Sports blurb shop expands into music

Brand Affinity Technology pacts with Sony's RCA/Jive

Sports-based endorsement management company Brand Affinity Technologies has inked a deal with the RCA/Jive Label Group to represent the label’s artists for short- and long-term endorsement deals.

The company, established in 2007, helps to facilitate direct dealmaking between advertisers and celebs through its database of regionally oriented research and celebrity contacts.

Explaining the company’s decision to branch out from an entirely sports-oriented model, BAT CEO and president Ryan Steelberg said: “Two-thirds of current budgets for celebrity endorsements go to non-sports celebrities. (Music) is a category we’ve been looking at for a very long time.”

Steelberg admitted that the new venture is not without its challenges. For one, athletes are prime subjects for regionally specific, short-term endorsement deals.

“A musician is more of a national figurehead than a local one,” Steelberg said, though he added that campaigns could be tied to a musician’s touring schedule, allowing advertisers to target fans on the eve of a particular concert.

Advertising rights to a particular musician are usually shared between the artists themselves for likeness rights, and the artist’s label for music — a split BAT looks to help coordinate for advertisers.

“Obviously, if (an advertising campaign) is just limited to an album cover and a collection of songs, it might stay within the confines of a deal with the label,” Steelberg said. “But if we want something organic, it’ll be both: a deal that includes Sony as well as the artist directly.”

Steelberg said that the majority of the deals executed through BAT run for 90 days or less.

Sony-distributed RCA/Jive’s roster includes such artists as Usher, Pink, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson and Kings of Leon.

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