Aerosmith Bandmates Fear Steven Tyler Is 'Struggling Very Badly'
Aerosmith Bandmates Fear Steven Tyler Is 'Struggling Very Badly'

When Aerosmith hits the road this summer, fans in some of the states the band visits will have a new way to win backstage passes, front-row seats and an extra few million dollars to spend on concessions. The group and singer Steven Tyler's publisher, Primary Wave Music, struck a deal with the gaming technology company GTECH to launch a band-branded series of lottery games based on "Dream On" and other songs from Aerosmith's catalog.

GTECH, which creates lottery games for state and private gaming operations, has created products featuring entertainment properties like "The Three Stooges" and "World Series of Poker." (The company also produces a Billboard game in partnership with this magazine.) But when Primary Wave Music approached the company about creating a game based on Aerosmith, it jumped at the chance to roll the dice with classic rock. Although there currently aren't any major lottery games based on pop music properties, EMI recently signed a deal with Pollard Banknote to develop others.

GTECH is offering lottery operators a complete package of games, prizes and marketing materials, including scratch-off card designs based on the band's songs, logo and images; preapproved marketing materials including TV commercials and radio spots; and prize packages with concert tickets, backstage passes, memorabilia and possibly even a private concert. The marketing theme is "Dream On," perhaps appropriately, and the company has prepared more than two dozen scratch-off card designs based on other songs.

Rhode Island and New Hampshire will launch Aerosmith-themed lotteries this summer and GTECH says more are in the works. The company has also signed a deal with Primary Wave to develop other music-related games.

"Aerosmith is the ideal band to try this with," says Primary Wave chief marketing officer Adam Lowenberg. "The band is very much interested in establishing new precedents, whether it's 'Guitar Hero' or the Rock & Roll Roller Coaster or even, going back in history, to mixing rock and rap. They really get off on being first, and GTECH shares that desire to innovate."

For GTECH, Aerosmith represented a band that spoke to the lottery's demographic, which skews male, middle-aged and lower middle class. "Beyond Aerosmith's iconic position in the music industry and the recognizability of their brand and knowing what they are planning to do relative to current and future tours and album releases, we really thought we could plug into the band," says Ross Dalton, GTECH senior VP of printed products and licensed content. "Whether you're 70 or 20, you know a handful of Aerosmith songs and have a connection to the band. You could probably count on one hand the number of bands that would be both palatable in government-sponsored gaming and recognizable to a broad demographic. That's why we got very excited about Aerosmith."

The band has the potential to hit a jackpot, too: In addition to an upfront fee, it will receive a bonus based on the number of lottery tickets sold.