Brand Champions are so noted as local Nashville businesses that have successfully integrated the Music City brand into their day-to-day activities. The Music City brand represents all genres of music - from country to blues, rock to jazz, gospel to bluegrass and classical to songwriting. And the businesses below have used signage, events, advertising, exhibits, live music offerings and even language and nametags infused with what makes us Music City: the music. These honored businesses are recognized for their efforts and originality in building the Music City brand. Check back frequently to see new additions to this stellar lineup.
Southwest Airlines is committed to supporting artists, songwriters, and fans by way of their sponsorship of NSAI and The Bluebird Cafe. Since 2015, Southwest has been the Official Airline of the Nashville Songwriters Association International and The Bluebird Cafe. This sponsorship aligns with their own initiative called Southwest.fm. According to their site, “Southwest is dedicated to showcasing the talents of musicians through their Live at 35® performances (onboard Southwest planes), highlighting our commitment to supporting Artists on the Rise, and providing a glimpse of the many ways in which Southwest® is involved in music.” Many of the artists they feature and support are Nashville-based artists and songwriters. They have partnered with the Opry to host Nashville’s New Music in New York at the Southwest Porch. Another reason Southwest is a great Brand Champion: Guitars fly free!
The Frist Art Museum is a nonprofit art exhibition center dedicated to presenting the finest visual art from local, state, and regional artists, as well as major U.S. and international exhibitions. Their team has gone above and beyond in their efforts to incorporate all genres of music within their programming. Examples of their stellar inclusion of music include Frist Fridays, a quarterly event that allows attendees to experience art through live music performances and interactive gallery activities while enjoying food and beverage specials and Music at the Café, a free, live music showcase that features artists from an eclectic group of musical genres. Their team has also partnered with the Nashville Jazz Workshop to put on Jazz on the Move, an educational series featuring a lecture and performance that highlights a major figure or period in jazz history.
Little Fib is an American retro restaurant that honors the rich history of Nashville through food, drink, and music. The very name of the restaurant is inspired by a quote describing the progression of country music: From “three chords and the truth” it moves to “five chords and a little fib” to “eight chords and an outright lie.” A wall mural dedicated to the Man in Black, Johnny Cash, helps to set the tone for patrons as they are treated to Little Fib’s contemporary take on Southern classics and craft cocktails.
As part apparel store, part guitar shop and part live music venue, Two Old Hippies embodies the Music City brand. Located in the Gulch, the store’s walls are lined with music memorabilia, and they offer a collection of premium acoustic stringed instruments, along with accessories and gifts for the acoustic lover. They are famous for The Vault, a quiet room to test out a new guitar, mandolin or ukulele. The shop has a stage for in-store live music, and their motto is: “Share in the spirit of Peace, Love & Rock N’ Roll.”
Bridgestone Arena may be home to the Nashville Predators, but as importantly it is a major player in Nashville’s music industry that integrates music into everything it does. It’s a top concert arena in the country: Pollstar’s Arena of the Year; 2017 Arena of the Year – IEBA; 2017 Arena of the Year – CMA; and 2017 Large Capacity Venue of the Year – ACM. It’s ranked No. 4 in the United State and No. 12 worldwide for concert ticket sales by Pollstar. It is home to the CMA Awards and the CMT Awards and houses SiriusXM Radio, along with the Nashville Visitor Information Center and Music City Shop. Its 13,500-square-foot rehearsal hall is used more than 200 days each year by national touring acts. The Arena celebrates concert sell-outs by wrapping a support beam in honor of the tour. Recently, Brad Paisley and Rob Hendon painted a mural together outside of Section 109. The mural features the Predators logo, the Nashville skyline, two guitars, and a catfish. Its iconic glass tower is said to either symbolize a spotlight or is a nod to the WSM tower, which both promote the Music City brand.