Groove Armada’s recent “record deal” with uber-booze company Bacardi got me thinking about branding of bands and the choices bands make and why.
Yes, it’s a brave new world out there. I firmly believe that more and more bands will go independent (in fact, Twitter told me that Fiddy, Pearl Jam and Ryan Adams would all be free agents by the end of the year) and the money will have to come from somewhere.
But partnering with a brand goes much futher than if they can fund your next record or not – it has to be about cause alignment, about authenticity of relationship. There should be no one between the band and the fan and anyone who IS should be clearly aligned with the artistic intent of the band, otherwise you lose the only real currency any band has anymore – credibility + trust.
Pearl Jam + Nike? I don’t think so. But Pearl Jam with Whole Foods? OK. Coldplay + FairTrade. Radiohead + WarChild. U2 + R.E.D. White Denim + Threadless. Panic! at the Disco & Pitchfork.
What kind of branding / sponsorship would you accept from your favorite act?