In 1982 West Nally ‘cut its teeth’ in music sponsorship. Never mind practicing on something small – this was straight into the deep end with one of the biggest rock bands of all time – The Rolling Stones.
At that time, West Nally was already working on some music related sponsorships for client Levi Jeans and was planning major concerts linked to the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain. The Rolling Stones management needed funding for the revival tour and West Nally were able to produce the goods.
TDK blank tape sponsored most of Europe with Lee Cooper jeans in the UK. Italian motor-cycle company Piaggio sponsored the Italian ‘leg’ and their sister company Gilera took France.
By 1983, West Nally were putting David Bowie into Levi jeans for his Serious Moonlight Tour – and also handled the merchandise sales worldwide. This was soon to be followed by Sony sponsorship of Duran Duran. The message was that “Music” is the obvious vehicle through which you can reach young people. It was seen to be a vastly superior medium to television advertising where the kids have the remote control button and are ready to switch off. Concerts were promoted as a medium for entertaining thousands of teenagers for several hours in an environment where product messages could be well presented.
The message was that “Music” is the obvious vehicle through
which you can reach young people.
In 1984 West Nally set up a division dedicated to music sponsorship – West Nally Music – based in Chelsea. At the same time, West Nally had begun working with a totally new medium – Mitsubishi’s Diamond Visionscreens. This was the first full colour giant video display system and Patrick Nally had ‘done a deal’ for three of them coupled with a marketing contract.
Two of the Diamond Vision screens were initially installed into the Rugby Football Union’s Twickenham Stadium. The third was a mobile unit that could travel to events virtually anywhere….and it was driven by anIveco truck – another West Nally client. A specialist team were recruited that could be ‘jack of all trades’ – drivers, camera operators, technicians and salesmen.
It was quickly established that the screens were particularly beneficial at music events…..bringing rock artists close up to the audience.
Another fairly rapid decision was that the Twickenham screens were “the two biggest windbreakers in the world”. With only around 20 events a year, they were desperately under-utilised and the West Nally Visions team took them apart, made all three container-sized segments water-proof and connectable…..and took them on the road!
The screens were donated for use at Live Aid in Wembley in 1985 – linking with other Mitsubishi screens in Philadelphia – enabling the two audiences, and world television, to interconnect. They became “required equipment “ for any major rock tour thereafter. Bruce Springsteen used them for his 1986 Born in America European tour with the screens being installed and removed night after night in gigs across Europe… The rest is history.