Concert Producer Gives Brands Chance to Reach More Bands

AEG Live Bundles Together Major Music Festivals So Marketers Can Save Money, Target Fans

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YORK, Pa. (AdAge.com) -- AEG Live is helping brands tune up for its compilation of summer music festivals. The producers of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, and Stagecoach Country Music Festival have decided to bundle those and nine more of its giant music events to allow marketers to buy across festivals.

The AEG Live festival season begins April 17 with Coachella in Indio, Calif., sponsored by retailer FYE (For Your Entertainment).
The AEG Live festival season begins April 17 with Coachella in Indio, Calif., sponsored by retailer FYE (For Your Entertainment).
"I used to get four e-mails within five minutes from the same person interested in a sponsorship, because they didn't realize it was all the same company," said Andrew Klein, senior VP-global partnerships at AEG Live. He added that along with the time and efficiency savings, marketers who buy multiple venues also get price breaks. "You can reach millions of fans at one time in the summer," he said.

A new website, yourbrandourfans.com, details all the music events with synopses, dates, video clips from previous years, past sponsors and links to each festival's site. The AEG Live festival season begins April 17 with Coachella in Indio, Calif., and runs through Labor Day with Bumbershoot in Seattle. With no fully overlapping dates, a sponsor could potentially sign up for the entire slate, although none have yet.

Sponsors who have signed up so far for the 2009 outdoor slate include AT&T at two events, retailer FYE (For Your Entertainment) at four events and Anheuser-Busch at four events. Mr. Klein said AEG is also close to signing deals with energy-drink, sports-league, spirits, insurance and apparel companies.

The 12 AEG Live festivals typically draw at least 100,000 fans each and up to as many as 500,000 over the two weekends of the New Orleans Jazz Fest. Deals per concert with sponsors range from the from low six figures to millions, AEG says.

Seeing strong growth
"Even though the economy is not great, we're seeing strong growth and interest from sponsors," he said. "Fans are there from approximately 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. That's 12 hours of a self-contained audience. ... In between bands they want to see, fans go buy a soda or a burger and then go from sponsor booth to sponsor booth."

While all the sponsors have an on-site presence, the extent and details of the marketing is up to the advertiser, but for most the days of simply hanging banners over the music stage are over. AT&T, for instance, sponsors both Jazz Fest and Coachella, and along with an air-conditioned tent where fans can check e-mail and recharge their phones on site, the telecom company will stream the festivals live to its website for fans who can't attend, and then archive the footage for further viewing.

FYE, which is sponsoring Coachella, All Points West, Rock on the Range and Bumbershoot, plans to set up on-site retail stores where fans can buy music, and to host autograph sessions with musicians at the festivals. Off site, in its retail stores, FYE will set up displays for the festival performers, as well as promote the event with in-store media, including its video monitors.

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