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Shawn Mendes Making Sweet Music With Tommy Hilfiger

Recruiting Shawn Mendes as a brand ambassador proved to be a savvy marketing move for Tommy Hilfiger as Stefan Larsson, CEO of parent company PVH Corp., pointed to the “record-breaking” 1.5-billion media impressions that followed on top of the brand’s “highest” new social media follower growth since 2109.

The 24-year-old chart-topping heartthrob’s sponsorship deal with Tommy Hilfiger as the brand’s “most profiled partner” is just one of the notable arrangements SponsorUnited highlighted in its inaugural report documenting the links brands have forged with popular musicians—and their attractive fan bases.

The global sports and entertainment intelligence platform analyzed 2,100 brands and 1,100 partnerships within the music industry to document the state of lucrative pairings between in-demand artists and the companies cashing in on their influence.

Known for hits from “Mercy” to “Stitches,” Mendes was featured in Tommy Hilfiger’s Spring 2022 campaign “Classic Reborn,” a collection fully made from “more sustainable materials.” By joining forces with the Gen Z crooner to “learn, share and innovate,” Tommy said it took its sustainability journey to “the next level.” The collection was also put on spotlight as Mendes wore an upcycled Tommy Hilfiger outfit to the Met Gala before its release. 

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Popular music makers include Steve Aoki, Saweetie, Snoop Dogg and J. Balvin, according to the report.

Tommy Hilfiger isn’t the only brand seeing an increase in social engagement after working with recognizable artists. Toward the end of last year, “Future Nostalgia” singer Dua Lipa released her first collection with Puma, teaming up on a four-piece capsule of apparel and footwear. The collection featured a new logo combining Lipa’s name and the Puma formstrip into an iridescent butterfly—a creature that has become “especially symbolic and meaningful” to the singer over the past year, Puma said. Shortly after—in July—Lipa released her second collaboration with Puma, “Flutur 2,” which she promoted on Instagram to her 23-million-plus followers.

Gucci has also seen an influx of engagement after partnering with superstars Billie Eilish and Miley Cyrus. In fact, the Kering-owned luxury label engaged an “astronomical” 100 million followers with 93 posts at a rate of 5.36 percent per post, thanks to these two pop stars alone.

It also drove notable numbers with Italian rock brand Måneskin. Their social tie-up drove 13.4 percent engagement, a result nearly double that of other collabs between different brands and stars such as Megan Thee Stallion.

“Fashion brands are betting big on music artists for credibility with key audiences. We’ve tracked a vast number of sponsorships across a variety of genres and believe this will only continue to increase,” SponsorUnited founding CEO Bob Lynch told Sourcing Journal.

Justin Bieber’s 482-million-and-rising social fan base is much of the singer’s appeal for brands from Crocs to Calvin Klein, to name just two, according to the report’s analysis of Twitter, TikTok, Instagram and Facebook followers as of July 2022.

What’s more, popular musicians are starting to “bet big” on their own brands. According to the report, Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty was among the top five brands found to have the highest social engagement. The lingerie-centric label is capitalizing on its success by reportedly planning to go public and starting to open brick-and-mortar stores after exclusively operating online.

In fact, when the “Pon De Replay” singer opened her first physical store in Las Vegas earlier this year, longtime fans and newcomers likely among Rihanna’s 349 million social devotees headed to Fenty’s big unveiling, waiting in line from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

 “This is due to the outsized influence artists increasingly have with younger audiences, combined with the creative freedom to weave compelling content across platforms that have massive reach,” Lynch added.