Green Day and the NHL: Opening Pandora’s Box of Deals

Just last week, we talked about some of the trends that will shape the music industry in our near future. In our article “5 Trends Shaping the Music Industry,” the first trend discussed is how “non-music related brands will sign record deals,” stating that big-income brands will become the main patrons of bands and artists (sometimes offering better deals than record labels). This week’s news hit that the NHL and punk/rock band Green Day are firmly stepping into the beginnings of this trend opening “Pandora’s Box” and showing all of us its early stages and real flesh.

The Deal

The National Hockey League signed a two-year partnership deal with Green Day that includes headlining All-Star halftime show and the opening theme song for “Wednesday Night Hockey.”

In addition to these conditions, the contract includes “sneak peeks” to unreleased music and video material from the band to be used by the NHL on TV broadcasting. We hope most NHL fans love Green day because they will be hearing them everywhere they go throughout the 2019-2020 season:

“Songs from Green Day’s new album will be featured in NHL game highlights, broadcast bumpers, tune-in campaigns, and in-arena jumbotron content created and distributed by the NHL, its teams and television partners NBC Sports Group…”

NHL press release

Now What?

And don’t get me wrong, it is not new that brands and non-music related companies are part of recorded music history – sponsoring products through sync deals, image brand ambassadors, or sponsoring live music events, etc. – However, even though this specific deal is not a “record deal” per se, it has a different taste. The NHL is showing us another way to do business, and it is a big deal for the music industry.

Although this contract still needs to go through the band’s record label (music rightsholders, etc.), we might see a shift where brands and companies negotiate exclusive deals directly with musicians. Independent artists are on the rise thanks to social media, and brands might like to arrange directly with the artist rather than a Label that will take a share of the money. And like explained last week, most of the services offered by record labels are easy to outsource on today’s music landscape.

The Reason

The NHL makes a big portion of its money from TV broadcasting. Green Day’s upcoming album, “Father Of All Motherfuckers,” and next year’s Hella Mega Tour (presented by Harley Davidson) alongside Weezer and Fall Out Boy, are great incentives to drive music fans to buy NHL season-long TV packages, go to NHL’s social media, tune in for the games, and attend events (like the actual hockey games). Because of all these exclusive musical content financed by, and released at NHL’s will, the deal is not too far from becoming a “record” deal.

NHL season sets off October 9th to the sound of Green Day’s unreleased track “Fire, Ready, Aim,” and we will for sure know more about this new exciting association.

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