Warner Music Group Partners With Chris Lighty To Create Brand Asset Group
Warner Music Group has announced a joint music marketing venture with Chris Lighty, innovative manager of 50 Cent, dubbed Brand Asset Group. The new concern’s strategy is nothing new, associate a well-known music artist with a corporate brand, but Lighty has a deft touch when packaging these types of deals and Warner wants in.
The enterprise has raised a few eyebrows in the industry since it demonstrates one facet of the future for major labels. Not content with selling a singular item, namely a CD, many labels are looking to tap into the substantial revenue surrounding merchandise, touring, image licensing and corporate sponsorships – a lucrative part of the business that leaves record labels often standing on the sidelines.
When a Lighty brokered deal between 50 Cent and Vitamin Water landed the rapper with a rumored 8 figure windfall when the company was bought by Coca-Cola, Bronfman and company may have realized that the time was right to develop a relationship with Lighty.
Lighty is so adroit at what he does that he negotiated a deal between Marc Ecko Enterprises and Fiddy for a clothing line even before the release of his debut album in 2003. Other deals for the 38 year old include the pairing of Busta Rhymes and Courvoisier, and LL Cool J and Gatorade.
Warner’s deal with Lighty is certainly not the first endeavor that sticks the hands of a record company into the corporate deals that land on the lap of pop artists. Other deals in place include Interscopes and the Pussycat Dolls, as well as the much talked about EMI deal with Korn and Robbie Williams. Most managers steer their artists clear of these so called “350 deals”, since the labels have only offered a marginly higher advance in exchange for a big cut of revenue from touring, merchandise and profitable avenues. However, an artist who has Chris Lighty in their corner clearly has an advantage since he can easily create corporate opportunities for them that they would never have imagined…just ask Curtis Jackson, aka 50 Cent, how the beverage business is treating him.