Looking to become an endorsing artist

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by BassmanI, Feb 2, 2014.


  1. BassmanI

    BassmanI

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2012
    Location:
    West End of the Erie Canal
    I fell in love with D'Addario products a couple of years ago first with the Helicore hybrids and then with the XL Nickels as well. I have a contact with D'Addario to get the process started. So, any idea as to what I need to do and what happens next?
  2. lowfreq33

    lowfreq33

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Location:
    Nashville
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    Do you have a high enough profile that they would benefit from associating with you?
  3. tplyons

    tplyons

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2003
    Location:
    Madison, NJ
    By writing this thread, you are endorsing them. That doesn't mean they'll recognize you as one of their artists and probably won't be sending you free gear.
  4. BassmanI

    BassmanI

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2012
    Location:
    West End of the Erie Canal
    That's the $64,000 question I'm concerned about. My sphere of influence does not extend far beyond the Buffalo, New York area.
  5. BassmanI

    BassmanI

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2012
    Location:
    West End of the Erie Canal
    I really don't care about the freebies (although it would be nice for my Helicore strings), but I just love the product that much. I had a HS bandmate who works for D'Addario now so I figured, "what the hell, the worse that could happen is they say no".
  6. SunnBass

    SunnBass All these blankets saved my life. Supporting Member

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    Aug 31, 2010
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    Location:
    Columbia, Mo
    Your friend is gonna know more than we do...
  7. BassmanI

    BassmanI

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2012
    Location:
    West End of the Erie Canal
    Yeah, I believe him being an insider he'd understand the process more thoroughly.
  8. punkjazzben

    punkjazzben

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Location:
    Australia
    Do you play in an originals band? Is there a possibility of being able to mention the brand in CD covers, Facebook, YouTube, etc.? Basically, do you have opportunities to plug the product to a receptive audience? Even if it's your own solo YouTube videos, you need to demonstrate that you can provide exposure.

    I know a guy who's in a band who has maybe, at best, 3000 Facebook followers and rarely gigs outside of the same 200km area, let along interstate. They certainly don't have a national profile. But, over the years he made a point of getting lots of photos in newspapers, CDs, internet, and so on that show him with his acoustic guitar, and specifically with a good view of the headstock. He put together a bit of a portfolio and explained to the company that he's being giving them free advertising for years. They offered to give him their guitars for half-price and they built him a sweet custom Tele. I should say that the company was a local Australian brand.

    So, endorsements can work on a smaller scale. A big company like D'Addario might be a stretch unless you have a national, even international profile, and people listen to your opinion.
  9. BassmanI

    BassmanI

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2012
    Location:
    West End of the Erie Canal
    My genres are primarily jazz and R&B. I work in two big bands, a quartet, and an R&B cover/originals group. But the work is pretty steady.
  10. scotch

    scotch Will play bass for fish tacos. Plus cash. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2006
    Location:
    Nashville, TN USA
    Disclosures:
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    BassmanI, as stated earlier - you just did endorse D'Addario! And I know they appreciate customer enthusiasm, it's a great company with an incredible product line!

    A lot of folks get confused abut 'endorsement' deals: it's important to recognize that typically the musician endorses the company/product. By letting people know how much you like the product, you are in effect endorsing it! Going further, sometimes, a company will offer an artist/musician some sort of compensation (usually in the form of discounted products, very, very rarely actual financial compensation) for publicly endorsing their products. This is a portion of that companies advertising budget! So, if the company sees an opportunity to 'spread the word' via an end-user they may offer you something. They do have to consider what the possible return on that investment is, however. Nobody benefits by just giving stuff away to enthusiastic customers!

    It used to be that artists and musicians really needed a major national/international record deal with distribution and an active touring calendar to secure endorsement compensation. That has changed somewhat in recent years due to the rise in popularity/influence of independent artists, as well as considerations of the internet, social media and youtube/self-broadcasting, etc. So, these days, an active musician/blogger/music writer like Ed Friedland (for instance), while not necessarily being signed to some great international record deal still presents a visibility and trust that influences purchases. I would expect someone like that to be attractive to manufacturers to secure an endorsement deal!

    In my own case (I've been an endorsing D'Addario artist for years..): an active touring schedule with a variety of artists, session work, international touring and television/radio appearances, blogging & web presence and involvement in the Nashville music scene helping people make gear choices, repairs, etc I believe has made my own endorsement relationship valuable. I also test new products in stage and studio environments and communicate regularly with the company.

    Consider what sphere of influence you have & then submit that to artist relations (almost every music manufacturers website has a link or contact info). Like you said, all they can do is pass!
  11. BassmanI

    BassmanI

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    Feb 23, 2012
    Location:
    West End of the Erie Canal
    Thanks for the inside poop. I've already made one convert to the Helicores and am in the process of doing another.
  12. bigfatbass

    bigfatbass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2003
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Karl Hoyt Basses
    I had a deal with Trace Elliot for years when I was teaching at the National Guitar Workshop. The things they always wanted to know most is how much and where was I playing, studio/publishing credits, and was I still a clinic guy. As long as I was answering yes to the above, I got strings at well below wholesale cost and big discounts on gear. Within 3 weeks of leaving my gig with the workshop to play full time with Los Blancos, they dropped me. No warning, no explanation, and even though I was looking at 200 shows a year from Syracuse to Colorado. Years of BS cover bands and pizza jobs, but I taught at NGW, and that was good enough. Go on the road full time, and get written up in Vintage Guitar and The Gambit in New Orleans and Trace Elliot says...meh.

    In other words, pitch yourself from the point of view of how many people can I impact for the company? A full slate of students for private lessons is also a plus to the gear companies. That is all they care about, unless you are a label supported artist.
  13. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2009
    How many strings can you sell for them?

    A handful, or a boat load?

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