Asahi signs exclusive Live Nation deal

Asahi Beverages has signed an exclusive partnership with live entertainment company Live Nation.

The deal sees Asahi Beverages established as “Live Nation Australia’s first beer and cider partner across concerts and is the exclusive supplier of soft drinks brands including Pepsi, Solo & Schweppes to Live Nation festivals”.

In a media release announcing the partnership, Asahi said that since launching, the multi-year partnership has seen live entertainment fans enjoy a range of Asahi Beverages beers and ciders, including Carlton Dry, Balter, GOAT, Pirate Life, 4 Pines, and Somersby Cider, as well as soft drinks, including Pepsi Max, now exclusive to select Live Nation venues and festivals”.

“Asahi Beverages brands are an ongoing part of brand activations across Live Nation’s diverse portfolio of festivals including Festival X, Spilt Milk, and Harvest Rock, and at venues such as Melbourne’s iconic Palais Theatre and at Adelaide’s all-new Hindley Street Music Hall.”

The companies launched the partnership with a Somersby promotion at the Spilt Milk Festival in November 2022.

“The promotion gave Spilt Milk audiences access to watch Young Franco up close with a ‘CIDERSTAGE’ promotion via a targeted social media campaign pre-festival,” the release advised.

The partnership also launched a new Mountain Goat campaign which “brought the new ‘Goat Yard’ platform to Spilt Milk for the first time”.

“The Goat Yard brought beer and music experiences together, ensuring fans enjoyed their favourite rock’n’roll tracks while sipping ice-cold Mountain Goat. The activation featured troughs of tinnies in a beer barn, complete with rock’n’roll DJs,” the release said.

While the partnership is good business for both the brewing and entertainment giants, it comes at a time when Live Nation’s dominance in the music industry – and impact on consumers – is being investigated in the United States.

The US Justice Department has opened an antitrust investigation into Live Nation looking into whether it has abused its power over that country’s live music industry.

Similar concerns have been expressed by Australian artists and venues, though music journalist, Lars Brandle, said Australia wasn’t in the same position as the US.

“The situation in Australia isn’t acute as it is in America, where the market share and clout of Live Nation is being probed,” Brandle, Australia’s correspondent for Billboard and senior writer with The Music Network, told Brews News.

Even so, Brandle said the local industry would be watching what plays out in the US.

Live Nation is the global market leader in events and also owns Ticketmaster, venues and festivals — it owns an entire ecosystem,” he said.

“In Australia its business includes Splendour in the Grass festival, it has a stake in Fortitude Music Hall and several other venues.

“It’s safe to say the Australian music industry — and most likely, regulators — are closely watching how the situation unfolds in the United States.

“Anytime a massive corporation screws over punters and gets wealthier in the process, we have a problem with the market.”

Despite concerns around concentration in the Australian brewing industry, the Australian competition watchdog has found that tap contracts are and increased consolidation unlikely to substantially lessen competition.

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