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Original Issue

Banshee Themes

A music firm helps teams sing their own songs

Last season Lambeau Field fans heard a new song over the P.A. before kickoffs. Instead of the Rolling Stones' Start Me Up, it was an unfamiliar rock anthem with pounding drums and lyrics: "Welcome to the Tundra/You hear the thunda/Scream until you go hoarse/Let 'em feel the G-Force." The song, G-Force Roar, is the creation of Banshee Music, a two-year-old Milwaukee company that partners with teams and venues to produce original music. Founder Gary Reynolds calls it "sonic branding."

A growing stable of clients—including the Atlanta Falcons, the Kentucky Derby, Ohio State football, the Orlando Magic and, most recently, the Dallas Cowboys—have partnered with Banshee. The songs, which are played at events and sold as ring tones or given away in retail partnerships, are written and performed by professional musicians recruited by Reynolds, including members of the Wallflowers and the Rembrandts and Grammy-nominated producer Johnny K.

Reynolds estimates the tunes could generate "tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars" per year for clients and vividly capture the personalities of teams and places. For the Derby, Banshee produced a 16-song sound track, including country, pop and dance versions of My Old Kentucky Home. Says Churchill Downs chief marketing officer Dave Tompkins, "We want to interact with our fans for more than a two-minute horse race."