Live Nation Entertainment and Ford Motor Company have teamed up to release reality web series “The Rider Challenger.” The web show, which according to Variety cost Live Nation around $5 million, asks contestants to complete a musician’s list of backstage requirements, also known as a rider.
Participating musicians and bands include The Lumineers, Kid Cudi, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Fall Out Boy, and Fitz & the Tantrums. In classic rockstar fashion, riders will demand things like soda and candy with some curveballs surely thrown in. Have you ever heard the story about Van Halen demanding all brown M&Ms be removed from their dressing room? Now you have an idea of what contestants could be facing.
The team that wins “The Rider Challenge” will receive a new Ford Fiesta and backstage passes to every Live Nation concert for one year. Ford, for their part, are providing the Ford Fiestas that competing teams will use to drive around and find items on their assigned riders.
“The Rider Challenge” does not mark Ford’s first foray into the branded web series space; back in 2010, the company launched the tepidly-received, very branded “Focus Rally: America.” Ford also launched the interactive reality show “Escape Routes” on March 31, 2012 in conjunction with NBC. The show was co-hosted by YouTube’s Justine Ezarik and supported audience participation via the website escaperoutes.com.
If you haven’t noticed already, Ford and Live Nation are looking to lock in the 18–34 age group that represents such a large majority of the web space. As Samsung’s “Magna Carta Holy Grail with JAY Z + Samsung” proved back in June, in brands’ eyes, there is no better way to appeal to millennials than through music, hence, Live Nation.
“The Rider Challenge” kicks of the first of 18 episodes on September 30, 2013 at riderchallengeseries.com and will run through November 30. Those wishing to participate at home can enter their rider dream package via Instagram for a chance to win a VIP concert package courtesy of Live Nation.