Global spirits giant Bacardi has developed a serious thirst for music, via a 360-degree-style deal with British electronic duo Groove Armada.

Global spirits giant Bacardi has developed a serious thirst for music, via a 360-degree-style deal with British electronic duo Groove Armada.

The integrated marketing deal encompasses recordings, touring and audiovisual content, leading Bacardi global experiential manager Sarah Tinsley to declare: "Essentially we are taking over the role of a record label -- producing the music, promoting new music, and the artist is playing at our events."

As part of the one-year partnership, Bacardi will underwrite the production of a four-track Groove Armada EP, and the beverage company will consider the music for its own global advertising campaigns. Bacardi also intends to commercially release the EP in physical and digital formats sometime in the third quarter through its own, as-yet-undetermined imprint.

"We see this deal as giving us an increased opportunity to take our recorded and live music to new parts of the globe and to new potential markets," Groove Armada manager Dan O'Neil says. "Frankly, we haven't found that [to be] easy with a major label."

Groove Armada exited its five-year deal with Sony BMG's Jive Records at the end of 2007 and decided to shop for a new deal outside of the traditional music business. At the same time, Bacardi was looking to expand its music activities beyond sponsored events and its dance music-oriented B-Live Internet radio service.

The live element of the deal will see Groove Armada perform at 25 international Bacardi B-Live events, beginning April 19 at Miami's Bayfront Park Amphitheater. The band-and-brand combo will also team on audiovisual footage, which Bacardi intends to make available across its own platforms and through third parties, including broadcasters.

The group ultimately retains the masters and copyright of the music created through the partnership and creative control over how the works might be used in any Bacardi campaign.

"Bacardi doesn't see this as something that they want to earn money from, which is, quite rightly, something a label has to do," O'Neil says. "They are looking at it from a point of view of association, and they're getting access to a license to use the music to implement their strategy worldwide."