presented by Joe's Volkswagen of Connecticut" would 
appear in every program handed out to every attendee throughout the entire 
festival, not just the day you are appearing. Plus they could have VW brochures 
available on your merchandising stage, and would likely be included in any 
press covering your appearance since they are presenting you. It may benefit both 
parties even more to use some sponsorship money to buy an ad in a local paper 
for your performance.  Don't be shy about playing at his dealership either 
after your gig at the festival.   Car dealers have bigger egos than Musicians :)) 
  They also buy lots of Television Time, heck go make a live commercial with 
him and let him clap off the beat it's his money.

When going after endorsements and sponsorship, think big and small, look 
outside of the box to create added value, and most importantly, don't attach you 
name to anything that you don't truly believe in.   Except maybe the car 
dealer, but do it with taste if you can!  :))

 Joe Hammerschlicker's VW's presents the Nasty Dogs Band and will give away 
one of their free CDs to every customer who comes down for a test drive in a 
new Volkswagen between 1 and four on Sunday etc.   Of course he buys the CDs 
from you at your cost, :)  Just like he sells his cars at cost or factory 
invoice.  :))

Make yourself up and invoice for the cost plus 40% built in profit and sell 
em to him, he give em away and it is paid promotion for you.  Of course you 
should have different CDs available for sale at the gig for regular price for 
those who hear you and want more or maybe will buy one but don't really want to 
go for a test ride in the Volkswagen.

Work it from all angles.


Tom Wiggins

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list