Samsung and Rihanna are partnering up in an unprecedented $25 million sponsorship deal. The pact will cover both Rihanna's upcoming eighth album and subsequent tour, and is the largest sponsorship deal ever of its kind.
We've been reporting on the huge return of one of the world's top female pop stars, singer/songwriter Adele, who has been dominating music headlines, YouTube, and social media lately with the release of her latest single and video, "Hello", and the upcoming debut of her new album "25". Recent reports claim that the recording artist's management group, William Morris Endeavor, is in talks with Apple to ink a $30 million sponsorship deal for Adele's upcoming tour, which would also include some Apple Music exclusivity for her new music and videos.
Skeptical industry sources stated that despite the singer's popularity, the $30 million payday Adele and her team were looking for was unrealistic, given that most sponsorship deals these days go for a fraction of that amount.
It looks as if Rihanna and Samsung have just changed the game, however, as the pop star has landed a deal with Samsung for nearly the same amount. Samsung is reportedly paying Rihanna, who, at 27, is the same age as Adele and one of the biggest selling music artists of all time, $25 million for the sponsorship of her upcoming tour and album.
The LP, Rihanna's eighth, is reportedly entitled "Anti", and is expected to be released in several weeks, as is Adele's album, which will drop on Nov.20. The Barbadian singer has apparently been working furiously in the studio to complete the tracks and make last minute changes to the set.
The singer's manager, Jay Brown of Roc Nation, along with Jay-Z, who owns the company, have been in talks with the Samsung for seven months ironing out details. Last month, Jay-Z was pictured visiting the tech titan's corporate offices, fueling speculation that the rapper-entrepreneur might be negotiating a deal to sell his troubled streaming music service to the company.
The meeting, however, was apparently related to the Rihanna deal, although it remains to be seen how Tidal may or may not fit into the release plans. Rihanna is one of many high profile celebrity partners in the music-streaming service, although Samsung wants to release Rihanna's new video content through it's Milk Music radio service.
The deal also includes promotion of Samsung's Galaxy smartphone series by the singer. Rumor has it that Samsung will release its latest Galaxy S7 flagship smartphone next January, several months earlier than it usually reveals its new S series handset, so the timing also makes sense for a deal of this sort.
With the huge number attached to the pact, it will be interesting to see if Apple gives in to Adele's monetary demands now that its biggest smartphone rival has nailed down a deal with another first-name-only female pop superstar.