English Premier League football team Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club (aka Wolves) has teamed up with Warner Music‘s ADA to launch a new record label, Wolves Records in the UK.
Legendary music manager Peter Rudge, who managed The Who and The Rolling Stones amongst others, has joined the label as a strategic consultant.
The label is co-headed by Ricky Hill and Kris Tomkinson.
Artists who sign to Wolves Records will be supported by the club’s various media and social channels, including airplay at Molineux Stadium and across the club’s digital productions.
The Premier League football club’s global audience includes 3.2 billion global viewers as of the 2018/19 season.
The label is inviting track submissions from local, national and international solo acts, bands and producers for consideration via its website.
Wolves, according to a media statement, has been investing in projects outside of football for some time, with moves made in the world of esports and fashion.
This includes a recent partnership with US esports company Evil Geniuses.
While the label’s initial focus will be on developing artists local to the Midlands where the team is based, Wolves Records says its ambition is to expand globally.
To aid the label in its search for a first signing, Wolves Records is partnering with various A&R and production consultants, the first of which is singer, songwriter, and highly sought-after producer, S-X.
A Wolves fan and Wolves Foundation ambassador, S-X has worked with the likes of Lil Wayne, Childish Gambino, Chance the Rapper, J. Cole and Skepta, as well as a Grammy-nomination, gold and silver-selling records and an international tour with Lily Allen.
“I am genuinely looking forward to seeing how Wolves Records can impact the music industry.”
S-X said: “I am very excited to be involved and support Wolves Records from the beginning and am looking forward to helping identify the best local talent and working with the label’s first artists.
“Wolves and the city of Wolverhampton are both very close to my heart, and I am deeply passionate about giving talented young people from this area the best opportunities, and the rich musical talent that the West Midlands has to offer.
“I am genuinely looking forward to seeing how Wolves Records can impact the music industry and support new artists, and I’m also very proud that it is my club that is going to be the first in the UK to venture into music in such an authentic and exciting way.
“Football and music are a universal language.”
Peter Rudge, said: “I was born one mile away from the famous old Molineux and came to my first game with my Uncle Had in March 1951.
“I sat on my uncle’s shoulders on the old South Bank, and thus began a love affair with Wolves that has been such a major part of my life ever since.
“Football and music are a universal language.
Added Rudge: “Wherever in the world you visit you will likely see a Beckham or a Beatles t-shirt, and the footballers of today have so much in common with musicians in terms of influencing and setting the cultural tone of the times.
“Wolves and Warner Music’s ADA will merge these two cultures and partner in combining their respective skills and assets to develop Wolves Records, and in turn support, nurture, and encourage the local music community.
“I am thrilled to be involved in this initiative, to be able to be part of creating Wolves Records, and thus merging two of mine, and the world’s, great passions – football and music.”
“one of our goals at Wolves is to grow the club in innovative and entrepreneurial ways.”
Russell Jones, wolves
Russell Jones, Wolves general manager of marketing and commercial growth, said: “Wolves Records is an ambitious and progressive project that we have been working on for some time, and we are delighted to finally be able to announce it publicly.
“Working hand-in-hand with Warner Music’s ADA and lots of very talented and experienced industry professionals, Wolves Records will provide talent with life-changing opportunities.
“As many of our supporters will be aware, one of our goals at Wolves is to grow the club in innovative and entrepreneurial ways, developing new business ideas that will eventually complement and help support the continued success of the football club.
“We are beginning to see considerable success in our global esports teams, and we believe Wolves Records can have the same level of impact.
“Of course, this is just the beginning of the journey for Wolves Records, and the hard work now intensifies as we begin the search for our first acts to sign to Wolves Records; I am confident that we have a great team in place to make the label a huge success.”
“There’s so much talent in the local area, that Wolves Records is perfectly positioned and hungry to back.”
Ricky Hill, label co-founder, added: “I went to University in Wolverhampton so I’ve a lot of affection for the city and the Midlands.
“There’s so much talent in the local area, that Wolves Records is perfectly positioned and hungry to back.
“However, this is not just about supporting local artists, but a genuine and authentic move by a football club with a vast audience to penetrate the music industry and develop new and emerging talent across the world.
“By partnering with Warner Music and ADA, we are also able to plug into some of the best distribution available and have support from their team of experts when it comes to releasing music.”
“If the last couple of years have shown us anything is that there’s always room and necessity for innovation.”
Kris Tomkinson, said: “If the last couple of years have shown us anything is that there’s always room and necessity for innovation. Wolves Records is doing exactly that.
“Wolves FC are a driven, ambitious, forward thinking club and the label mirrors that.
“Working with them, alongside Warner and our bespoke teams around each artist offers unique resources and unrivalled exposure on a global scale.
“Our main motivation for starting the label was to create more opportunity for artists/producers and to unearth talent.
“There’s an insane amount of talent out there that goes unnoticed – we’re here to improve on that add another layer to our much loved music industry.”
In September 2020 BMG agreed a strategic partnership with French Ligue 1 football club Olympique de Marseille (OM) including the launch of OM Records, a new label for hip-hop, rap, and R&B.Music Business Worldwide