How to get endorced by a simble company's?

Mustion

Senior Member
KIDDING!

I've read enough of those "omg I just got endorsed!!1!" threads to be entertained and intrigued by this arguably predatory marketing strategy by these boutiques. But what I do wonder is: how many of those who have an "endorsement deal" with one of these companies, actually continued to endorse said brand long enough to continue buying cymbals (or drums, whatever) after the first full set purchase?

Back in the day, what we knew as endorsers stuck with a brand long enough and were so strongly identified with them to the degree that it was a big deal when they "made the jump" to a competitor, and those guys got a good bit more than the opportunity to buy a whole set of cymbals at-cost and have their name at the bottom of some big list on a website...
 

BertTheDrummer

Gold Member
KIDDING!

I've read enough of those "omg I just got endorsed!!1!" threads to be entertained and intrigued by this arguably predatory marketing strategy by these boutiques. But what I do wonder is: how many of those who have an "endorsement deal" with one of these companies, actually continued to endorse said brand long enough to continue buying cymbals (or drums, whatever) after the first full set purchase?

Back in the day, what we knew as endorsers stuck with a brand long enough and were so strongly identified with them to the degree that it was a big deal when they "made the jump" to a competitor, and those guys got a good bit more than the opportunity to buy a whole set of cymbals at-cost and have their name at the bottom of some big list on a website...
Years ago when these types of things started to pop up and when I was in an actively touring band, drummers in smaller bands seemed to really eat these types of things up because they thought it made them look cool. Basically a lot of cymbal and drum companies that overinflated their prices and would offer "endorsement" deals to basically sell their stuff for what street price would normally be.

I guess it was/is a win/win though. Drummers that could never get an endorsement from a big 4 cymbal company or big name drum company could get an "endorsement" and feel like a big time drummer. The companies got to sell product and get free advertisement for nothing more than putting a picture and a name on a website.

I don't know if these things are quite as popular as they once were. I remember seeing a lot of drum kits and cymbals from companies put up for sale after a while too. You could find these "custom" companies up for sale dirt cheap after a while.

Edit: I intentionally left out brand names in this post in efforts to try and not offend anyone.
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
..Drummers that could never get an endorsement from a big 4 cymbal company or big name drum company could get an "endorsement" and feel like a big time drummer..

Which in my opinion, when being older than 20, is a little pathetic..

If an endorsement would mean that you can choose every now and then for free the gear that you want from a certain company, then i would understand..

But to actually still pay for all those products, even with a big discount, and then to shout to everyone who wants to listen that you have an endorsement, to me is pretty childish and not making much sense..
 

BertTheDrummer

Gold Member
But to actually still pay for all those products, even with a big discount, and then to shout to everyone who wants to listen that you have an endorsement, to me is pretty childish and not making much sense..
It is actually still quite a bit. For example, I forgot which company it was, but this guy I knew was trying to get me to sign on with a cymbal company he "endorsed." He talked about how cool it was and all that, I'm guessing he prob got a recruitment fee out of the whole deal which is why he was pushing so hard.

Anyway, turns out these cymbals with the "discount" were still going to cost as much if not more than going to buy Zildjians or Sabians off the shelf. That wasn't including the fact that I had to buy a certain amount from the company too. Anyway, not making any claims if the company produced quality or not, they were probably great cymbals. Just like a lot of those drum companies making custom keller shell kits and offering endorsements probably make good drums as well. That whole endorsement thing just wasn't for me.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
No, none of these guys were going to be long-term endorsers of these brands. Few if any of them had probably even played the cymbals before "endorsing" them. It was a straight-up sales gimmick playing on the desire of the young/new drummer to "have an endorsement" - even though, as Bermuda would point out, the drummer endorses the product and not the other way around.

I may never be on the artist roster of any of the brands I play, but I do endorse them.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
I've lost count of the number of emails I received (& still do) asking for some form of "deal". For many (mostly younger players) it's seen as a badge of honour - a validation of sorts. I get that to a degree, but so do predatory brand pushers, & that's a level of deception / exploitation I find very distasteful.

At the other end of the scale, you'd be surprised how many players of modest note walk around with an inflated sense of entitlement, & expect companies to scramble for the opportunity.

The reality is this - unless you have a significant player reputation &/or major act association, most companies aren't interested in offering anything approaching a fully supported package. Amongst most players at that level, so long as the product quality is acceptable, it's all about the support package / relationship + reciprocal exposure. There are exceptions, of course, but that's the general thrust of things.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Isn't Soultone the answer to this question :). I heard they were offering ANYBODY an endorsement at NAMM last year. Quick get me on a kite across the pond!

If you like a product that much wouldn't you just buy it anyway? You're more likely to get a deal from a company if you're already using their equipment. Otherwise you're begging for free stuff.

I don't get why people push their luck with the boutique builders and smaller cymbal companies. It's usually their living so asking someone to work their arse off for exposure is just rude. These kids might think exposure is a form of payment but sadly this way of payment hasn't made it to mortgage companies and utility providers.

A guy I went to uni with blagged a free kit from Premier, complete dick move. He told them some cock and bull story about who he was and who he played with. He was invited to the factory but obviously couldn't prove anything. They knew they'd been played

The only kind of 'deal' I have is for sticks with a company called Pellwood. They have a rep (Darren) who supplies most of the working drummers I know. I'd been using them for years and finally decided to get some custom sticks which was an extra £25 so they could put the design on the computer. Other than that the cost was exactly the same as before £72 for 16 pairs. I'd rather support these companies than get ripped off by Vic Firth/Pro-mark etc
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
At the other end of the scale, you'd be surprised how many players of modest note walk around with an inflated sense of entitlement, & expect companies to scramble for the opportunity.
This.

Working in drum shops for years, I met many who went from consumers buying gear to suddenly thinking they deserve an endorsement, just because.

And the internet has made it far worse, with some drummers finding/seeking fame without ever leaving their basement.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I don't get why people push their luck with the boutique builders and smaller cymbal companies.
I went with Pork Pie USA before they started making stuff overseas because back then (circa 2002) they were still sort of an off-the-beaten-path company at the time who was making incredible drums. I went to a dealer and quizzed them for well over an hour on them and what makes them different than everyone else at the time. I now own two sets, and I don't know if I could be happier with a drum set.

I spent really good money on a set of Heartbeat cymbals, but ONLY after I had the opportunity to play a set of them. After I played them, it was a very "I must have some of these ASAP" moment, and I've not had very many of them.

I also got an offer as an endorser from a small drum company that's based an hour from my home. While I do like these drums, they are really expensive and I simply don't need them. But you know what? If I had the money, I'd say why not? I think it would be really cool to have a voice in the R&D in a small company. It would be really cool to be playing out a lot all the while staying in touch with the builder, and having conversations about what works well and what doesn't, trying new things, etc. Maybe he could throw me a snare drum or floor tom to try out on a gig...not to keep, but to see how it does in real-world circumstances. If I really liked what I was hearing, maybe we could work out a deal for me to pay him at cost to keep it, but now he has info on something that could work to expand his business. I think it would be really cool to have that sort of relationship.

However, I'm not all that in favor of getting an endorsement like that's discussed above in other posts. I think it's sort of cheesy to get an "endorsement" with an instrument that will never leave a bedroom or a basement, where the company only benefits from the initial sale and any sort of relationship is non-existent.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I've lost count of the number of emails I received (& still do) asking for some form of "deal". For many (mostly younger players) it's seen as a badge of honour - a validation of sorts. I get that to a degree, but so do predatory brand pushers, & that's a level of deception / exploitation I find very distasteful.

At the other end of the scale, you'd be surprised how many players of modest note walk around with an inflated sense of entitlement, & expect companies to scramble for the opportunity.

The reality is this - unless you have a significant player reputation &/or major act association, most companies aren't interested in offering anything approaching a fully supported package. Amongst most players at that level, so long as the product quality is acceptable, it's all about the support package / relationship + reciprocal exposure. There are exceptions, of course, but that's the general thrust of things.
I'm still waiting for your return email. I really like GooRoo drums.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
I went with Pork Pie USA before they started making stuff overseas because back then (circa 2002) they were still sort of an off-the-beaten-path company at the time who was making incredible drums. I went to a dealer and quizzed them for well over an hour on them and what makes them different than everyone else at the time. I now own two sets, and I don't know if I could be happier with a drum set.

I spent really good money on a set of Heartbeat cymbals, but ONLY after I had the opportunity to play a set of them. After I played them, it was a very "I must have some of these ASAP" moment, and I've not had very many of them.

I also got an offer as an endorser from a small drum company that's based an hour from my home. While I do like these drums, they are really expensive and I simply don't need them. But you know what? If I had the money, I'd say why not? I think it would be really cool to have a voice in the R&D in a small company. It would be really cool to be playing out a lot all the while staying in touch with the builder, and having conversations about what works well and what doesn't, trying new things, etc. Maybe he could throw me a snare drum or floor tom to try out on a gig...not to keep, but to see how it does in real-world circumstances. If I really liked what I was hearing, maybe we could work out a deal for me to pay him at cost to keep it, but now he has info on something that could work to expand his business. I think it would be really cool to have that sort of relationship.

However, I'm not all that in favor of getting an endorsement like that's discussed above in other posts. I think it's sort of cheesy to get an "endorsement" with an instrument that will never leave a bedroom or a basement, where the company only benefits from the initial sale and any sort of relationship is non-existent.
Agree with all of that. Sadly with the youtube generation, free stuff is being given to bedroom players who have lots of subscribers so it gets a good review (not just drum stuff) but that opens up another argument!

I used to get my mates ex-endorsee kits when he'd grown tired of them. He was endorsed by a company called Richmo. The guy who built them designed the Premier Resonator. I still own one of these kits. I remember he used to get some weird and wonderful setups and snares to try. He didn't get the kits for free but got them at a heavily discounted price.

That was a cool time because he was endorsed by Meinl and Attack heads which weren't easy to get hold of in the UK before the internet took over.
 

BertTheDrummer

Gold Member
I also got an offer as an endorser from a small drum company that's based an hour from my home. While I do like these drums, they are really expensive and I simply don't need them. But you know what? If I had the money, I'd say why not? I think it would be really cool to have a voice in the R&D in a small company. It would be really cool to be playing out a lot all the while staying in touch with the builder, and having conversations about what works well and what doesn't, trying new things, etc. Maybe he could throw me a snare drum or floor tom to try out on a gig...not to keep, but to see how it does in real-world circumstances. If I really liked what I was hearing, maybe we could work out a deal for me to pay him at cost to keep it, but now he has info on something that could work to expand his business. I think it would be really cool to have that sort of relationship.
I've had one endorsement deal my whole life and it happened basically kinda like this. I bought a product from this company and liked it. I just sent in an email to the company, who turned out was just a 1 man operation, just saying how I had never heard of the company and I had used his product and thought it was great.

Anyway long story short, we emailed and talked on the phone a couple times and eventually he offered me an endorsement deal. No free stuff, but it would basically involved being able to buy at cost or like you said me being sent stuff to try out that he was working on or prototyping and I could either buy it at cost and keep it or send it back. My part would be to give him feedback (that he could use for his website or materials) and/or if I saw people asking questions on forums going on there to talk about the stuff.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
No, none of these guys were going to be long-term endorsers of these brands. Few if any of them had probably even played the cymbals before "endorsing" them. It was a straight-up sales gimmick playing on the desire of the young/new drummer to "have an endorsement" - even though, as Bermuda would point out, the drummer endorses the product and not the other way around.

I may never be on the artist roster of any of the brands I play, but I do endorse them.
Hahaha! I'll take it one step farther and say that I endorse cymbals. And drums. And heads. And sticks too. I enforce the usage of anything that allows me to drum and enjoy myself. I certainly do not need some company to reinforce my enjoyment.
 

Mighty_Joker

Silver Member
I'll chime in here to represent the other side of the line.

Last year I signed onto an endorsement deal with Bosphorus Cymbals and became one of their 'artists'. This was something I had been wanting for a long time, with a company I have held in high regard my entire playing career.

I genuinely love the cymbals and I have been seeking a relationship with them for a long time. I was rejected in 2016, and tried again two years later. Over that time, my music, playing profile, and YouTube channel had grown enough to warrant a successful response.

After signing on with them, they invited me down to the London Drum Show to meet the team, and I had a nice long chat to get to know everyone, try some of their new lines, and generally hang out.

At no point has this been anything other than a simple two-way endorsement deal. I keep using their cymbals publicly (and exclusively - fine by me!) and they raise my profile and give me a hefty discount on what are some very expensive cymbals. There's no "free stuff", there's no inflated sense of entitlement (I had to work my ass off to even get a reply), there's no sales pitch or corporate bull.

Maybe this is the case with some drummers. For me, I always loved the cymbals, and now I get some formal recognition (and a juicy discount!) from that company. Job done, as far as I'm concerned.
 

Frosticles

Silver Member
I have two Artist Endorsements. Scymtek Cymbals & The London Drumstick Company. Have a great relationship with both & am very happy :)
 
I don't have to tell you all that social media has changed the game so much. Now its not just so much that you are a known artist/drummer or touring with one - it can also be simply a matter of how influential you are to others on social media. In fact, if you are an Instagram/YouTube drummer wearing a sexy skirt playing covers or you're a good looking online drum teacher - you got a shot at endorsing a whole host of products, not just limited to the drum industry. Hell, the whole "influencer" industry has overtaken traditional marketing vehicles (tv, radio, etc).

One real life implication of this is that you can routinely see one of Gretsch's main drum set endorsers (full endorser - wherever he goes Gretsch has a kit waiting there for him) on Instagram using snare drums from other (even rival) companies. Obviously, Gretsch had to be cool with this--and its probably he is a great ambassador for them, not to mention a legit drummer who has other intangibles that work to his and Gretsch's advantage. Still, one wonders if this sort of arrangement could have happened years ago before social media. (For the record, this is not a knock on this drummer.)

A more cynical implication is that you will see ripped dudes or cute girls playing drums who are are getting free cymbals from companies like Zildjian and doing online adds for Yamaha!? This most certainly didn't happen on a large scale prior to social media. And its important to point out that some of these people are more remarkable for their looks and/or production quality of their videos than they are for their skill as a musician.

By the way, on the surface I don't think I have too much of a problem with it because these individuals should get what they can. Its on the company's shoulders to decide if the value of endorsing someone outweighs potential negatives, if any.

As a consumer of both social media and drum products - I think you have to make a determination on what is valuable to you. Will you play Tama drums because some sexy girl is playing them? I won't unless she comes with the kit and is only around when I want to play. (Very much kidding.) My real answer is no - I will play Tama drums if I like the way they feel and sound. That's just me but who am I to judge how others are influenced or not?

The one thing that we all should not lose focus on as a drumming community is that the lifeblood of this instrument--and the "primal" reason why we play drums is to ultimately make music. The worst thing that could happen to the drum (or any industry) is that it devolves into a proxy by which physically attractive people become our role models and influence our real world decisions. That goes beyond clever marketing. And I think there is a movie that sort of touches on this but at the end result of this. Its called Idiocracy.

Any thoughts?
 
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