Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) has today (February 28) announced the inaugural launch of a new annual global artist marketing program. Christened Fender Next, an official press release states it is “geared toward elevating artists that represent the new face of guitar in fresh, innovative ways.” It is the first programme of its kind for Fender.
In addition to providing global performance opportunities and Fender product, Fender Next artists – such as Melanie Faye, Tash Sultana, Little Simz and Sam Fender – will be featured across Fender content from editorial to socials. Fender states it will be the first year of what it plans to be a long-term, ongoing commitment to support up and coiming artists and has outlined plans to expand global reach even further in 2020 when a new line-up of Fender Next artists will be chosen through a submission process.
In 2019, Fender Next will illuminate 50 artists from around to the world. They include: Ashley McBryde (USA), Boy Pablo (Norway), Cautious Clay (USA), FKJ (France), FIDLAR (USA), Japanese Breakfast (USA), King Princess (USA), Larkin Poe (USA), Melanie Faye (USA), Phoebe Bridgers (USA), Sam Fender (UK), Tash Sultana (Australia), Wallows (USA), King Gnu (Japan), HYUKOH (Korea), and others.
Speaking about the launch, Evan Jones, Fender CMO, said: “The music industry has dramatically evolved in the last 10 years – from the diversity of artists, genre and new inventive usage of guitar to streaming service platforms, labels, social media and the emergence of accessible recording via home studios. Guitar is healthier than ever before and being used in more inventive ways by an increasingly diverse set of artists across genres. In our recent research study, we found a new face of guitar is emerging with African American, Latino and female players making up 19, 25 and 50 percent of beginning/aspirational guitarists, respectively.”
Jones continued: “The Fender brand voice is the sum total of the artists and players that create with our products. So, as a global company whose products are represented on countless albums and stages around the world, we decided that it was time to make a deeper, long-term commitment to elevate and amplify artists that are moving music forward today. We have and will continue to invest in artists across every aspect of our marketing mix, but this programme just deepens that ongoing commitment to a growing allegiance of artists keeping guitar at the forefront of music and culture.”
Fender Next artists will be promoted to the brand’s 16 million followers across platforms, entailing social media promotion, mini-documentaries and takeovers and PR/communications support, as well as the opportunity to be featured in Fender marketing launches and ads. Some of that content will then be distributed by exclusive partners, as well as on Fender social media and artist channels.
The full list of Fender Next artist benefits includes: select guitar, amp, effect pedals, accessories and audio equipment serving artist needs across the signal chain.
Artists will also be included on Fender Next playlists through music streaming services, like Spotify and more, as well as select artist songs being featured in Fender’s digital learning platform.
Matt Watts, VP of artist and integrated marketing, said” “Supporting and servicing artist needs first has long been at the core of our artist marketing efforts. Artists are the centerpiece of everything we do, and we’ve been giving them the tools they need to create for more than 70 years. Fender Next deepens those authentic relationships even further through the programme’s direct investment in those artists – from cultural icons to those at the early stages of their careers. We’re beyond excited to see how Fender Next elevates players, as they make music on stages and in studios around the world – from Hollywood and Nashville to Tokyo, London, Sydney and beyond.”
On March 14-15, Fender will launch the programme with an interactive pop-up experience at SXSW in Austin, Texas named The Fender Next House. It will offer fans the chance to attend thought leadership discussions and intimate concerts featuring Fender Next artists. Fender Next will also activate at The Great Escape Festival in the UK for the second year this May, as well as other global music festivals in Japan and Australia through 2020.
Finally, Fender is also teaming up with Lucky Brand as an event sponsor to for the Fender Next program. The Los Angeles company will create custom merch for Fender Next artists at SXSW.