The Music Biz 2018 conference delved into artist and brand management during a panel discussion on Wednesday (May 16), as industry execs examined the newly-minted partnership between Durango boots and Tyler Farr. Paul Jankowski of New Heartland Group moderated the panel of VP & GM for Durango, Mike Fuller, and John Zarling, the EVP, Marketing & New Business at Sony Music Nashville.
Developing the Partnership
“For [Durango], Tyler just fits the brand’s persona so well. He lives the lifestyle, he hunts, he is a western-influenced guy and he relates really well with our customer base. We had an opportunity to elevate both brands,” Fuller said.
Zarling echoed, “When you have an artist and a brand that so naturally tie together where it is already a part of [Farr’s] everyday life, it is a really easy discussion to say ‘Do you want to be involved in a deeper way?’. I think the music part took it to another level.”
Jankowski added, “When we are approached by brands to find artists, there are several criteria we look at. Number one is ‘What is their social influence, and how do we leverage their influence?’ Key take away two: for both parties in this deal, it brought them into non-traditional space. Durango to music and Tyler to 150 boot/western stores. Number three is measurability and that is through sales.”
Farr recently released an exclusive five-song EP presented by Durango. It features three of Farr’s previous No. 1 hits and two new tracks. The CD is a free gift with purchase(GWP) both online and in-store through May 31.
“From a label side anytime we look at partnerships,” Zarling commented, “we certainly want music, if not front and center to the marketing campaign. This [CD] serves as a great bridge between projects for Tyler where the two tracks that had not been released will be on his upcoming full length [album]. For us, it was a great way to seed interests into the next record. You have to be living under a rock to realize that the opportunity for exposing [CDs] is going away. When we have a partner like Durango that can get us into non-traditional places across their network, it’s appealing. Especially in country, we do still have a fanbase that is buying physical.”
Structure of the Deal
Going further than the CD, Fuller goes into detail about their role in the partnership. “We have a landing page devoted to Tyler Farr,” says Fuller. “We created a back-end merchandising store for Tyler called, Tyler’s Picks. What is key about that is a revenue-based share for Tyler on what he sells through the website. We are utilizing his Facebook page and cross-marketing that with ours. This whole thing creates an emotional connection with our consumers and that is the goal.”
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