Carling, the Coors Brewers lager brand, is to sponsor busking on the London Underground with an estimated budget of &£500,000.
London Underground (LU) first revealed plans to launch licensed busking pitches last June (MW June 27, 2002). It will create a pool of busking musicians who will rotate performances across 25 official pitches, sited in 12 major tube stations including Charing Cross, Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus. The scheme starts this month.
The deal was brokered by LU advertising contractor Viacom Outdoor. Carling will brand the pitches with the banner “Carling Live Underground Music”. The sponsorship package will include floor graphics outlining the pitch space, use of LU publicity and information sites and four-sheet posters adjacent to sites.
The brand has a strong association with live music thanks to its sponsorship of venues such as the (Carling) Hammersmith Apollo and the Carling Weekender outdoor summer music festivals.
Leith London has developed the identity for the Carling Live Underground Music and supporting advertising. BBJ Communications is handling media buying and planning.
Auditions for licensed buskers will be held next week and a tie-up with music channel MTV is planned.
Part of Carling’s investment will pay for the auditioning and recruiting of buskers and the policing of the project.
Coors Brewers director of media services Stuart Cain says: “In keeping with the brand personality, Carling Live Underground Music is about providing a little bit of humour and entertainment to London Underground commuters’ daily lives.”