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« Internet Radio Is The Future......Duh | Main | Are You Really Selling Music? »
Thursday
Oct282010

How to Get Endorsements or Sponsors for your band, tour, record, etc.

While conducting music business industry panels across the country, I’m often asked one question more than anything else: “How do I get an endorsement?” Other variations include “How do I get a sponsor?” or “How do I get free stuff?”

My philosophy is that if this is your point of view, you’re probably already doomed. Sponsors (whether music instrument companies, beer, or clothes, etc.) don’t care about what they can do for you. They care about what you can do for them – or rather, what you can do together. So to begin with, you have to switch the mentality from “What can I gain from this?” to “What can we gain from this relationship?” Below are a few things that I recommend in your approach:

Ask, straight up: There’s a saying that “the answer is always no until you ask.” In the music industry, there are three kinds of people: those who make things happen, those who wait for things to happen, and those who wonder “what the heck just happened?” Don’t wait for an opportunity. Create it by initiating contact, networking, or asking the right questions that will get you a lead, information on how to get a sponsor, etc. Don’t be afraid in emailing, calling, or scheduling an appointment to do an in-person presentation on why they should sponsor you. That being said…

The Approach: Find a way to be unique, succinct, and intriguing with your initial contact. My rep at the largest music instrument company in the world says that he gets 300-500 emails a week asking for endorsed artist information. So why did he pick my band, The Slants, out of all of those? Because we focused on the company, not ourselves.  We offered a new target audience that they weren’t reaching, we had a unique angle to our music and branding, and they would benefit from working with us. Find a way to explain why you are the “first, the only, the original” of what you do. If you need help, try 15secondpitch.com to help your approach.

Offer an Idea (or 3): Offer an idea right away that the said company could benefit from or that you two could do together to bring more business for everyone. If you are adding value to them from the start, they will be more inclined to listen to you. Make everything more about “we” than just “me.”

Try Untapped Industries: Getting sponsors/endorsements is like rolling a snowball:  once you get started, it becomes easier and more people will start to pay attention. Often times, if the sponsor you’re working with is happy, they’ll refer other companies to you. To get your start, try companies with less competition. For example, try local businesses that you already frequent and see if they’d be willing to do some cross-promotional marketing. Also, smaller indie music instrument companies are often untapped compared to the big brands you see at Guitar Center.

Use Existing Resources: Have everyone in your band or circle of friends create a contact list of everyone they know: where they work, what position, etc. Use those contacts as a start; their company might not be able to help but they might know someone who can. All things being equal in life, people would rather do business with their friends.

Make it a Sales Call: Treat every contact like you would a sales call, because essentially that is what you are doing. Same exact method because you’re selling your music, your tour, your band. If you want them to “buy” through giving your product or cash, then you have to give them a reason to. Create a list of the top 3-5 reasons why they would benefit from giving you what you’re asking for. Are you providing a good return on investment for them?

Don’t Expect Free Stuff: Most endorsed artists through Fender, Gibson, Pearl, etc. don’t get free stuff (unless you’re talking world class level audiences), they get discounted stuff. Even at that, it isn’t about just getting product. It’s about creating a lasting relationship where you can build an audience together with that company.

If you want some more tips or you have some to offer yourself, feel free to comment below or hit me up at simon@laststopbooking.com

————————————————————-

Simon Tam is owner of Last Stop Booking, a full service agency that offers tour booking and music consulting services. Simon has appeared on stage at over 1,200 live events and has traveled North America presenting ideas about the music industry. For more information and to see Simon’s blog on music industry advice, please visit www.laststopbooking.com

Reader Comments (29)

"Don't Expect Stuff for Free" is so important in this scenario. You have to figure unless your name is at a level that they are approaching you, you aren't famous enough for them to get more from you than you are from them. But a lot of places do offer things to you at the cost they do to Guitar Center. If there's something you have been thinking about buying for six months, but probably won't be buying for six months then you should always contact the manufacturer about possible sponsorship. Once you get sponsorship another possibility is they might be interested in helping with advertising the next time you're on tour. Or on occasion if you tour a lot & talk to a rep a lot you might get to road test an item (though I've known some folks who've had road tests go bad, somethings are too delicate for that life).

Also posted up part 2 on this article, on what they're looking for:

http://laststopbooking.wordpress.com/2010/10/24/how-to-get-sponsorsendorsements-part-2-what-theyre-looking-for/

Enjoy!

November 25 | Unregistered CommenterSimon Tam

hi my name is dyami pike im a sixteen yr old boy living on a military base in germany. me and my best friend have started rapping just for fun, but we want to start a new era of music. our crew is called "NewSchoolRapper$" and our point behind all our songs is " out with the old and in with the new" we believe that it doesnt matter how old you are, you should try and bring something new to the table and something memorable..... the only problem is, living in a small town in germany its hard to get known.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPimwXpGkcQ&feature=g-all-u&context=G2a4133cFAAAAAAAAAAA
this is our newest song and as you can see we dont have that many veiws
if there is anyway you can help me get known or reach a bigger group of people
i would highly appritiate it
thank you
dyami pike --- MisterP

February 16 | Unregistered Commenterdyami pike

MBC ENTERTAINMENT IS LOOKING FOR SPONSORS WE HAVE A WHOLE ENTERTAINMENT WE HAVE THINGS GOING AND WE ARE DOING EVERYTHING OUR SELF BUT WE WANT TO GO FURTHER. WE ARE MAKING NOSIE IN THE STREETS AND WITH A SPONSOR I DO BELIEVE WE CAN HELP EACH OTHER.

February 27 | Unregistered Commenterpippiredstockin

Checked out your bandsite, very cool! I liked the video, good song!

Question about endorsements, we're not looking for free stuff (stickers maybe?), is it a good thing to have an endorsement as a non-headliner act?

March 17 | Unregistered CommenterMerauder

hey id like to discuss this alot more not so much endorsements but more how you got to the point where ppl even considered endorsing you... im a hip hop artist been working for time but i seem to have a problem with marketing and gettin my name out there more... f you get some time shoot me an email or message me in my FB inbox both go directly to my phone my email is.... brentjrdodge@hotmail.com.... my fb name is Manikly FrantiK.... Thanks For your Time

June 7 | Unregistered CommenterFranTiK

Hello, greetings. my name is TEKE SPENCER a.k.a LIL SPENCY... am a young rapper from CAMEROON. i am a composer, rapper, singer, and a very good literature student. i have been in to the music world for 10 yrs today but have not gone far as in making up a live time in music. i am soliciting for a financial assistance to be able to produce my composed songa and put them in to the market... my facebook name is Lils Spency or my email is teke.spencer@yahoo.com... waiting to your from you soon.. stay bless...

June 11 | Unregistered CommenterTeke Spencer

Hi. my name is Sonia Odek. I am an Afro fusion singer in Nairobi Kenya. I have done several songs but it has not yet paid off as I expect it to. We are currently preparing for our elections here and i have recorded a great song that is motivativating ecouraging and youth like. the song is a very fast track and modern. I know it is what we have been waiting for as a country.
My problem is that having been in the Kenyan music industry i fear being used or taken advantage of by the wrong people. I need help and a person who is trustwothy to help me sell this new idea.
Please anyone who can help in very welcomed.
I graetly await your responce. I AM SONIA ODEK ON FACEBOOK. YOU CAN ALSO CHECK ME OUT ON YOU TUBE.

August 2 | Unregistered Commentersonia Odek

Hello my stage name is solloboy, a Kenyan doing Hiphop against drugs music, currently recorded couple of songs but seeking a promoter to realize impact of my music to the society.
I would like to hook up any promoter from around the globe with passion for Hiphop music and East African music and culture as a whole; I mean one who can appreciate indigenous languages, Kiswahili and English lyrics blended to give great music.
Please reach me through my email; 66mwamburi88@gmail.com

August 15 | Unregistered CommenterHary Mwamburi

Our website http://www.iamsponsored.com helps bands, musicians, singers, writers and all kinds of talented people get sponsors. We would love to help out

September 14 | Unregistered CommenterJames

First off let me say I like what your saying but I already figured all of this out, I like to think I stay in a buiness state of mind. What I want is a urban clothing brand to sponsor me, not just for free clothes, right now I'm independent and I want to be apart of a compony. I'm focused on small just coming up clothing brands so we can help eachother out get a little bigger but tha only problem I have is finding one! I know for a fact I can bring alot to a compony, il put 1000% at promoting it!

Hello, my name is Gloria Harbison. I am a Christian song-writer. I sent a CD to Bill and Gloria Gaither about a month ago. The Gaithers have written the best Christians on of this century The great television Gaither Homecoming professional singers are legiendary. Les Butler, the Gaithers
right hand man who edits the Homecoming Magazine, said that he wants to work with me on my songs for publication. I am a lyricst and I also hear the music for each song also.. I have written over 35 songs and they are all winners. I sent 6 songs to Les Butler, he listened to them and emailed me back and said...."Glo! ...Send them all!"
I am looking for a sponsor..just a small amount of money to get these songs performed by their professional voices and Gaither Band accompaniment. I need three thousands dollars so that Les can get started on the second phase. I can provide proof in what I am saying. If you would like to call and discuss details...my number is 1-210-858-6712. Many thanks and blessings to you. Glo Harbison. I am on Facebook as Gloria Harbison. My email address is glospoetry1@hotmail.com

September 28 | Unregistered CommenterGloria Harbison

These are some great tips! Thanks for sharing. Information like this comes in handy when planning a promotional tour for an album release.

October 11 | Unregistered CommenterAndriea ISH

Hey,

I'm currently in a band in Boston and I found this site that claims to be able to help you with your next tour or sponsor pretty much anything. It's in closed beta though -_- anyone have any feedback/knowledge about it?

SIte is www.sponsornary.com

Feedback/tips welcome :)

-Greg

October 25 | Unregistered CommenterGreg Stans

I'm a stand-up comic looking for a sponser...my main objective is for them to buy advertising in newspapers for my act and in return their names will be posted on my business cards, posters, stationary, and if available I would wear their logo brand clothing and allow them to sell merchandise at my shows...does this sound like a good plan...?

November 28 | Unregistered Commentervictor friskey

Hello... I really liked reading your article, and I think I brought something away from it. I know it was started quite a while ago, but I hope it's still being monitored (on some level). Anyway, I have a question regarding the contact of potential sponsors... For starters, I have an opportunity to be signed with an indie label in Nashville, TN. The unfortunate part is, indie labels like artists to come "equipped" with sponsorship to help with touring, merchandise, promotion, etc. I have contacted several potential sponsors with the ideas you outlined above, but I usually don't hear back from them, or they tell me they like my offer and will get back to me at a later time. With that said, how many times should I contact them until I get an answer? I want to let them know I mean business, but I also don't want to be a thorn in the side.

Here is my website: http://www.jeffleonardmusic.com You can find links to my other sites which include a lot of my original songs that I've written, and some of the covers that we play.

Thank you for your time.

JL

December 19 | Unregistered CommenterJeff L.

I have 30 years of management skills and have been asked to manage a new rock band. Im reading and learning as much about this business as possible. This band has extensive experience and we want to kick off in all the right places using all the right social medias as well as promoting this bands songs. Past sponsorships have been available under a different name. This is a brand new band. Im waiting on a demo CD of music so that I can have a better feel for how these guys play together.
Thank you for any tips or adivice you may offer,
Sharon Klima

January 19 | Unregistered CommenterSharon Klima

Hey so, first off Great Article, it's succinct and really touches on some valid points. Reading the comments i can't really tell if the audience really got the point of what you wrote, which is relationships build sponsorships. If you're a musician and you're looking for help with marketing and exposure, you can try free sites like http://www.immitter.com for free streaming directly to your target audience. If money is what you need then writing blindly on this post most likely wont help you out, you might want to save that for Facebook.

February 10 | Unregistered CommenterJ Kelly

you have some good info here, this will definitely help new and old artist who are looking for sponsors

March 3 | Unregistered Commentertomie pike

I represent a Scottish Rock band called 'Gleadhraich'. We will be releasing our debut single on the 18th of May 2013 and are looking for sponsorship to make this achievable. I found this information really helpful. Thank you!

March 19 | Unregistered CommenterThe Vine

I am a gospel artist i have a debut album and i have been struggling for very long time to bring this album out.and this put allot of burden in my heart. i began thinking, how hard it is for the gospel to spread.my experience put me in a time of prayer, and in my prayers God laid a burden in my heart how the gospel need to go out to the ends of the earth.God showed me that i should create a team of gospel musicians, that we shall move across the streets, towns, cities, and nation to minister in music,christian dramas etc. and this has brought me to a place where i had to put it down in writing.I had stated it last December with my small mobile music and the testimony is wonderful.I have decided to further my studies in order to carry this vision OUT professionally. But to be honest, i come from a poor background and my father and mother are of lat and now i have no body to assist me financially.
Am pleading on anyone who comes across this post to please grand me financial support or contact me for details of this vision, lets spread the gospel to the world Heb:10:25 Thanks Silvanus Away.

I just found an artist on Jango radio which is another great supporter of unsigned artists. I found the most wonderful new artist they are an artist/producer combination from vegas. They are now in Los Angeles and they recently dropped an album on itunes. https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/free-your-mind/id686161465 You can check out their website at www.italianoandinstigate.com They are truly a breathe of fresh air to the music world!! I love them!!

Jango radio (Italiano and Instigate Radio)

September 10 | Unregistered CommenterLayLay5

As a former TV sponsorship director, I can say that Simon's advice is right on, especially the first tip. If you look at sponsorship as free stuff, you are approaching it from the wrong angle and will be doomed to fail. Instead think "What can I do to serve you and add more value to your business or brand?"

November 4 | Unregistered Commenterjulie

I am a young man from Ghana i am a musician and am looking for a sponsor and am here to cry for all of you any body who want to sponsor me you can contact me on siisu2020@gmail.com thank you all looking forward to hear from you.

November 5 | Unregistered CommenterMusic

Name: Jyothi Babu Gamidi
Email: angeljyothiministries@gmail.com

Good day to you, I am a gospel artist from my childhood I was skilled keyboard player & tune composer,
we too were looking for fund for some music sponsor to help financially to create music albums and to distribute every Christian and Hindu in India. We are presently running recording studio named Angel Jyothi musical recording studio since2010. We have organised free musical shows in villages, town and cities. We are ready to accept your proposal and promise you that we will use your fund as your wish and take the responsibility of your fund properly. We have put our details on Angel Jyothi musical ministries, sidhantham, penugonda mandal, W.G.Dt. Andhra. South India. E-mail: angeljyothiministries@gmail.com, lets spread the gospel to the world Heb:10:25 Thank Q in Jesus name.

November 13 | Unregistered CommenterJYOTHI BABU GAMIDI

Hey! I am the vocalist for an up and coming metal/hard rock band called Horseman 5! We are based out of southern NJ. Please don't read the description of "metal" and think we're a typical modern metal band. Our sound ranges between 80's heavy metal like Judas Priest and Skid Row, to 90's rock like KoRn and Alice in Chains, to some modern influence from bands like Arch Enemy and Five Finger Death Punch! Our whole theme is being "the party during the apocalypse". As most of you I'm sure know, the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse are conquest, war, famine and death. The reasoning behind our name is "what would the 5th horseman be? What is it that comes after death?" The answer is up to you and, much like our sound, it's whatever you hear in it! Please check us out if you have a minute, thanks!

www.facebook.com/horseman5rock

January 9 | Unregistered CommenterFiore

The thing I think many people utterly fail to realize is sponsorship is not about getting stuff...it about both parties involved expanding the number of people who see them. If company A is going to sponsor anyone, they are essentially looking for someone who is going to expand their customer base. Is that company going to gain a customer because the person or group they sponsor is advertising their product or service....if the answer is no then there is no point in entering into the agreement.
By the same token you should not enter into an arrangement with a sponsor that isn't going to advertise you either, far more important than "stuff" is the opportunity to be seen by that companies customers, who may be interested in what you are doing. Give me a larger forum to expose to my music any day instead of giving me stuff, not that I don't like stuff, but endorsements are all about mutual advertising.
Furthermore, I think you miss the boat if you choose to accept an endorsement from a company that would wouldn't use if it weren't for the endorsement, accept and pursue a company that you would use anyway and you'll both be happier in the experience. After all if you think that the "free" stuff you got isn't up to your standards than not only are you unhappy, but the company isn't getting bang for their buck and you may damage your own reputation as well as someone who doesn't believe in the products they endorse. Which would make other sponsors less likely to have interest in you too.

March 5 | Unregistered CommenterGeoff McGraw

Name: Arrey rauol
Email: arreyrauol@yahoo.com
Good day to you, am a Hip/Hop rapper from Cameroon and a member of a group B.M.R. we are specialize in making good music and transforming rap into our own unique way and style of music.but for so many years now we have been struggling to make our selves popular by attending shows,parties but still yet we have financial problems.
we are begging for sponsorship from any one who is willing to help us realize our dreams of becoming great musicians. please any one who can help is welcome.
hoping to hear from you soon

April 5 | Unregistered CommenterMr Remix

Hi im Chris and the drummer of a Power Metal band called ITERNIA. Go and check it on FaceBook and Twitter. And i hope to talk to an endorser soon.

April 8 | Unregistered CommenterChris

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