Endorsement levels

brady

Platinum Member
With all the talk of endorsements and rumors about how they work, I was wondering what a typical drummer gets from a typical company with each endorsement level.

I'm not fishing for one (absolutely do not deserve one) and am tired of seeing the endorsement question thread all the time (yes, I appreciate the irony of starting one myself...)

A friend of mine is endorsed by Paiste. He doesn't appear on the website roster but he does get a discount on cymbals. I'm not sure what it is though. If there are several tiers to the endorsement "package", he's probably on the low end. He gets a deal on cymbals but they probably wouldn't provide top of the line international support.

At any rate, what does a typical Tier 1 drummer get that's more than a Tier 2 or Tier 3 and so on? A better discount? A clinic schedule? Etc.?
 

EarthRocker

Senior Member
A lot of things determine what the drummer gets at any tier. Some smaller companies will only give top drummers a small discount, where others will give top drummers free gear based on how much the company produces, how many employees they have, etc.

Most companies who are endorsed by a "Tier 3" drummers as you said, the drummers get a very small discount, sometimes none at all. They may get their name on an artist roster, and nothing more.

I 'Endorsed' Soultone cymbals for two years. They listed their cymbals at full retail value, and then their "Endorsers" got a 70% discount. So when I ordered a ride they listed as 500+ dollars, I paid almost 200$ for it. I bailed out of that deal because their service turned to crap, they were endorsed by anyone who signed up and bought a cymbal, and for what I paid for their cymbals, I could use Sabian, Zildjian, whatever. Under their endorsement contract, I was bound to them.

Tier 2 drummers usually get a 50% discount or more. It just greatly varies from company to company. But even if you get NO discount or no free gear, an endorsement will give you access to things the general public can't. Like when I was with Soultone, I could order prototype cymbals that weren't available to the public. If you endorse a stick company, you might be able to buy sticks and have them shipped directly from the factory, versus going through the middle man and having to deal with taxes and such. All endorsements have perks, rather you get a free ride or discount on gear or not.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I don't think there are standards per se.

I do know some companies have a formal tier system, but I don't know if all do.

And regardless of tier, many things are still on a case by case basis.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
With all the talk of endorsements and rumors about how they work, I was wondering what a typical drummer gets from a typical company with each endorsement level.
Typical is a very broad concept, and highly subjective. But one rule does apply to all companies that accept endorsements: the artist's level of exposure governs the amount of consideration he can expect.

A-level artists usually get the most consideration: the deepest discount or comped gear. B-level artists also gets a nice discount.

Check out my FAQ at www.bermudaschwartz.com/endorsement for more details.

Bermuda
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
I endorsed a stick company and got a real good deal on them, and good service.
I had my pic on the web site, and the different band names, but that was about it.

I didn't push, or ask for any real "publicity" because I'm not in any touring situation, and most people that would see the bands aren't gonna care what sticks I use anyway. I never even had my name (or band names) printed on the sticks, although it was offered to me for free.

I just really liked the sticks, the fact that I could get EXACTLY what I wanted, and their durability is top notch. I was on the roster for almost 5 years, actually starting with the company before it became the last incarnation.
The company is defunct now, but the site is still up.
The sticks don't really break on me at all (maybe 2 sticks have broken, rather than worn out), and I have about 40-45 pair left, so I am pretty much set for a while :)

It's too bad they had a falling out, their product was great, their business (then personal) relationship was bad.

The discounts I get from the shop are very good (been going there for 30+ years).
Seems that I am getting mid/higher level endorser prices on everything I buy (heads, hardware, cymbals, parts). I won't say the actual %'s off. Not bragging, it just doesn't seem cool to do that.
 

brady

Platinum Member
Typical is a very broad concept, and highly subjective. But one rule does apply to all companies that accept endorsements: the artist's level of exposure governs the amount of consideration he can expect.

A-level artists usually get the most consideration: the deepest discount or comped gear. B-level artists also gets a nice discount.

Check out my FAQ at www.bermudaschwartz.com/endorsement for more details.

Bermuda
That was actually my first stop. :)

I just wondered if there was a cut and dry "A-Level" perks, "B-Level" perks, and so on.

And how much artist/company involvement is there at differenet levels? For instance, when Evans was field testing the Level 360 design, would they give a few samples to A-listers only? Or would anyone in the Evans camp get to participate?
 

PQleyR

Platinum Member
I think it will vary from company to company, and also between distributors in different countries since they have some level of jurisdiction over the process.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
That was actually my first stop. :)

I just wondered if there was a cut and dry "A-Level" perks, "B-Level" perks, and so on.

And how much artist/company involvement is there at differenet levels? For instance, when Evans was field testing the Level 360 design, would they give a few samples to A-listers only? Or would anyone in the Evans camp get to participate?
Each company is different, and it's not unusual for artists to be involved in a little R&D. Those artists aren't necessarily the top guys, it's more about who's more meticulous about sound, who can be trusted to be objective, who understands the concept of product-testing (and won't just say "Yeah, great!" simply because they were sent free stuff) and who'll actually reply at all. For example, Ludwig is more inclined to ask me about something than to try and get Ringo or Alex to respond.

With Evans, I did get to try the "new" EC2 heads, which they sent in advance because I really liked the original foil EC2s. They probably didn't send them to artists who'd never ordered an EC2 before.

Bermuda
 

Living Dead Drummer

Platinum Member
It's always up to the companies and what they are willing to help with.
Sometimes it's up to budget, or even the time of year.

Yamaha has always been good about getting artists involved with R & D, I attended a cocktail party just last week for that reason. They wanted to show off what they have planned for NAMM this year and wanted use to test drive it and give feedback. Not of a lot of "A listers" at these kinds of things. mostly guys who are out in the tranches, like myself.
 

DannyMeazell

Junior Member
My first endorsement deal I was approached by the owner of the company. It was a hand made turkish cymbal company who made incredible cymbals. They traded their highest quality cymbals for my old cymbals so they were free in a sense!. I bought one $450 24" un-lathed hammered ride cymbal outright for $80. I still use those cymbals. My favorite 18" is Cracked. I am working on having 2' holes drilled around it to save it. My second endorsement was Axis Bass drum pedals. I just told them what I wanted and they sent it. I have a good buddy who has a DW endorsement. He gets MEGA discounts.I was offered a drum endorsement, but am really glad I didn't get it. I would be using them instead of DWs, and I cannot see myself happy with anything else.
 

Coelacanth

Member
I think it's good to mention that there are representatives of various custom drum manufacturers who approach...shall we say...newbie band drummers with offers of endorsement deals on drum kits, and totally play on the drummer's ego...and the drummer ends up buying a "custom" drum kit, but ends up WAY over-paying for a kit that's decent, but nothing more than decent...and inferior to the high-end brand-name kits, for a much higher price.

I have heard that Truth and Shine and Trick all use that sales ploy.
 
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