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Power Players

No. 70
Rich Lehrfeld

VP of Global Sponsorship, Marketing and Access
American Express
Membership Has Its Privileges...

American Express, long one of the most important sponsors in events and touring, is quickly becoming a key player in music content as well. As head of AmEx's global sponsorship and entertainment programs, Lehrfeld oversees the company's relationships with Front Line Management, AEG Properties and Madison Square Garden, as well as music-centric programs like "Unstaged," a live concert and interview program distributed by Vevo (in which Billboard is an editorial partner), and "Pairings," a "Top Chef"-meets-"Unplugged" series that matches A-list musicians with celebrity chefs for card-member events that are then broadcast around the Web. He's also helped set the industry standard for branded programs, from member presales for major tours like Van Halen and Coldplay. According to consultancy firm Kantar, AmEx spent $363.4 million in measured media in 2011 (excluding events). A companywide 10% increase in rewards-program expenses in 2011 suggests Lehrfeld will be looking for even more ways to partner with the industry on innovative artist programs.

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