Endorsements backwards?

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
Re: Endorsements retarded?

I get discounts based on volume (repeat business.) I don't expect a store to do anything because I'm a drummer or chose the arts as a career. It's not their responsibility to support the arts or artists.

But by the same token if you go into a shop you've never been in and the sales person says "Cool! You play w/Weird Al." then only charges you 10 over and asks you to autograph a drumhead, you're not going to say "Hey man Im cool, I'll pay the sticker price, don't cut me a deal b/c you think Im somebody." you won't turn down the discount.

If ZILDJIAN/other companies want to give away free stuff, its their right. No artist rich, or poor is going to turn down free gear... myself included.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Re: Endorsements retarded?

Ah yes, the American Dream. How’s that working out for everybody these days?
Well not 'everybody' can do it. But actually opportunity in music and arts in general is greater than ever given internet exposure. You don;t need big bucks to go in a studio anymore, hell you don;t even need a studio to get notice. The thing is more folks are out there doing it.

Besides.... many don't live in America and so are unauthorized to subscribe to it, lol
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Re: Endorsements retarded?

Not their responsibility, it’s true, but it’s absolutely in the interests of retail music shops to support both arts and artists. (If the art fades, so does their business.)
There's a certain amount of support from retailers, but the foundation lies in gaining more business, not because they have kind hearts.

Same goes for the manufacturers. I mean, that’s why endorsement deals exist, right?
Wrong. My career path would be exactly the same without any of my endorsements, and I believe I'd be using most or all of the same brands I do now.

Further, my sanity might be improved, because I wouldn't be compelled to explain the endorsement process every time it comes up in forums! But, I also thought that posting an endorsement FAQ back in 1997 would curtail the repeat questions, but I was mistaken. :)

Bermuda
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Re: Endorsements retarded?

But by the same token if you go into a shop you've never been in and the sales person says "Cool! You play w/Weird Al." ...
Well, that would have to happen first. The clerk would have to be a major Al fan to know me on sight, I'm just not that recognizable. It's not unusual to be asked 1) are you a drummer? or 2) are you looking for something for your child?

Whatever, in the end, my money's apparently good either way!

Bermuda
 

Formless Method

Senior Member
So you expect them to give you free or cheap priced stuff on the possibility that you might make it big? BWAHAHAHAHAHaHAHAHSHAHAHAHAHA, no really this is lunacy :)
 

topgun2021

Gold Member
Re: Endorsements retarded?

It's not unusual to be asked 1) are you a drummer? or 2) are you looking for something for your child?
Please tell me you have answered no twice when both questions were asked:

Clerk - "Are you a drummer?"
Bermuda - "No."
Clerk - "Buying for your kid then?"
Bermuda - "No, I'll take those cymbals please."

Side note: Do you even purchase things you gig with at music stores, or just stuff to build up your that you use?
 
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Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Re: Endorsements retarded?

Do you think a big company buying new personal computers pays what you or I would if we walked into a retail shop? No way!
The comparison here doesn't weigh up at all. Walk in there and buy a couple of hundred, or even a couple of thousand.......with an ongoing service and maintenance relationship thrown in as well.....and I reckon you would.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Side note: Do you even purchase things you gig with at music stores, or just stuff to build up your that you use?
I buy a LOT of stuff at retail, including things that I need onstage. Sometimes it's for a bandmate (maracas, tambourines, an amp riser...) And I buy stuff that ends up getting used once or twice, or sometimes goes straight into storage. In the past 5 years alone I spent well over $50k on equipment, and that's separate from endorsements. Yes, the music stores like me. :)

Bermuda
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
Re: Endorsements retarded?

Hmmm. Extensive experience, personal and otherwise, seems to indicate the exact opposite.
Interesting. In my day job life I'm usually astounded at what the company pays for business travel. Some of this is for the ability to make last minute changes, so they pay premium. But it's really easy to beat the pants off of corporate rates with Expedia or Priceline for my own travel. A couple of companies I've been at have even jettisoned their corporate travel agents and put the onus on the employees to find more economical arrangements. And if some manager in the approval chain thinks the cost could be bettered, they kick it back down to the employee to come up with something cheaper.

But to the point of large corporate purchases like computers, it is an economy of scale thing. If you are a large school district and want to order 500 trumpets for your band programs (not that this is done any more but I used to work in a music store and occasionally helped out the guy who called on the schools) then you can negotiate a lower price than someone coming in off the street to buy just one.
 

wombat

Senior Member
There is a premise flaw here...ie that the "Rich " get the endorsements

err no not nescessarily.... in any situation its a person with a high profile or "like" value for a particular companies product demographic that gets an endorsement.... nothing to do with the persons wealth.

For instance companies will sometimes give "not for profit" charities "endorsement" because of the good will a company can get being associated with a popular "cause".

As far as drumming goes a well known drummer is not nessesarily rich. A number of drummers are paid on a sessional basis rather than getting paid a percentage of "income and royalties"

Brian Bennett of the shadows was an example...though the Shadows were well know he was paid sessionally and so he had a high public profile, but lived in a modest flat and drove a Ford prefect for much of the bands "halcyion days"

I can well imagine a drummer in that situation welcoming every discount they can get.

Im sure if an up and commer was able to draw public interest to their drums and have a high profile they might get "sponsored".

As far as the cost for the average punter...economic theory says that a product is only worth what people are willing to pay for it. It can be the best product in the world, but if noone wants to buy it the price is too high....then the price either drops or the product stops...it can be a shit product but if its desirable people will pay over the odds for it.

For example sports shoes are sold for way more than their manufacture cost..... but if Feferer plays tennis wearing X brand...the price the company can charge is higher.

As far as companies are concerned its about maximum product "reach' and desirability by association...that way they can sel more and at a higher price !!

Giving low cost or free gear to an up and commer may get that players gratitude and loyalty.... and that persons friends and followers...... but it may also "cheapen" the companis general image.... as the product looses its Aura of being something to aspire too..

just my thoughts
 

davelan

Member
Artists are a manufacturer's shop window and anyone with a high profile who isn't getting their gear supplied gratis in recognition of the exposure they provide is missing a simple trick (free market capitalism wasn't my idea, by the way, but it looks like we're stuck with it). In the case of the artist, an honest endorsement (i.e. one motivated by a genuine preference for the brand, resulting in it being their implicit recommendation) is probably little more than a happy accident - they were a regular customer anyway - but their popularity is inevitably going to result in the brand acquiring a certain status with the artist's fans/wannabes and so manufacturers see the value in putting something their way to keep them onside. The bigger the artist, the higher their commercial value, the better the returns, the bigger the investment: If they're highly respected in the right constituencies, maybe even get them in to work on the product at some point - everyone's a winner.

'Why should those who can afford it get it for free?' is a reasonable enough question but then so is 'Why should those who showcase our wares in a positive light and bring customers to our door get in line and cough up like everyone else?' What is resolutely not a reasonable question, however, is 'Why doesn't this or that profit-making enterprise court consumers who can't afford or resent paying the ticket price instead of cosying up to those who convince Joe Public that the product is worth saving up for?'.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Artists are a manufacturer's shop window and anyone with a high profile who isn't getting their gear supplied gratis in recognition of the exposure they provide is missing a simple trick
There was certainly a time when a lot of product - not all of it however - was comped to artists with a desirable level of exposure. The industry in general and the economy in particular have forced manufacturers to tighten their marketing and artist budgets, and there's not a lot of free product going out these days. Well, not nearly as much as in the past. Getting gratis gear is no longer the simple trick it once might have seemed.

Obviously such agreements depend on the manufacturer, the product in question, and the artist. Some artists will always get free gear even from companies that claim they don't do that. Some artists will always pay. Sometimes a company's finances change, or the artist's status changes, and deals are often modified both up and down as deemed necessary or appropriate.

Drummers you'd swear were getting comped have to pay, and others you'd think aren't big enough are getting a free ride. That's why I never discuss the terms of my agreements. The responses I'd get are "What?! You're getting free gear?!" or "What?! You're not getting free gear?!" I'm not really interested in having to justify either scenario. :)

Bermuda
 

Red Menace

Platinum Member
Re: Endorsements retarded?

Well, that would have to happen first. The clerk would have to be a major Al fan to know me on sight, I'm just not that recognizable. It's not unusual to be asked 1) are you a drummer? or 2) are you looking for something for your child?
How about "I loved you in Princess Bride!"
 
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Casper "DrPowerStroke" Paludan

Guest
Re: Endorsements retarded?

...One time, I bought a new ride cymbal for 300 dollars when I only made $550 a month. My excuse was that it was February, which is a short month.
....
You made my day with this comment, thank you :)

Casper
 
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Casper "DrPowerStroke" Paludan

Guest
Very simple - comped product is the consideration (payment) for the company using the artists name & likeness.

My FAQ referred to in another post is at www.bermudaschwartz.com/endorsement

Bermuda
Just bumping this very interesting article. I m happy we have such an articulate star drummer as you who takes time to share your experience with us. Truly valuable.

I think you should post for free.

Or am I the only one who pays .50$ every time???

Cheers,
Casper
 

davelan

Member
... Drummers you'd swear were getting comped have to pay, and others you'd think aren't big enough are getting a free ride. That's why I never discuss the terms of my agreements. The responses I'd get are "What?! You're getting free gear?!" or "What?! You're not getting free gear?!" I'm not really interested in having to justify either scenario. :)

Bermuda
Yeah: presumably it all hangs on a range of factors (although I'm guessing the clues as to who's getting a higher level of support are there in company literature, recording credits, etc.) - and you're quite right: any arrangement like this is between the artist and the supplier and ought to remain that way.
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
I'm not sure if it's still going on, but some of the young gospel chops drummers like Thomas Pridgen and Tony Royster were getting endorsements at very young ages and before they had major tours. But they had exposure though the internet and a buzz that made people want to know about them and what gear they played. They might have been doing local broke-ass van tours but the drum companies sought them out because their notoriety was greater than some folks doing mid level national tours. I suspect there are some metal youtube kids who are getting enough notice to attract A&R attention. Again, it has nothing to do with how "rich" they are or are not. It has to do with how much of a following they have and whether a company wants to market to that following.
 
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