Global entertainment merchandising firm BandMerch has entered into a new long-term worldwide merchandising agreement with the Who as the legendary rock band prepares for the launch of their Quadrophenia tour this fall. The 40th anniversary of the landmark rock opera falls in 2013.
The multi-faceted BandMerch deal with the Who includes retail, e-commerce and the online fansite thewho.com, and a wide range of retail partnerships on a global basis. The deal was signed about a month ago, and BandMerch has already successfully orchestrated an on-line pre-sale for tickets to the upcoming Quadrophenia shows. The Who had been represented in the merchandising realm by Live Nation Merchandise.
Merch deals often run just for the length of a tour or album cycle, but "the Who wanted a relationship that will probably, quite honestly, go for the rest of their careers," says BandMerch president and merchandising industry veteran Joseph Bongiovi. "It's not just built around this Quadrophenia anniversary at all, it's built around giving all of us the time needed to truly build a program based on their iconic status, not only in music, but in lifestyle, with a multi-generational platform."
BandMerch has set out to build a specific presence for the Who at a wide range of retail outlets, and will bolster the band's e-commerce presence with memorabilia, collectibles, and VIP/bundling opportunities synergized with tour promoter AEG Live; BandMerch is a subsidiary of AEG. The first leg of the tour begins Nov.1 at BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla., and runs until Dec. 9 at the Mohegan Sun Resort & Casino in Uncasville, Conn. A second leg begins Jan. 28 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
BandMerch will have a wide variety of items on the tour, including a high-end merch and an elaborate tour program, but the tour is only one segment of company's merchandising campaign around the Who. "The way we're building programs is to be a resource to help brands build themselves in a way that synergistically ties all of their areas of business together," Bongiovi explains. "No one thing is a nucleus any more. It used to be the album was the nucleus of everything, then it was, 'no, the tour is the nucleus of everything,' and now it's everything is equal parts to what that brand can be and the revenue that it can generate down the road."
The Who joins a BandMerch client roster that includes Bon Jovi, Matchbox 20, Daughtry, My Morning Jacket, Smashing Pumpkins, Coachella, Black Veil Brides, and Rise Against. As part of the new partnership with the Who, BandMerch introduced a new ticketing beta-site for the presale tickets for the tour, and in the next few months will unveil other innovative technologies and features.