Endorsements - "HOW TO"

Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by Guitarholic, Aug 19, 2011.

  1. Guitarholic

    Guitarholic Booyah!

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    Hey fellas,

    I saw threads about this popping up on a few different forums so I thought I'd put it all together in just one nice little post. To give you guys a little background information about myself: I work for Outerloop Management (Periphery's management), where I work as the Executive Assistant to our CEO and also handle all of our clients' endorsement requests. I've been to NAMM, Musikmesse, yada yada yada bla bla and I am friends with most of the A&R reps out there.

    All the information I list below has been compiled from the artist application forms for companies like Mesa, Orange, Sennheiser, Yamaha, Ibanez and many many more. So ... Like I was saying in an earlier thread, the word "want" never works well when pursuing endorsements. (I'm just gonna copy/paste from that older post of mine, haha) I very often find that even well known musicians very often do not really understand why a company endorses an artist. Why do gear companies sign artists to their roster? What's the philosophy behind it?

    A quick detour on terminology (say thanks to the Mesa A&R rep for this!!!): Endorsement typically refers to a partnership where the artist is provided gear at either a generous discount or at no charge in exchange for the visibility gained with that artist playing the gear at their level of exposure.

    From a business stand point, a manufacturer endorses an artist because that artist is popular enough to influence many consumers. Basically, a manufacturer signs an artist so that the buying public will be influenced to buy more of their instruments. Now, in a lot of cases a contract is drawn up that locks in the artist to use the gear exclusively for a predetermined amount of time. But there are also companies that understand that being bound to use one brand might bind the artist creatively and offer non-exclusive contracts.

    In either case each party benefits from something:
    • The artist receives professional equipment that he/she believes is the best in supporting or representing his/her musical voice. In addition they receive the support needed in all relative circumstances.
    • The manufacturer receives more sales due to the overwhelming amount of exposure and fans the artist influences. Here are some of the considerations for most endorsements:
    • Excessive amount of hits on a Social Website i.e. MySpace
    • CD/Record Sales approaching Gold Status or above
    • Television, studio, movie and video credits
    • Participation in high visibility tours
    • Other Endorsements
    • Teaching credentials from major university or education systems
    • Major influence on musicians in a specific genre of music

    So, what are the criteria to get an endorsement?
    1) Popularity. As listed above an artist’s popularity is essential. How much will
    that particular artist influence the buying public?
    2) Company Player. Does the artist already play products of company XY? All
    companies love signing artists who truly believe in their products and have
    already chosen them as tools to make their music.
    3) Personality. Each and every artist has their own personality, but do your
    homework on the companies you want to be endorsed by. It is fine if you are not totally familiar with all their products, but at least know the general terms. And be humble and patient!
    4) Talent. All companies love a talented artist. Not too much to explain here.

    So again: Very few companies, if any, provide full endorsements (ie. give stuff away for free). Most actually now work from an artist pricing stand
    point, which is very important. There has to be an actual value for any company to give away free gear.

    I highly recommend to read this, it's Tim McKee (A&R rep for Mesa Boogie) talking about endorsements (Tim McKee from Mesa Boogie talks endorsements | Mark LaFay Dot Com). Now, even though Tim says that he does not prefer having managers call him, it depends on the management agency. A lot of the management agencies out there do have ppl now who actually specialize in endorsements and sponsorships. For example, my good buddy Michael Eaton (who works for The Artery Foundation). He's put together a NEAT little website about endorsements (PLIKM - Curious About Endorsements) Really great stuff!!!

    And watch this:
    And watch this:

    And Fred_the_Shred nailed it on the head: "[Endorsements] do require a lot of work, visibility, and networking, as well as a business / career plan, and something that presents value."
    That's what it's all about. YOU have to provide something of value to the company you want to be endorsed by.

    Don't get discouraged, just know what's expected before you apply ;) Feel free to shoot me questions, if you have any!

    Jan
     
  2. Zombie13

    Zombie13 Guitartist

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    Thanks for this Jan, really great info here!!!!
     
  3. Fred the Shred

    Fred the Shred Shrederick

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    Excellent article, mate! :yesway:
     
  4. brootalboo

    brootalboo My boo

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    Thanks for this. I've been in the dark about endorsements. My other guitarist is endorsed by Peavey, Line 6, and EMG but he doesn't tell us how. He's really not that great a player, and we are not a HUGE band so I don't know how he get's all the endorsements. I wonder what these companies thought by endorsing him? hm
     
  5. anne

    anne No privacy hedge.

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    Good stuff. Endorsees are salespeople, most visibly through example, not just dudes who get cool free stuff. :S
     
  6. Pchink

    Pchink SS.org Regular

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    Great post, thanks!
     
  7. BrianUV777BK

    BrianUV777BK Riffmiester General

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    Thanks for taking the time to post this for us, Jan.
     
  8. bulb

    bulb SS.org Regular

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    Thread should be stickied! Invaluable info here
     
  9. BrianUV777BK

    BrianUV777BK Riffmiester General

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    Maybe he's yankin your chain...?
     
  10. themike

    themike Chug Life

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    So you should order some new gear off of Musicians Friend and when it arrives open it in front of him and be like "Dude I got endorsed last week". :fawk:
     
  11. technomancer

    technomancer Gearus Pimptasticus Super Moderator

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  12. Guitarholic

    Guitarholic Booyah!

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    Wow, thanks! Lost my stickyginity
     
  13. technomancer

    technomancer Gearus Pimptasticus Super Moderator

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    Was it good for you? :rofl:
     
  14. Guitarholic

    Guitarholic Booyah!

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    Actually yes! After being on this board for how long ... almost 6 yrs? It did feel good indeed, hahaha :D
     
  15. BrianUV777BK

    BrianUV777BK Riffmiester General

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    This thread should put an end to alot of our delusions of granduer.:spock:
     
  16. richardgstudios

    richardgstudios Metal Head

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    Awesome Read! Thank you
     
  17. brootalboo

    brootalboo My boo

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    That's what I was thinking too, but he actually is on their websites+ I've seen him talk to the company reps at our shows. :nuts:
     
  18. Dan_Vacant

    Dan_Vacant Hi I'm Dan.

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    I am surprised most people asked about endorsement deals, the only thing that I wondered was do the players get stuff free but I figured each company does it their way.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011
  19. bulb

    bulb SS.org Regular

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    Depends not only on the company, but the individual deal. Many companies have a tier system, where certain ones get better discounts, things for free, or even paid to use their gear.
     
  20. cronux

    cronux SS.org Regular

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    just one question (maby it was mentioned before)

    i heard that some company's "lease" their equipment for let's say a guitar player that's their endorsee, like 1-3 years depending on the contract. (heard it's more about amps and cabs than guitars but still)

    is this true?
     

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