Festivals? I'm with the Brand: Analysis: Marketing ; Ian Burrell Holds Up His Lighter and Examines the Influence of the Major Music Festival Sponsors
Burrell, Ian, The Independent (London, England)
Isle of Wight Festival, 10-12 June, Seaclose Park, Isle of Wight
Think IoW festival and you still think 'Jimi Hendrix' but the phone brand thinks the event is a perfect match. Mark Squires, communications director of Nokia UK, says that the event's 'slightly older' demographic is more likely to have the spending power to buy the new Nokia N91, which is capable of downloading 3,000 songs. 'If people think 'Nokia and music' I will be a happy man,' says Squires.
T in the Park, 9-10 July, Kinross
Tennent's Lager registers a 95 per cent brand recognition rate among attendees at this 12-year-old event, which now attracts a sell- out crowd of 69,000 each day. George Kyle, head of sponsorships for Tennent's Lager, says music fans recognise that the brand is a founding partner of the event rather than just as a piggy-backing sponsor. 'It is a very positive representation of Scotland and with 40 per cent of the audience coming from outwith Scotland it is helping with tourism,' he says.
Wireless, 24-25, 29-30 June, Hyde Park, London
New arrival on the festival calendar, featuring headline acts such as New Order, Basement Jaxx and Keane. Amanda Jennings, head of brand experience at O2, sees the company's sponsorship of Wireless as an extension of its association with Channel 4's Big Brother and Party in the Park concerts. O2 wanted a festival in the 'backyard' of the key London market. Central to the branding strategy is a Blue Room, offering discounted drinks and a chill-out area for O2 customers.
T4 on the Beach, 19 June, Weston-super-Mare
This event used to be called T4's Pop Beach but the name has been changed after some bands ran scared of the P word. Neil McCallum, Channel 4's commissioning editor of T4 and music, says the three- year-old event is young enough to take the brand change. 'In the long term we could spin it off into other events.' T4, the C4 youth entertainment arm, had backed previous music festivals but felt it risked being 'overshadowed' by main sponsors.
Make Poverty History
Glastonbury, 24-26 June, Somerset
Glasto, the greatest festival of them all, has always resisted the temptation to tie up to a main sponsor. 'We want to engage people about issues, rather than pushing any particular product,' says spokesman Crispin Aubrey. So the key brand for this year's event is the Make Poverty History campaign. Roger James, south-west campaigns manager for Oxfam, says the timing of the event, just before G8, is perfect " as is the ethos. 'Glastonbury is the festival with a heart.'
B-Live, 1-3 July, Clapham Common, London
Bacardi has pulled together three small festivals into one big party with a Latin flavour. Having had a distinctive presence at various festivals through its 'B Bars', the drinks brand sponsors its own event for the first time. Alex Gellard, experiential brand manager for Bacardi, says: 'This gives us input in terms of musical content and production values, making sure the entire infrastructure was ever so slightly lifted.' That means even the fringe bars must be properly stocked.
BBC Radio 2
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Publication information: Article title: Festivals? I'm with the Brand: Analysis: Marketing ; Ian Burrell Holds Up His Lighter and Examines the Influence of the Major Music Festival Sponsors. Contributors: Burrell, Ian - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: May 3, 2005. Page number: 12. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.