VERVE: BITTERSWEET FEELINGS ABOUT NIKE'S USE OF THEIR SONG
If it were up to the Verve, Nike "never would have
received permission" to use their song "Bitter Sweet
Symphony" as the "cornerstone" of the company's new "I Can"
campaign, according to Eric Boelhert of ROLLING STONE.
However, due to a "tangled web of music-publishing rights,"
the decision "wasn't really [the Verve's] to make." Since
"Bitter Sweet Symphony" includes a sample of the Rolling
Stones song "The Last Time," ABKCO, which owns the
copyrights to many early Stones songs, "took control of"
rights to the song last year. Rather than allowing ABKCO to
sell a "sound-alike" version to advertisers, the Verve
"decided to license their actual recording" to one major
advertiser, hoping to "deter others from wanting to buy the
publishing rights." Nike, which paid $700,000 for the
rights, beat out Budweiser, Coca-Cola, GM and others. ABKCO
received $350,000 in the deal, while the Verve took home
$175,000. Two weeks after the Nike ads debuted during the
NFL playoffs, the Verve's album "Urban Hyms" rose 34 spots
on the Billboard charts to No. 36, its "highest point since
its release." The group's manager, Jazz Summers, "concedes
that the ad may help generate the Verve's U.S.
breakthrough." Nike's Business Affairs Manager Mark
Thomashow, who handled the deal, said that the band will
also "be heading to Paris this summer" after requesting
tickets to the World Cup (ROLLING STONE, 3/5 issue).