Sponsor Insights

Music Artist Report Reveals Social Media’s Reach

SponsorUnited’s inaugural Music Artist Report, released yesterday, delivers an in-depth analysis of over 2,100 brands and 1,100 deals from July 2021-July 2022, unlocking 10 major music genres and telling the stories of nearly 600 artists. 

Here’s a peek at some of the report’s key insights: 

Country music’s most popular performers have attracted the most eyeballs across the SponsorUnited platform.

In addition, Country stars average more deals per artist than any other genre, with the number of brands partnering with them rising 45% since 2020. 

Their seemingly unstoppable momentum continues: Over 35% of SponsorUnited searches among music artists were Country, with Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Luke Combs, and George Strait ranking among the top five most searched artists.

Music artists are betting big on their own brands—and winning

Of the top 50 most engaging brands, those owned by artists garnered the most attention.Four of the top five brands with the highest social engagement were beauty brands owned by superstars: 

  • Rare Beauty (Selena Gomez)
  • JLO Beauty (Jennifer Lopez) 
  • r.e.m. beauty (Ariana Grande) 
  • Savage x Fenty (Rihanna)

Music moves fans like no other league, team or property can.

Not surprisingly, artists’ success on social media plays a key role in driving performance of their brands. When comparing per-post engagement among a variety of property types, musicians top the leaderboard with an average engagement per post of 137K, versus 100K for general celebrities in the second-place spot. 

Artist-owned companies are expanding into new categories. 

While music artists have long added value to Cosmetics, Clothing and Alcohol brands, artists like Timbaland, Kanye West and Dua Lipa are already charting the future of artist ownership in new categories:

  • Timbaland x Beatclub: The innovative digital platform aims to revolutionize the way music makers connect.
  • Kanye West x Donda Sports: Kanye’s sports marketing agency now includes clients like NBA star Jaylen Brown and NFL standout Aaron Donald.
  • Dua Lipa x Service95: Dua Lipa released her first weekly lifestyle newsletter in February 2022.

Latin artists see massive growth from global music fans.

Among the top 40 fastest growing social accounts, 12 were owned by Latin artists. Combined, these artists gained over 250M followers–2.5x more than Rap/Hip-Hop and 3.5x more than Country, and second only to Pop. With Latin music’s total revenue projected at over $1B this year, expect to see US brands continue to team up with these red-hot performers. 

Case in point: Bad Bunny, Spotify’s most streamed artist globally in 2020 and 2021. During his El Último Tour Del Mundo this year, he partnered with Airbnb to open the doors to his truck for three one-night stays for two guests at just $91 per night—a nod to his record-breaking 9.1B Spotify streams in 2021. Guests had the exclusive opportunity to explore Bad Bunny’s past, present and future, both on and off the stage.

Music Artist Report

SponsorUnited Unveils Inaugural Music Artist Report

DOWNLOAD REPORT: https://sponsorunited.com/music-artist-report-2022/

Social media drives new and innovative partnerships in an industry forecast to more than double in value to over $53 billion by 2030.
 

Just released, the first Music Artist Marketing Partnerships Report. This inaugural report delivers an in-depth analysis of over 2,100 brands and 1,100 deals from July 2021-July 2022, the report unlocks 10 major music genres and tells the stories of nearly 600 artists. 

Key findings include:

  • Bon Iver, Steve Aoki, Saweetie, Snoop Dogg and J. Balvin top the ranks for most brand partnerships by music artists.
    Among these top 5, Organizations & Groups dominated the category list with a third of all deals–2x more than Technology and 3x more than Apparel.
  • T-Mobile is one of the few brands hitting all the right notes.
    The only company on the SU platform with sponsorships across six different music genres, the wireless giant was most active in Country, with deals including Dolly Parton, Chris Young, Old Dominion and more.
  • Social media engagement emerges as a driving force for attracting brand partnerships.
    Pop music artists generated the highest average engagement and partnered with the most brands, followed by Rap/Hip-Hop in second place and Country in third.
  • Country artists surged as the most popular searched by sponsorship executives.
    Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood and Luke Combs were the top 3 most searched artists on the SponsorUnited platform.
  • Music artists gained over 3.2B new followers.
    1.5B followers on Instagram, nearly 1B on TikTok, more than 682M on Facebook, and just 122M on Twitter.
  • Latin artists saw massive social growth from fans around the globe.
    Among the top 40 fastest growing social accounts, 12 were owned by Latin artists. Combined, the Latin genre gained 250M followers–2.5x more than Rap/Hip-Hop and 3.5x more than Country.

2022 Lollapalooza Chicago

Lollapalooza kicks off its 4-day festival in Chicago with Metallica headlining tonight.

Notable brands Metallica works with include ESP Guitars, Blackened American Whiskey, The Coda Collection and Yousician.

2022 Lollapalooza Chicago

29 Recording Artists Join the 100M+ Follower Club

Social media’s power as a brand-building tool is indisputable–especially in the music industry. According to SponsorUnited’s latest data, 29 recording artists have at least 100 million followers across TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook–accounting for a whopping 6.2 billion cumulative follows. 

Selena Gomez tops the list with nearly 525 million followers. Despite her staggering fan base, her 6 endorsement deals pale in comparison to Snoop Dogg (160+ million followers), whose singular charisma has helped him ink 17 partnerships. He starred in Super Bowl commercials for BIC and Pepsi last February, while his February 23rd Instagram post with another partner, Crooks & Castles Clothing, engaged 1.2 million followers–topping his long list of branded social posts. 

Katy Perry cracks the top-five in both social followers and endorsement deals. Sixteen brands have leveraged Perry’s social media following over the last 12 months, totaling more than 100 posts, while her total engagement is an impressive 17.8 million, with an average 1.1 million followers per brand. Her January 2nd Instagram post with Resorts World Las Vegas netted 890K engagements, her highest-ever tally on the channel. 

Latin music artist J Balvin takes the third spot on the endorsement list behind Perry, with 15 deals and a social following of 110 million. His customized-shoe partnership with Jordan Brand spurred a huge pop on his social media page with an engagement of over 1.5 million–more than 10% of his total engagement across 46 posts. Fortnite is Balvin’s most-promoted brand on social media by number of posts: his 10 with the online game have a total engagement of 3.5 million.

Rolling Loud 2022

Billed as the largest hip-hop festival in the world, Rolling Loud rolls into Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium Friday with 35 sponsors onboard for the three-day event.

Booze leads the list of industries banking on the buzzy event, with big names like Ciroc, Smirnoff, Dussé, and Modelo among the 8 Alcohol category sponsors. Meanwhile, Cannabis/CBD & Accessories takes the second spot, with 5 brands–KaliBloom, Backwoods, Diet Smoke, The Flowery, and Tree O’five–taking advantage of the festival’s location and audience opportunities.

The Media & Entertainment companies bringing the festival to life–like Snapchat, Twitch, Spotify, Verizon, and HBO Max–rank third on the industry list, followed by Cryptocurrency & NFT in fourth, with Zelus and Gutter Cat Gang leading the way. Sponsors in the Financial Services category–a leading endorser of music-related events–include Venmo and Dave. 

Rolling Loud Miami’s three headliners–Kid Cudi, Kendrick Lamar, and Future–count some heavy hitters among their own endorsement deals. While their portfolios might appear small, their partners prove otherwise.

Kid Cudi’s partnerships, McDonald’s and Cadillac, activate heavily across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. He also headlines “Camp McDonald’s,” a first-of-its-kind, in-app virtual summer camp that launched July 5th, offering food deals and exclusive virtual concerts every Sunday through the month. While Kid Cudi trails Kendrick Lamar and Future by number of social media followers (16.1 million), he leads across all engagement metrics–total (607,224), per brand (303,612), and per post (101,204)–with an engagement rate of 2.7%. 

With 38.1 million followers on social media (Facebook, Instagram & Twitter), Future has built an impressive sponsorship stable, including Hugo Boss and Samsung (a joint #BeYourOwnBoss partnership with both brands in early 2022), Porsche, and Bethesda Softworks. Future remixed the theme song for Bethesda Softworks’ PS5 game “Deathloop” (released last September), which was promoted on Twitter.

Hot on Future’s heels with 37.4 million followers is Kendrick Lamar, who featured in Pepsi’s SuperBowl halftime show commercial, “The Call,” along with Eminem, Snoop Dogg, and Dr. Dre, among other artists. Notably, despite his 11.5 million Instagram followers, Lamar has only 5 posts on the channel, none of which include brands.

 

Sponsor United x Governors Ball

Over the weekend SponsorUnited was on the ground at the 2022 Governors Ball at Citi Field. Some of the most unique brand activations take place during Music Festivals to leverage the energized fanbase. Tito’s, Goose Island, Bacardi, Coinbase, Dunkin’ & M&M’s activated throughout the festival, so which activations provided the most memorable experience for fans?

Tito’s Handmade Vodka: Tito’s “Party in the Shack”, where attendees could purchase Tito’s Handmade Vodka cocktails while charging their phones or taking photos in the photo booth. Attendees could also participate in activities to win branded sunglasses or bandanas.

Goose Island: Goose Island had a special photo booth opportunity with a bear to promote their own “beer hug” beer, along with some take home items like sunglasses.

Bacardi: Bacardi had their own sponsored club, with a couple activities where attendees could play pickleball, dance on the dance floor, a customized station for fans to personalize items with their on-site upcycling, along with a charging station.

Coinbase: Coinbase had an elevated space where attendees could scan the Coinbase QR code and set up their own Coinbase Wallet as well as take their own NFT profile picture which is then delivered via the app. (Nice way for brands to get fans to sign up for the app!) 

Dunkin’: Dunkin’ had a sponsored club/deck, attendees could enjoy a cup of coffee along with photo opportunities with their branded swinging bench and phone booth. Unique selfie stations if you will.

M&M’s: M&M’s had a sponsored music lounge where attendees received free small samples of M&M chocolate, and participated in a personality/vibe test.

Governors Ball

Festival season is in full swing and given the cancellation of many festivals due to Covid, artists and brands are ready to take center stage. The Governors Ball at Citi Field kicks off today with headliners Kid Cudi, Halsey and J.Cole. 

Cole & Kid Cudi both have a strong social following of over 15M however, shockingly enough J. Cole doesn’t have a single deal and Kid Cudi only has one (Cadillac since mid-2021). Halsey on the other hand has leveraged her social media presence of over 45M for her four endorsement deals- Verizon, Ipsy, Magnum Ice Cream & About-Face Beauty.

While the headliners are heavy in followers but light in terms of deals, Jack Harlow stands out amongst the artists having a staggering 140% increase in social followers YoY and brands have jumped on the opportunity to partner with the rising star. 

Although Harlow has seen a massive increase in social following due to his rising popularity, Harlow has consistently had 7-10 endorsements over the last three years. A few of his current deals include Sprite, Venmo, KFC, New Balance, & Verizon. 

Born in Kentucky, Harlow has stated in an Instagram post that he was going to be the biggest music artist ever to come out of Kentucky. Once he started to establish his dream, there was no better brand to partner with the rising KY star than KFC. As part of the partnership, Harlow’s face and name can be seen on KFC buckets and carryout bags. This is a unique collaboration that very few other artists have had the opportunity to do. Other artists with a unique QSR partnership within the last two years are Travis Scott x McDonald’s, Burger King x Nelly, Lil Huddy x Anitta.

Coachella | SponsorInsight

More than 20 brands joined music fans in California as Coachella is back in-person for the first time in 2 years. Many brands tied their deals back to unique campaigns or experiences at the festival. Along with attendees at the event held over two consecutive weekends, millions around the world saw some of their favorite artists hit the stage. Doja Cat, Megan Thee Stallion and Billie Eilish were on stage which was made possible via livestream.

Many of the festival’s brand partners created unique experiences for fans in attendance & utilized technology to bring the experience to fans.

YouTube created a livestream during the festival’s first weekend on April 15-17. The Coachella live stream featured six creators operating out of the YouTube shorts documenting their festival experience. Fans were also able to live chat on the stream as well as have access to exclusive merchandise from artists via YouTube shopping.

Lay’s, in person at Coachella, debuted their Potatodomes experience across the festival grounds. Potatodomes included art, sampling room and a four-course tasting experience.

BMW had a #RoadToCoachella campaign featuring original content from Doja Cat. Within this partnership, Doja Cat designed a custom wrap with Coachella branding on the BMW iX vehicle.

Cryptocurrency brand, FTX created an NFT named the “Coachella Keys Collection”. The NFT was a promotion that included 10 one-of-one NFTs that grant lifetime festival access and VIP on-site experiences for Coachella. It also granted front row access to the Coachella Stage, onstage access at the Sahara Tent, and dinner by a celebrity chef.

Coachella 2022

SXSW 2022 | Music Endorsements

SXSW Endorsements

Billboard and Samsung Galaxy will host three nights of concerts during SXSW 2022.

We highlight the endorsement deals from 4 of the biggest performers at the event: KYGO, Shawn Mendes, Young Thug, and Sebastian Yatra.

Dua Lipa Brings Truly on Tour

The Dua Lipa Future Nostalgia Tour started early February in Miami at FTX Arena and the global tour will end November 3rd in New Zealand. One brand getting tons of exposure during this tour is Truly Hard Seltzer as they are the presenting sponsor for her live stream concert “Truly Inspired.” After the first few concerts through February, Truly not only is the presenting sponsor of the digital concert but has been seen at the concert with massive LED branding in the arenas that says “Fresh Seafood & Cocktails, Yours Truly.” 

Truly and Dua Lipa signed a partnership in May of 2021 where she was the star of their new campaign at the time, “No One is Just One Flavor.” Since then, Dua Lipa has been in commercials for Truly as well as consistently posting on social media while tagging the brand.

The global superstar also has endorsement deals with Versace and Taco Bell. Dua Lipa was seen in a campaign dressed up with a Versace bag as well as starring on the runway during a fashion show for the brand as well as being the face for the brand on billboards wearing items with the logo. In her partnership with Taco Bell, Lipa can be seen in a commercial during the Super Bowl in 2022. 

Among all Pop Music Artists, Lipa is ranked #18 in total social following with over 104 million followers while growing 30% year-over-year. Compared to the top five pop music artists ranked by social following, Dua Lipa ranks second in highest average engagement rate per branded post with a 1.82%, just behind Selena Gomez who has a 2.65% avg. engagement.