Music Event Activation Best Practices

Negotiating the Right Sponsorship Package for Your Brand

Over the years, brands have consistently asked us; what sponsorships have the most success in reaching and engaging young consumers: Millennials and Generation Z?  By tapping into our 22 years of youth marketing consulting and event activation experience, we were able to answer that, and other burning questions that you might not have even known to ask, in our latest EBook!


Music Event Activation Best Practices EBook


Our goal is to help your brand reach young consumers in authentic ways. Connect with them seamlessly across multiple channels and touch points. Speak their language. Amplify your brand message, and, get the biggest bang for your sponsorship buck.

So, before you embark on sponsorship negotiations, ask yourself: Do I want my sponsorship to be like a microwave dinner (pre-packaged, preservative-filled, and prêt à manger)? Or, do I want it to titillate the taste buds like a perfectly plated three course meal (where people blog about it, recommend it to all their friends, and Instagram it)?

The default move in sponsorships is the former, or microwave dinner, option. From the seller’s point of view, it’s easier; pricing and selling are a formulaic breeze. And from the buyer’s point of view, buzz words like “Turn Key!” make it sound like a dream come true!! Your brand awareness is going to skyrocket, and you don’t have to lift a finger!! Sorry Charlie, you can go that route if you want to, but the odds are NOT in your favor. Sponsorships are like anything else – you get what you put into it.

The most effective event sponsorships targeting younger consumers are like a gourmet made-to-order entrée. Here’s the truth (and also what a lot of sponsorable entities don’t want you to know): you don’t always have to pay gourmet prices, and if an event won’t customize a sponsorship to meet your goals, then you should probably not be working with them.


Music Event Activation Best Practices


What is the goal of your music sponsorship?

Getting to the good stuff depends entirely on your goals. We’ve outlined the top three below, based on what we’ve seen from our Vans Warped Tour sponsors. 

  1. Awareness

This is all about maximizing exposure. Consider sponsorships based on this goal when launching something new, or when your product or service is a high involvement purchase, like a car. Creating awareness is about being there. It’s about making sure as many people at the event as possible see and know about you, and that they leave thinking your brand is instantly cool by association

  1. Engagement

This is all about building relationships with your customers that are built to survive well past the end of the sponsorship. This goal works for deeper involvement purchases or for brands looking to increase customer retention rates. Accomplishing it means really getting to know the people visiting your event space. Talk to them. Build trust. It’s about collecting customer data in a fast, teen-friendly way that doesn’t feel creepy or weird.

  1. Sales

This is all about getting people to try and buy your stuff – IMMEDIATELY. This goal works best if your product is easy to sample (like foods or beverages) or has a less involved purchase decision process (like clothing or CPG products). Sampling and couponing can help drive purchases. Linking sales back to your music festival sponsorship is easy to track and measure; it demonstrates clear ROI to upper management and finance.

Once you’ve identified your goals and crafted a plan, add some brand spin. Will your brand have a positive impact on the event through its name alone? Will your media channels be used to cross-promote the event? Share the amount of activation dollars you plan to invest in things like fan experiences, giveaways, and contests. This adds value to the event overall, and can save you money at the negotiation table.

Download our new free EBook for more in-depth discussion on this topic and other music event activation topics such as:

  • Activating to Reach a Youth Audience
  • Developing Creative That Merges Brand and Event in Design
  • Promoting the Sponsorship Relationship
  • Leveraging and Analytics to Show ROI


Music Event Activation Best Practices EBook

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