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Master of Music (M.M.)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
This thesis undertakes an examination of the branding and sponsorship practices of the Vic Firth Drumstick Company, and explores some of the ways that percussion music broadly, and percussionists specifically, may be impacted by the Vic Firth Company’s strategic marketing and sponsorship efforts. The thesis investigates some of the specific methods Vic Firth uses to interact with percussionists and consumers, presenting the methods and the motivations behind them as compatible with neoliberal economic ideas and policies. Vic Firth’s branding strategies reflect myriad economic factors facing individual percussionists; emphasis on personal branding and artistic authenticity, the necessity of entrepreneurial skills to create economic viability, and the desire for personal connection, networking, and alliance with other percussionists are all part of the zeitgeist the company is attempting to tap into.
By examining some of the specific ways Vic Firth crafts and curates their brand, including the creation of signature sticks and mallets, a tiered sponsorship program, aggressive media production, and direct marketing to percussionists through social media, I bring into focus the scope of Vic Firth’s brand and its potential effects on the larger percussive and musical landscape.
Thomas P. Hannum
Beltran, Alexander S., "Live to Play: Musical Labor, Branding, and the Percussive Marketplace" (2019). Masters Theses. 819.
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