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Builders - How do you
advertising with artists?
I’ve been approached by a few small builders recently about “endorsing” their products - guitars, amps, effects, cables, etc...
What kind of deals do you all work with the
artist(s)? What is expected of the artist(s)? I
NEVER expect anything for free and I know
in these times, everyone’s in a tight spot
financially. Just curious as to how you all
handle those situations if you do...???
John Page: Having worked at Fender for 21
years I’ve had lots of experience with AR
dealing. A lot of people think that we just
gave stuff away left and right, it just wasn’t
the case. Although we would give product away from time to time, most artists
paid for their product, but at a discount.
With my new small company I’ve been
approached by several artists regarding
endorsement deals. Most asking for free
product in exchange for “lots of exposure.”
I can’t afford to give product away so I
counter offer with them buying the guitar
for full price but I would give them free tee
shirts... woo hoo, eh?
Not quite on the level of Mr. Page but I
do indeed get the requests for free gear.
My size does not allow that as there is
lower volume which cannot support this.
However, I do do artist pricing depending on the exposure that it can/will create.
Many of the requests are bands or players
that I have never heard of so I am reluctant
to give any discount. It simply just depends
on the artist. My side of the equation is
feedback and or/review and actually playing it in on stage (novel thought huh?). It is
that simple. I have no real formal plan, just
a handshake and a gentleman’s/woman’s
agreement. I try to keep everything as simple and straight forward as possible.
24 PREMIER GUITAR AUGUST 2009
Everything I’ve read in this thread so far
is true. We get a lot of inquiries about
“endorsements” from “artists;” most of
them we’ve never heard of. When we reply
with our standard answer that “no one gets
a free guitar” suddenly they don’t write
us anymore. Most of the time they’re just
fishing and seeing who’s hungry enough to
bite the bait. But, we have several guitars
on tour with Top 10 Country artists and
more on the way. The better-known players are easier to deal with. Good luck to
other small builders and beware of the
midnight e-mail from an “artist” wanting a
For me, a more significant sponsorship
like that has to start with a natural match
between the player and the guitar. I have
no interest in forcing someone to use a
guitar on recordings or in live performances
if they don’t feel like it. If they love what
the guitar does for them, they’ll play it
and hopefully get some inspiration from it
and people will hear that inspiration coming through. That’s the kind of exposure
I’m hoping for. That also implies a kind of
relationship that has to build over time, and
that’s also my hope when I discuss sponsorships with artists.
Post One Great
One of my steels, Tru Oil finish
Oldgtarz: The back of my ’ 64 fiesta red
Two Tub Man: