For the second year in a row, Blue Headphones was NPR’s sponsor for coverage of the South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference and Festivals. For 2017, NPM created a series of custom, cross-platform sponsorship products that spanned NPR Music and the SXSW video coverage page to provide a seamless integration between NPR Music’s event and the sponsorship message. 

Blue Headphones Center Stage

Responsive and interactive Center Stage roadblocks on the NPR homepage and across SXSW content.


SXSW Halo Banner

300 x 600 Halo Unit banner featuring the Blue Headphones alongside updates from SXSW across NPR Music and NPR.org.


NPR Music Series Halo Units


Blue Halo
Blue Halo
Blue Halo

Watch Videos from South X Lullaby Series and the NPR Music Showcase

Click below to watch the playlist of videos from NPR Music’s South X Lullaby series and NPR Music’s Showcase supported by Blue Headphones.

NPR Music Showcase, Presented with Support from Blue Headphones

Thousands of fans joined NPR Music and Blue Headphones at Stubb’s BBQ for six hours of live music and dancing. The multi-genre Showcase featured PWR BTTM, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Lizzo, Sylvan Esso, Big Thief and The New Pornographers and did not disappoint fans or critics.


A showcase so strong you can plunk down there for the night. – Billboard

PWR BTTM (left) and Hurray for the Riff Raff (right), took SXSW by storm. Rolling Stone named these two among the “10 Artists Making a Splash at SXSW 2017.”

Both Sylvan Esso (left) and Big Thief (right) performed new and unreleased music at the NPR Music Showcase.

The New Pornographers (left) closed out the NPR Music Showcase, and (right) Lizzo, coined in 2016 as the artist to see, brought down the house.

Photo Credit: Adam Kissick

Blue Headphones’ Event Activation

NPR Music and Blue Headphones enhanced the Showcase experience in 2017 with expanded event branding and original event artwork leveraged on site, across NPR digital platforms and event towards Blue Headphones’ digital campaign on NPR.org.

From the first press release announcing the Showcase through to follow-up coverage, Blue Headphones was recognized across NPR Music’s Showcase promotion. In Austin, the integration extended to co-branded concert posters hung around town, large-scale custom banners at the venue, co-branded tote bags given out to 600 fans on site and dynamic stage lighting that projected the Blue Headphones and NPR Music logos over the artists throughout the night.

Blue Headphones’ sponsorship was also integrated into the programming of the evening Showcase. NPR Music representatives spoke about Blue Headphones and their ongoing support of NPR Music in their remarks between sets. Blue CEO John Maier joined the team for one set break to share a bit about Blue’s mission and connection to music, and also helped promote Blue’s Sadie Headphones giveaway happening at the Showcase that night.

Discover more on Blue’s sponsorship activation here and catch up on their 2016 activation here.

600+ fans at Stubb’s received free co-branded totes.

Photo Credit: Adam Kissick    

Co-branded banners decorated Stubb’s inside and out, prominently displaying Blue Headphones’ sponsorship.

Photo Credit: Caitlin Sanders    

A few lucky giveaway winners were also the new owners of Blue’s Sadie Headphones.

Photo Credit: Caitlin Sanders    

Large banners lined the fence at Stubb’s in Austin, TX, for the NPR Music Showcase at SXSW.

Photo Credit: Caitlin Sanders     

NPR Music’s Showcase posters decorated Austin, including popular spots such as 6th Street.

Photo Credit: Adam Kissick    

Co-branded totes served as artist gift bags with Blue’s Sadie Headphones and personal notes for each performer and their band.

Photo Credit: Caitlin Sanders    

11×17 posters and announcements promoted the NPR Music Showcase and Blue’s Sadie Headphone giveaway.

Photo Credit: Caitlin Sanders    

Large banners – up to 25 ft. – decorated Stubb’s BBQ inside and out.

Photo Credit: Caitlin Sanders     

Blue’s green room presence included banners promoting current and forthcoming Blue products.

Photo Credit: Caitlin Sanders    

NPR did a great job executing both our media campaign and our event activation at NPR Music’s SXSW Showcase. Our #1 goal was to drive traffic to our website through engaging the NPR audience. The results were stellar, including a 250% increase in visitors to our site. Looks like we’ve found a love-connection!

-Adam Castillo, Vice President of Marketing, Blue