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Gear Sponsorships??

Strat O Matic

Member
Messages
563
I'm just curious to know if anyone had any input on how someone would go about getting a gear sponsorship? I know there are a lot of killer players on here so I'm sure that some of you have experience with this.

I could have sworn I saw an article on here about sponsorships once but I had no luck searching for it.

Any how basic questions would be what would you send to a company? What do companies look for/expect from you? Do you actually get free gear or is it mainly just discounted? I'm just looking to learn what I can so anything you can share on the topic I'm interested in. Thanks
 

TravisE

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,536
It all depends on the company. You need to speak with their artist relations person. They're going to expect that you, at least, have a good following and play a lot of shows. I doubt a cover band is really what they're looking for - even if you play a lot. Also, the list in your sig is already advertising for the companies that you play. Why would they give you freebies? ;)
 

Strat O Matic

Member
Messages
563
It all depends on the company. You need to speak with their artist relations person. They're going to expect that you, at least, have a good following and play a lot of shows. I doubt a cover band is really what they're looking for - even if you play a lot. Also, the list in your sig is already advertising for the companies that you play. Why would they give you freebies? ;)
I'm not really expecting to get a sponsorship myself, I know there are plenty of much better guitar players that have much more experience then I do. I was more so just curious how it all worked. I work in the music department at a church and the worship leader and I were talking about sponsorships. I was just looking to find out if anyone had experience and wouldn't mind sharing.
 

jrjones

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,208
More or less you contact the companies whose equipment you're interested in using. Every company has different artist relations programs. ZVex has none. Everyone either pays the price at the dealer or buys a used pedal. Wampler has signature pedals. Some companies have artists but no signature models. The endorsements I've had weren't free gear, but I got really good deals through the manufacturer because I could show that getting gear in my hands could generate revenue if their product is as good as we think it is by getting it in front of guitarists who would potentially buy gear.

With many companies there are different levels of endorsements, the local/regional level (decent discounts on gear), national touring level (maybe one or two free nice guitars, good deals on more, free or super cheap lower end guitars), then high profile (free anything). I guess you could liken it to cover band or local band regularly opening for big bands when they come to town might get some discounts, signed act on small tour opening might get one free LP standard, free epiphones and a pretty decent discount on actual Gibsons, but still have to pay, and Zakk Wylde gets whatever he asks for because he was the d00d for Ozzy for years.

Really, the most important thing to remember is this - if you don't ask you can't be told no and just because one company says no doesn't mean the next will. Present yourself realistically, be honest about what you're doing, be a cool guy don't sell yourself short, by any means, but if you're playing to a crowd of 25 people saying "we play to a packed house every week" when it's your buddy's garage and a bunch of friends who feel obligated to be there and don't feel like they can tell you your band sucks is not being honest and you want to build a relationship with your artist relations guy.

Edit to add - the reason companies give endorsements is because they believe it will boost sales. Why does Gibson give Zakk Wylde guitars? Because he plays in front of a lot of people and they see the Gibson name on the headstock and its in their mind everytime you think of guitars, much like Clapton with strats, tremonti with prs, etc. If you're going to pursue endorsements, make sure you can show that you will get the gear in front of people to boost sales.
 

germs

Member
Messages
5,963
yep, sponsorships/endorsements at the local and regional level are typically wholesale prices. maybe a little more.

BUT, the AR people are going to look HARD at what you're doing and what your reach is with the band. how will this company benefit from putting an instrument in your hands? that's the question you need to be able to answer in a positive manner.

re: cover bands. quite a few larger cover bands in my area have had a sponsor of some sort. but those are the bands playing festival crowds etc.

sometimes, it's better to start with a local alcohol distributor (they have AMAZING sponsorships) since most of us are playing where alcohol is sold. it's a way to get your foot in the door, so long as you have a good product to sell - it can lead to bigger things and looks good on a resume.
 

smithguitars

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
987
You could also check your local guitar mart. they may give you a discount if you make them your go to shop and talk about it at your venue (yes even ones with Steeples). I have had local music stores sponsor events with free gear, but not weekly services.
 




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