Live Music Sponsorships Still Rising

In what may be a glimmer of hope for despondent concert industry execs, sponsorship spending on the live music business is expected to rise to $754 million in 2005 – up 8.5 percent from $695 million in 2004 – according to trade publication IEG Sponsorship Report.

Concert series, tours and venues are receiving increasing attention from a variety of sectors, the report said, including the restaurant, automobile, alcohol, personal care, telecommunications and gaming industries.

The dot-com resurgence has made its way into live music sponsorship as well, with sites including eBay and MySpace partnering in major venues and tours.

“Perhaps more than ever before, corporate America recognizes the power of music marketing,” IEG Sponsorship Report Senior Editor William Chipps said. “It’s often the most effective way to break through the clutter and reach the youth market on an emotional level.”

Chipps also cited increasing corporate interest in Latino acts, including Verizon’s sponsorship of Alejandro Sanz.

“Sponsorship of high-profile Hispanic artists is typically considerably less expensive than a tie to a similar mass-market artist,” he said. “That is very appealing to marketers because it frees up funds that can be used to activate deals.”

Last year, Chipps predicted – with uncanny accuracy, according to IEG‘s latest figures – that sponsorship spending on the industry would increase 21 percent to $695 million in 2004, up from $575 million in 2003.