It's no secret that record labels are searching for new ways of doing business. Earlier this year we spotted Groove Armada's distribution partnership with Bacardi. Now Mariah Carey is joining in, orchestrating several sponsorships for her latest album, 'Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel'.
Carey recorded the album in the Bahamas, so sponsorship by the Bahamas Board of Tourism was a natural fit. As was Elizabeth Arden, which sells Carey's Forever perfume. Other sponsors include Métier De Beauté beauty cosmetics and Angel champagne. Sponsorship comes in the form of a small booklet that accompanies the album, filled with glossy advertisements that promote a Mariah Carey-esque lifestyle. The content of the 'mini-magazine' will be written by Elle's editorial staff, and the magazine will be distributed to the first 1.5 million buyers of the CD, which comes out later this month. According to an article in The Sunday Times, the sponsorship reportedly covered the cost of making the album (GBP 4 million) album.
The initiative has great potential for sponsors. “We sell records to people who buy lots of other stuff,” says Antonio Reid, chairman of Mariah's label—Island Def Jam Records—in The Sunday Times. “My artists sell two, five, eight million records, and people hold on to them for years. Most magazines are not that successful.” The label says it’s now ready to try out sponsorship with a few other 'commercially-minded' artists like Kanye West and Bon Jovi.While this level of commmercialism will no doubt be viewed as selling out by many artists and fans, a considered and appropriate approach makes it a model that could work for other performing artists