We are regularly asked for free swag, pedals, amps, or goats in return for something or other – that should come as no surprise to anyone. Naturally, as we are all players ourselves, we want to encourage other players as best we can, so we will always consider serious applications for endorsement. That said though, if you are just thinking of starting out on your YouTube career and you ask us for 2 of every pedal for shooting your new channel’s premium content, we are unlikely to be receptive. Wampler Pedals offer endorsements at many levels as mentioned below, but we don’t throw equipment at folk just for fun, business just ain’t like that! Representing Wampler at any level is always a two-way street. For everyone we give something to, we will expect something back, what that something is varies of course, but you get the general idea. We don’t hand out “free gear” except in incredibly exceptional circumstances. So we thought we would boil down some of what we practice into a handy blog article.
No such thing as a free lunch
Let me start by reiterating – we are a business, we don’t give anything away for free. If you send us a message on social media asking for a free pedal “just because we have a bunch” or “ole man Wampler is loaded” it’s likely your comment may be ignored. Similarly if you send us a begging message, saying how you can’t afford our pedals but would love one, we are almost definitely going to point you to a well known online retailer and show you how cheap a cheap effects pedal can be. Then you can start begging Jeff Bezos for freebies instead. Even our top tier artists, and we are talking about internationally touring well-known names, don’t get all their gear for nothing. They occasionally may not pay any cash, but they definitely don’t get anything free.
Who is an endorsement for?
Let’s look at the loose categories of endorsement we undertake – it’s “loose” because sometimes artists will blur the boundaries by falling into more than one category, however this is a decent starting guideline. In terms of what we will give the artist, well that remains between us and each artist to be honest, and it also depends on the work being undertaken, but we are pretty much inline with most other music equipment companies in that respect – so if you are used to dealing in the music industry none of this should come as a surprise.
Social media influencers
Urgh.”That” term. Its meaning, however, is now generally understood so let’s start here. If you have a social media presence that has a significant following, and you put out content that is of interest to the guitar community, then you may be eligible for Wampler endorsement. You must be able to demonstrate that your content is of sufficient quality and that you have a reach that is greater than 1,000 followers on all the common platforms (Facebook, Youtube, instagram, Twitter, TikTok etc) as a minimum. We will expect to see at least 3 social posts on each applicable platform for each product we work together on. Engagement within the community is essential, we are looking for people that enrich the community, maybe bring something fresh to the table, and not just people who want to make a fast buck with guitar based content.
Professional YouTube and demo review artists
Now this could be split into multiple levels again but we are trying to keep it simple – however this category covers a lot of players. Essentially though, if you want to do a demonstration of one of our new pedals, and you have a youtube following of at least 2,500 or (thereabouts), then of course Wampler Pedals are interested. We would expect a professionally shot video, 7-10 minutes minimum length, preferably 4k but 1080p may suffice depending on quality, to be released at the same time as a new product or inline with other ongoing marketing campaigns. Once again we will be looking for engagement in the community, perhaps someone who has already built up a decent following on multiple social channels, and probably someone that is very active online.
To be endorsed as a Wampler Musician the minimum level of commitment we would expect is to see our products visible on your pedalboard / rig at every public gig or concert you perform at. Naturally we would also like to see them on social media posts where possible and viable. In return we will promote you on our web site and we will maintain a close relationship with you to ensure we are sharing the best social media content of obvious mutual benefit.
Signature artist endorsement
The highest level of endorsement we offer is the Signature Artist endorsement. This is typically for artists who have a global reach, an established touring and recording career, and who we want to build a signature pedal for. Such artists will receive the normal benefits of a professional musician endorsement but will also feature on their own page of the Wampler Pedals website. We expect content in return from our signature artists too – and normally at this level we expect the highest quality of content and social media coverage.
So that, in a nutshell, is our endorsement program structure, but there are still a number of unanswered questions – What sort of music will you endorse? Do you only endorse American artists? What’s the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow? etc etc. I shall attempt to summarize these and more questions here…
Firstly, we will endorse musicians that play any kind of music. We make pedals that sound awesome for everything from country to blues to rock to screaming metal – and we like all of those genres too. It is unlikely your application will be rejected on the basis of the genre you play in if the quality is good enough. We naturally draw the line at any music that is offensive or political in nature. Our personal tastes don’t come into it either, but we are naturally more inclined to support artists that play original music than those in cover bands as a general rule.
We have a global reach as a brand and we will consider artists from all corners of the globe and you don’t even have to make music in the English language to be part of the Wampler family. That said, if your music is in a language we don’t speak natively, there may be a delay in your application as we check your lyrics don’t contravene our standards in reference to offensive or political material.
Will we skip all this endorsement nonsense and just build you a custom signature pedal with a product run of one? Sure, but keep in mind it’s going to be quite expensive and could take quite a while…goat feed ain’t cheap ya know? Are we more likely to send you a free pedal if you’ve had the Wampler logo tattooed on a part of your body ? Yes, we probably are, because that is insane and cool at the same time. The “Wamp-Stamp” is a commitment that we will consider but we definitely don’t encourage anyone to perform any body modification for endorsement!
Will we consider you if you are already endorsed by another brand? Well that depends on both the endorsement agreement and the brand but it is not necessarily a deal breaker. We are open-minded about promoting our gear as it normally speaks for itself, but there are certain restrictions over brands we wish to be associated with – so that may be a factor.
Alright, enough already, where do I sign up???
If you have read through this article and you think you would like endorsement from us, please drop an email to [email protected] and he will direct you to the online form to fill in. We normally process these forms over a 7-10 day period and will respond to you in that timeframe. If you don’t get an endorsement arrangement with us it may well be because you have not met the criteria mentioned above and we would encourage you to try again 6 months later when perhaps you have more followers / are more established. Sending Brian emails every day asking him to reverse the decision will not be helpful in this process, his decision is final but it will be reviewed by a committee so we would like to think all applicants will have a very fair hearing.
I think Orange Amps wraps the Endorsed Artist sentiment up perfectly, so I’m going to borrow a bit from their wonderful article which inspired this one (linked below) here:
• Don’t Start off by asking for a loan. Always keep in mind “how does this benefit the gear company?”
• Don’t send random examples of your music… we aren’t a music label, we make the “spice” for great music 🙂
• Don’t copy every industry contact you have into one email and ask in some way “Who will give me free gear?”
• Don’t walk into a music store, announce that you’re an official Wampler brand ambassador and then brag about that discount you get.
Also, a few Do’s:
• Do understand that we’ll meticulously go through your social media, if you’re causing problems and dramas online most companies aren’t going to want to be a part of that scene
• Do understand that you’ll be representing our company in a way while posting anything online or performing in public. This means that those political posts that are a bit divisive are not a good idea if you’re looking to be some sort of professional performing music
• Amusing videos of goats / cats / dogs. Do send them all to [email protected].