ADOTAS – It’s time to make some noise: The Vans Warped Tour is back for its 20th anniversary, bringing together bands, fans and brands for a rockin’ good time. After kicking off in L.A., the tour is winding through Dallas, Albuquerque, Mesa, and Las Vegas this week before hitting several cities throughout California. Beyond being just a music festival that launches tomorrow’s hottest bands, the tour’s brand-infused business model has revolutionized the way musicians and advertisers work together to connect with alternative youth culture.
“Vans Warped Tour is unlike any other touring music festival today and has continually evolved over the past two decades,” said Kevin Lyman, the tour’s founder. “It’s our goal to leave a lasting impression in each city we visit and affect the lives of our audience in many positive ways. This tour isn’t just about launching tomorrow’s hottest bands, it’s about creating long-term connections that help associate the brands, bands and non-profits with a very positive experience.”
Lyman also mentioned that this year, the focus of the tour is “to expose developing bands and brands to a larger audience showcasing 80 bands a day at a fair price around the country and putting on shows for over 500,000 fans.”
He highlighted the fact that although the tour has been around for 20 years, the average age of attendees is 17 so most of them weren’t born when the event started. As such, they’ve been extremely successful at maintaining a youth-oriented audience.
With sponsors including Monster Athletics, Uber, Kia, D’Addario, Hard Rock Café and Music Saves Lives, the Vans Warped Tour creates lasting connections that help associate the brands and non-profits with a very positive experience.
Kia uses the tour as an opportunity to display youth-targeted vehicles and interactive activities in the Kia Soul Lounge to drive brand engagement. In fact, last year Kia handed out coupons for audience members to bring in to their local Kia dealership, and more than 80 vehicles sold as a direct result of those Vans Warped Tour coupons.
“Music, pop culture, individuality and having fun are what drive today’s youth culture, and the 2014 Vans Warped Tour couldn’t be a better embodiment of those core coming-of-age lifestyle elements,” said Tim Chaney, Vice President of Marketing, Kia Motors America. “Our partnership with the tour allows us to showcase the iconic Kia Soul and stylish Forte5, which appeal to both the young and the young-at-heart.”
Teen specialty retailer Journeys is this year’s presenting sponsor of Vans Warped tour. Keri Irons, senior vice president of marketing of The Journeys Group added, “Music has always been an integral part of connecting our core consumer to the Journeys brand in a very emotional and authentic way. This tour gives Journeys the opportunity to share a lasting, memorable experience with our consumers and employees in an environment that captures the spirit of youth culture.”
In conjunction with its sponsorship of the tour, Journeys will also promote the Vans Warped Tour in more than 800 stores across the U.S. and Canada, including tour-specific point-of-purchase signage and exclusive content for the in-store Journeys TV network.
From an online ad perspective, this year’s tour is unique because the crew is traveling with 5 YouTube bloggers who will create unique content for them each day; this is then serviced to local promoters to feed social media channels. Also, Lyman mentioned they did something new at the first show, webcasting across 5 stages and showing 30 bands online.
According to the official press release, participation in the Vans Warped Tour goes far beyond just promoting product. Each of the Tour sponsors has a unique way of participating and connecting with the audience. For instance, Band Happy offers live music lessons from actual Tour performers. They have brought in several supporting instrument partners to reach fans, including Mapex, Meinl, Evans, ProMark, Sennheiser and more.
If you haven’t already got your tickets, it’s time to catch the tour as flies by your hometown this Summer. Check out the full schedule here and get ready to rock!