"The scale is monumental": Lenny Kravitz to play Champions League final, event exec produced by Live Nation

It’s a busy time to be Lenny Kravitz right now. First, this month, the multi-platinum-selling, Grammy-winning rock icon releases Blue Electric Light, via BMG – his first new studio album since 2018. But that’s not all. 

The star has also announced he will headline the UEFA Champions League Final Kick Off Show presented by Pepsi on June 1 at Wembley Stadium. The event will be executive produced by Live Nation Entertainment, who will “lead talent procurement and creative development”.

Speaking about the performance, Kravitz said: “I’m really looking forward to my performance for the UEFA Champions League Final Kick Off Show presented by Pepsi in London, a city which holds a special place in my heart. It’s going to be such an exciting event ahead of a final that means so much to so many. We can’t wait to show you all what we have in store.”

The UEFA Champions League Final Kick Off Show presented by Pepsi will air in over 200 countries and territories globally, just minutes before the game begins. 

Eric Melis, VP of Global Brand Marketing – Pepsi at PepsiCo said: “Lenny Kravitz is someone who is constantly giving the best that he has to offer and spreading love and humanity in all his work.”

“We can’t wait to see how fans react to this unmissable show,” added Melis. 

Fans can tune in to watch the Kick Off Show via their local broadcaster and through the official UEFA YouTube channel. 

We can’t wait to show you all what we have in store

Lenny Kravitz

Speaking on the evolution of bringing music to the Champions League, Guy-Laurent Epstein, UEFA marketing director, said: “Our longstanding and fruitful partnership with Pepsi fills us with enormous pride as we collaborate to make this flagship match on the football calendar more memorable and entertaining for fans inside Wembley and those watching around the globe.”

Here, James Massing, SVP – Special Operations, at Live Nation, tells us more about what we can expect from one of the biggest days in the footballing calendar…

How did Live Nation come to executive produce the Champions League Final? What are the logistical challenges you've had to get around?
“The partnership with UEFA and Pepsi has been brewing for some time, and seizing the opportunity to leverage Live Nation's expertise seemed like a natural fit to deliver a show worthy of the UEFA Champions League Final Kick Off Show presented by Pepsi. Crafting a spectacle for an event of this magnitude, viewed by well over 100 million worldwide, is both exhilarating and daunting. Logistical hurdles, particularly orchestrating a stadium show on a grass pitch moments before kick-off, present unique challenges. Maintaining the right energy for both the live and televised audience is also a delicate balance. Credit to Fatima Robinson for steering the creative vision."

What was behind the choice of getting Lenny Kravitz to play it?  
“The notion of Lenny Kravitz performing crystallised during a moment of inspiration while watching my beloved Arsenal, fuelled by the anthemic resonance of Fly Away during team warm-up. Collaborating with Lenny's manager, Craig Fruin, solidified the idea, especially given the synergy with Lenny's album release and his new single, Human. It represents a strategic alignment that serves as a significant promotional platform for Lenny, strengthened by Pepsi's marketing expertise and a seamless synergy between him and the brand. As for surprises, well, let's say we're keeping a few cards up our sleeves.” 

As football evolves, so too does its embrace of live music 

James Massing, Live Nation

The reach of the final is huge. Just how powerful a moment for Lenny's new album campaign could this be? And how important are these moments increasingly becoming in giving an artist a true mass platform in a post-monoculture world?
“The scale is monumental. With coverage spanning over 200 countries, this serves as an unparalleled global showcase for Lenny's new album campaign. The combined marketing efforts of Pepsi and UEFA will propel Lenny's singles and album to stratospheric heights. These moments epitomise the pinnacle of mass exposure for an artist in today's post-monoculture landscape, offering a platform that transcends borders and resonates with diverse audiences worldwide."

The epitome of the crossover between live sports and music is the Super Bowl halftime show, but do you feel football kick-off performances are starting to grow in stature now, too?  
“Undoubtedly, football kick-off performances are ascending in prominence. While the Super Bowl halftime show remains the gold standard, other global sporting events are increasingly leveraging the synergy between sports and music to drive engagement and commercial success. UEFA Champions League Final Kick Off Show presented by Pepsi, now in its eight’s year, exemplifies this trend. It's a distinct platform which is pre-show to the world’s biggest annual sporting event. As football evolves, so too does its embrace of live music, creating symbiotic moments that resonate with audiences worldwide. Having Pepsi as a partner and brand that is rooted deeply in football and music makes this an exciting project for Live Nation to be involved with.”

Live Nation recently triumphed in the Live Music Promoter at the Music Week Awards 2024.

Subscribers can revisit our recent Aftershow interview with Lenny Kravitz here

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