I went to Glastonbury and all I got was this crappy T-shirt 1st July, 2013

As another Glastonbury passes, it makes me think of all of  the sponsorship activity that will be taking place over the next couple of months.  While much of it still remains the same (or the same but packaged up in a different box), I have noticed a shift into better commercialisation by the rights owner and more tailored sponsorship activation by brands compared to last year.

One area that is undeniably a huge commercial opportunity for festivals is merchandise and licensing.  This is a completely untapped market and one that is bountiful.  Although no ‘Hard Rock Cafe’, the festival ‘brand’ is growing through social engagement and digital interaction.  The offshoot benefit of a larger audience is the commercial potential through new revenue streams.

For such a global, well-respected and creatively-driven festival, I was surprised this wasn’t reflected in their merchandise choices  (found here).  Although, their approach is not dissimilar to many of the other UK festivals, highlighting that their resource allocations are based predominantly on core revenues of ticketing, pouring rights, and sponsorship.  It still is surprising that the pinnacle of the UK festival experience, Glastonbury, hasn’t taken the time to create truly memorable merchandise to combine with the memorable experiences of the festival.

Which leads me on to how smaller musical festivals can be a much better sponsorship platform to create brand experiences and conversations due to their drive of innovation and flexibility.  One of our clients Outlook Festival recently launched their Outlook X Majestic Athletic Varsity Jackets this year in collaboration with festival sponsor Majestic (check them out here).  Used for Outlook Festival competition giveaways, special VIPs, and of course for purchase – this limited edition jacket something you’d actually purchase – and something I’d much rather walk away with compared to the Glastonbury coffee mug.

Some of Slingshot Sponsorship’s key tips for creating merchandise partnerships with music festivals:

  1. Think of your audience and what they want to buy
  2. Create something completely unique
  3. Allow for creative input from all parties and, when appropriate, your festival go-ers
  4. Think big