So, if you really ever wanted that exclusive, Mysteryland-branded Major Lazer MasterCard MasterPass (and admit it, for some of you, I'm certain you would), thank Bob Sillerman and SFX because that time has finally arrived. MasterCard and SFX Entertainment are expected to announce a multi-year and global partnership making MasterCard the exclusive financial services sponsor of SFX's numerous platforms, events and business holdings, plus integrated as a technology partner in improving fan and social experiences throughout the SFX conglomerate.
Hot on the heels of other amazing corporate-branding strokes as a T-Mobile sponsored and Simon Cowell's Syco Entertainment-produced "Ultimate DJ" program, as well as deals partnering Beatport and Clear Channel, Anheuser Busch/Corona and the SunSets Festival and a five-year $75 million deal with global ticket broker Viagogo, this deal likely has the most practical and direct-to-festivalgoer application.
With festivals like Electric Zoo, Mysteryland, Lollapalooza, and Tomorrowland all opting for RFID bracelets that will allow for festival attendees to use prepaid bracelets for payment, the space for Mastercard to likely use its already existing understanding of the prepaid card market to apply it to festival bracelets makes sense.
In speaking with Billboard, MasterCard's chief marketing officer Raja Rajamannar noted a deeper need for MasterCard to expand their music space offerings outside of the traditional realm of partnerships with the Grammys and BRITs and artists like Justin Timberlake. Rajmannar stated, "[t]he objective for us is to be the leading financial brand to a younger audience, which is where the SFX fan already is, and build a future with those audiences." Continuing, he said, "we'll be able to activate across the entire gamut, whether it's the ticketing experience for consumers, live events or social connectivity."
Even further, the SFX/MasterCard deal has greater reach, too. SFX promoted 1,600-plus events in 2013 alone, and intriguingly to consider, too, SFX-owned dance music purchase portal Beatport has (according to Billboard) "240,000 registered DJs from over 200 countries, with 50 million unique visitors in 2013." In MasterCard plugging into the growing EDM conglomerate, the credit company has the potential to increase their earnings by not just millions, but billions–even if only taking pennies from each purchase from an SFX-branded point of sale.
With each passing moment, EDM becomes more of a culture-driven conglomerate. Watching how this conglomerate operates in full will certainly be the most intriguing broad-scale financial story to watch not just of 2014, but in music-as-culture moving forward.