Live Nation Sponsorship Off To Fast Start In '13
Sponsorship remains the most profitable piece of Live Nation's business. Yesterday, the bellwether live entertainment company posted 15 percent growth in adjusted operating profit from the sponsorship and advertising division, while the division's revenue increased 11 percent to $40.1 million. Operating margins from sponsorship and advertising came in at a healthy 58.6 percent for the first three months of this year. Among the highlights contributing to Live Nation's strong first quarter were an expansion of its partnership with Bud Light, the launch of a collaboration with the America's Cup and a new deal with Just Energy that will see the Canadian company audit 85 participating LN concert venues in the United States to evaluate energy use.
"We continue to add strategic partners that we believe resonate well with our fans," COO Joe Berchtold said. "Last week, we announced our Bud Light 50/50/1 sponsorship deal, wherein we are working with Bud Light to hold 50 Concerts in 50 states on August 1st, leveraging the unique scale of Live Nation to deliver innovative sponsorship opportunities."
Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino recently said the company's sponsorship goal is to get "as much as 30 percent of the $1 billion marketers spend a year sponsoring U.S. music." To cozy up to Madison Avenue, Live Nation has staffed up over the past few years to a total of 300 marketing professionals currently servicing over 800 local and national sponsors. The fruits of that labor have been numerous new partnerships over the past year with blue chip brands such as Diageo, Hertz, Skype and Starwood Hotels & Resorts, among others.