Sex, drugs and Rock-n-Rye: An, uh, unsolicited sponsorship shakes up a spurt in growth at Faygo

When it comes to branding, there are some sponsorships that Detroit-based Faygo Beverages Inc. can control, and things that it can't. Outside its control has been its "unsolicited sponsorship" from a band many companies might not associate with, a band whose followers are classified as a gang by the FBI. ICP is a hip-hop duo from Detroit that gained fame rapping about serial killers, necrophilia, violence, sex and black magic. In addition, however, the group expresses a passion for Faygo soda in many of its songs. At concerts, in fact, ICP sprays its fans with truckloads of Faygo. As a result, juggalos demand the soda be sold wherever the band tours. When ICP uses the soda in its shows, it connects fans in a way that television and Internet advertisements cannot, said Jeffrey Stoltman, Wayne State University associate professor of marketing. Psychologically, the song references and soda showers give fans a personal connection to ICP when they drink the soda themselves, he said. This connection starts at the individual level before moving on to family and friends where it then "becomes a powerful self-reinforcing machine," he said.

Crain's Detroit Business

View all news stories