UKTI is a super hero for Gotham Records

A BIRMINGHAM-based record label and artists’ management company has been taking the US music industry by storm, supported by UK Trade & Investment.

Following two UKTI-supported music industry visits to the States, Gotham Records, part of Barry Tomes Media Group, has signed a contract worth £30,000 to provide PR support for a hit US music tv show; opened an office in Los Angeles, gained a lucrative sponsorship deal from a US popcorn brand and is now also representing several emerging US artists alongside the firm’s home-grown talent.  

Mr Tomes, owner and MD of Gotham Records, said: “The first UKTI-supported visit was to the South by South West (SXSW) music festival in Texas last March – one of the biggest and most influential music festivals in the world.  Here we made several crucial contacts with film and tv music supervisors – they’re the people who supply and place music for the film and tv industries.”

Following this success, the company joined the UKTI supported Sync mission to Hollywood in April last year. The annual Sync event took place at the world famous Capitol Records Tower and provided British companies with the opportunity to meet more than 200 key US music supervisors, as well as visit executives at NBC Universal Television studios and the Disney/ABC offices.

The visit finished with an evening reception at the UK Consul-General’s residence attended by more than 300 music industry guests.

“The Sync event was an even bigger success for us. We got to meet around 230 music supervisors – without UKTI’s help, I couldn’t meet 100 music supervisors in a year,” said Mr Tomes.

“On this visit we achieved the sponsorship deal with popcorn brand Oogies and are now working with major US new music show, The Jimmy Lloyd Songwriter Showcase.”

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The Jimmy Lloyd Songwriter Showcase is shown on national US channel, NBC. Following connections made by the company on the visit to California, an episode of the show was filmed in Birmingham in December 2012, featuring Super6 – a local Birmingham band signed to Gotham Records. The band has now also been featured in US magazine, High Voltage and the show featuring the band is due to be aired in the spring.

Gotham’s PR department, Tomes PR carried out the publicity ahead of the Birmingham show which was so successful, the company won the £30,000 contract to carry out PR for the Jimmy Lloyd Show in the US. More recently Gotham has signed a contract to provide PR for another US music show – Real Music Live.  The company will also be representing British Music Week in San Francisco this May.

As well as the two highly fruitful trade missions to the US, the firm has taken advantage of UKTI’s Passport to Export programme,  the Gateway to Global Growth programme and Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS).  Gotham Records’ US business is now worth 30% of the company’s turnover and Tomes expects this to rise to around 70% by the end of this year.

Aside from its office in LA, the company is now looking at developing the business in New York.

Paul Meikle, the firm’s international trade advisor, said: “The UK music industry has a reputation for originality and quality which makes it an extremely marketable product for overseas markets such as the US, Japan and China. We’ve enjoyed a great working relationship with Gotham Records for several years and it’s fantastic to see them enjoying such great success as a direct result of working with us.”