Ed Sheeran will preview his sophomore album “x” for fans at Clear Channel’s IHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles on June 17 with the “IHeartRadio Album Release Party,” presented by Pepsi. Sheeran will perform songs from the album and participate in a live Q&A with host Mario Lopez. As part of Pepsi and IHeartRadio’s expanded partnership, Sheeran is also the first performer confirmed to perform at the fourth annual IHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas, set to return September 19 and 20.
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“Pepsi is known for partnering with leaders in music to bring fans exclusive and iconic experiences,” says Chad Stubbs, senior director of digital & media at PepsiCo Americas Beverages. “We’re thrilled to collaborate with our longstanding partner, Clear Channel, to drop Ed Sheeran’s highly anticipated album ‘x.’ This is yet another example of how Pepsi maximizes its partnerships to be part of major music moments.”
A 30-minute version of Sheeran’s release party will be broadcast on-air across Clear Channel’s Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) and Hot AC stations on “x” release day, June 23, while a 60-minute version will stream online across station websites and IHeartRadio.com.
Clear Channel has a recent history of teaming with brands for its album release parties, most notably Target, who’s sponsored recent intimate concerts and Q&As from the IHeartRadio Theater with artists like Justin Timberlake and Shakira. But with Pepsi, a brand that has gotten so involved with music over the years it recently launched its own label, there was a unique opportunity to go even deeper into its longtime sponsorship of the IHeartRadio Festival.
“You can’t just have a media partner, you have to have somebody willing to take the content ride with you,” says Greg Glenday, president of Clear Channel Connections, the company’s sponsorship and cross-platform marketing arm. “It’s been great having Pepsi’s media and marketing teams that can work with [Clear Channel programming chief Tom Poleman] and his team along with sales to blend a great experience together.”