German pop singer Oceana is set to receive a major sales boost this summer when her song "Endless Summer" is placed in front of a potential global audience of over a billion people as the official song of the Euro 2012 soccer tournament.
The high-profile synch means that "Endless Summer" will feature prominently on all internationally syndicated television coverage of the event, which takes place every four years and will be staged this summer in Poland and Ukraine, June 8 to July 1. In addition to the song being placed on the opening and closing credits of all televised Euro 2012 matches, Oceana will perform "Endless Summer" at the July 1 final, held at the Olympic Stadium, Kiev. According to the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), Euro 2008 was broadcast around the world to a cumulative global TV audience of 6.6 billion viewers.
"This is very unique exposure that you just don't get if you perform on, say, TV in the U.K. or breakfast TV in France," Konrad von Loehneyson, owner and CEO Berlin-based independent Embassy of Music, Oceana's German label home, tells Billboard.biz.
Euro 2012 will be the third major football tournament that Embassy of Music (formerly called Ministry of Sound Deutschland) has provided the official anthem. The first was the 2006 World Cup in Germany where Bob Sinclar's "Love Generation" featuring Gary Pine was chosen by commissioning body FIFA. For Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland, Embassy of Music successfully pitched Shaggy's "Feel The Rush." Both songs enjoyed substantial spikes in sales as a result, says von Loehneyson, with Sinclair's "Love Generation" hitting No. 1 in Germany and becoming the country's biggest-selling single of 2006, moving approximately 800,000 units, according to Embassy of Music. "Feel The Rush" also topped the charts in Germany and Euro 2008 host country Austria.
The choice of "Endless Summer," a bouncy, reggae-flavoured track, as the official anthem for this year's tournament, resulted from Von Loehneyson hearing an early, different version of the song and being won over by its chorus hook. The song has since been given a more up-tempo, Euro house dance makeover.
Although virtually unknown in the U.K. and U.S., Oceana is popular throughout Germany and Eastern Europe. Her 2009 debut album "Love Supply" has sold 120,000 units, according to Embassy of Music; Oceana's biggest hit single, 2009's "Cry Cry," sold over 250,000 units worldwide, claims the label. Von Loehneyson says that "Endless Summer" was the only song that Embassy pitched to UEFA for Euro 2012.
"They instantly liked Oceana, her image and the pan-European story from the last album, and they liked the song," he says. "It was the first shot on goal and we scored straight away." Embassy of Music owns the worldwide master rights for the song, while publishing is 80% controlled by Universal Music Publishing. Embassy of Music would not discuss financial details of the synch deal.
Von Loehneyson says that the fact that Oceana is not currently a big international star helped land her the Euro 2012 synch. "Big advertising companies or big brands always say: 'We need a Robbie Williams or Madonna'," he explains. "But they are never around to do any promotion. They just sit at home and count their money, and you need them [available for the] approval process. So our approach is more that we need the right song and the artist has to fit too. It's not so important that the artist is big. It's more important that the song fits its purpose," he continues.
The television rights for Euro 2012 are sold by UEFA to the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) for distribution throughout Europe, and ESPN for North America. Audio exerpts of "Endless Summer" - ranging in length from 45 seconds to 3 seconds - will be automatically embedded in the opening, closing and ad-break credits of all games, according to Von Loehneyson.
To capitalize on the exposure that the synch brings, "Endless Summer" has been licensed to labels throughout Europe for a summer release. They include: Sony (for France), Universal (Spain), Warner Music (Poland), Family Tree/Sony (Scandinavia), Cat Music (Romania), CNR (Benelux), TIME Records (Italy) and Ministry of Sound (U.K.). A new video for the song - containing video clips from previous Euro tournaments alongside footage of Poland and Kiev sporting stadiums and national landmarks - will be serviced to international online and video platforms in May, subject to approval from UEFA.
Oceana's sophomore studio album "My House," featuring "Endless Summer," will be released in June, with Von Loehneyson anticipating the Euro 2012 synch to be a major sales driver over the summer months. He says: ""Endless Summer" and the tie-in with one of the most prominent and emotional sporting events of the world should give Oceana the momentum to become a major artist throughout the continent."