When David Nieman first began a decade in the past in a newly created job at Interscope Geffen A&M loosely revolving round movie and TV synchs for video games and, “it was about synchs for ESPN, placing music in Madden, and that’s the place I used to be centered,” he says. “After which over time, we simply realized how rather more there was to do.” Since then, Nieman has remodeled his position from simply one other voice within the label crowd pitching songs to networks into the chief of the primary devoted division at a significant label solely centered on the intersection of sports activities and music. Within the course of, he has broadened the concept of each what that may entail and what a label can provide — not simply to the artists on its roster, however to athletes, groups and sports activities leagues throughout the nation.
“We’ve elevated the best way that we work with athletes and artists in order that we are able to elevate the product that we’re bringing to our followers,” he says. “We’re making an attempt to superserve the athletes with the sources that we now have and, in the event that they’re severe about music, put them in a spot to win. However then with the followers, it’s ‘How can we superserve with extra product, with customized vinyl packaging, jerseys, merchandise?’ ”
Over the previous 10 years, Nieman has realized these targets in myriad methods. He has overseen occasions which can be conventional but nonetheless formidable:changing into the first-ever Faculty Soccer Playoff halftime performer in 2018; the NBA All-Star halftime present by in 2019 in Cole’s native North Carolina, at which 1,000 die-hard followers have been invited onto the courtroom, then delivered to a post-halftime location the place Cole and his Dreamville Data artists carried out; and Tremendous Bowl halftime present performances by (2017), (2019) and , , Lamar, and (2022).
Nieman and his staff have additionally orchestrated unorthodox moments, like working with MLB to create 30 customized vinyl iterations of’ 2023 album, Hackney Diamonds, representing every staff within the league or leveraging preexisting athlete-artist friendships ( and the Baltimore Ravens’ Lamar Jackson, and the Cincinnati Bengals’ Ja’Marr Chase) for video items that felt not simply genuine, however honest.
Up to now yr, Nieman’s staff has strengthened these athlete-artist bonds. Interscope hosted a listening session with the Los Angeles Chargers and a number of other of the label’s artists by which the staff got here to the studio to listen to unreleased music, with a couple of gamers even coming into the recording sales space themselves. That sparked an concept that turned NFL Profession Day: Interscope invited 20 present and former gamers — legends like Harry Holt and present-day stars like Derwin James and Darren Waller — to its places of work to expertise a day within the lifetime of the music trade, constructing and lengthening relationships among the many gamers, the label and its artists. An EP emerged, that includes collaborations between 5 NFL athletes and 5 Interscope artists and produced alongside the Madden NFL online game, and its music appeared in Madden as effectively.
“So typically we simply take into consideration halftime exhibits and synchs and who likes what staff, and there’s so many extra layers to it,” Nieman says. “Music and sports activities is popular culture, it’s front-line information. I’ve realized the ability that it has to show heads and create dialog. And actually, the extra we do, the extra we are able to infiltrate tradition and be that trendsetter that we’ve all the time got down to be at Interscope.”