Hilton CMO: Unlocking Loyalty With Live Music


For nearly a decade, Hilton and Live Nation have teamed up to curate extraordinary experiences for Hilton Honors members that cultivate lifelong memories and unwavering loyalty, offering thousands of exclusive, money-can’t-buy live music experiences that bring members closer to their favorite artists. 

In a recent Q&A, Russell Wallach, Live Nation’s Global President, sat down with Mark Weinstein, Hilton CMO, to discuss Hilton’s innovative approach to redefining brand loyalty and the pivotal role our partnership has played in the evolution of the Hilton Honors loyalty program.

Jake Owen for Hilton Honors

Russell Wallach (RW): As we approach a decade together, our partnership continues to grow. Your team’s innovation with the Hilton Honors program has made Hilton a loyalty leader, and I’m proud of Live Nation’s role in this journey. Today, Hilton Honors members redeem millions of points for exclusive experiences with their favorite artists, thanks to Hilton.

Mark Weinstein (MW): At Hilton we’re For the Stay. We believe that in a world that’s “go, go, go” – wonderful things happen when you actually stop and stay. And our promise to our Hilton Honors members is that Hilton Honors makes staying better. Making a stay better starts with our hotels, but it can definitely be amplified with powerful partners. 

I am incredibly proud of the exclusive Hilton Honors experiences we’ve created with Live Nation, thanks to our nearly decade-long partnership. I remember sitting with you imagining what we could do together at the very beginning. And when I look back we’ve achieved that plus so much more.

Live Nation has become a cornerstone in elevating the stay experience and creating lasting memories for our Hilton Honors members, connecting their Points with their passions. As we reflect on our past successes, we’re equally excited about the limitless possibilities for the future.

There is nothing more powerful than the combination of travel and music – and therefore nothing more powerful than a partnership between Hilton and Live Nation.

RW: 92% of live music goers agree that loyalty programs make them feel valued. With over half of global concertgoers eager to travel for shows, how does live music deepen the connection between your brand and guests? What role does Hilton Honors play in your overall marketing strategy? 

MW: Our 165M Hilton Honors members are the lifeblood of Hilton. Each night they make up over 63% of the guests staying with us. Hilton Honors is how we connect with our guests in a more meaningful, purposeful, personalized way. Our members seek out exceptional experiences to create new travel memories, and we know music is their passion. Whether providing the opportunity to bid on once-in-a-lifetime experiences with musicians or the ability to link a Hilton Honors account with Ticketmaster to buy concert tickets with Points, the unique offerings through our strategic partnership with Live Nation have created some of the most memorable and exciting experiences for our members.

RW: In 2023, we partnered on more than 175 exclusive live experiences for Hilton Honors members with their favorite artists like 5 Seconds of Summer, Depeche Mode, and Odesza, among many others. Tell us about your innovative approach to curating experiences that will resonate with HH members, and how our partnership enhances the diversity and personalization of those experiences. 

MW: ​​Live Nation unlocks unprecedented access to incredible artists. This has been instrumental in diversifying the exclusive experiences we able to provide to our Hilton Honors members. Whether built around music, entertainment, comedy, or sports – each new experience we offer through our Hilton Honors Experiences platform has been carefully curated based on our members’ diverse passions and interests. Whether a member loves country, rock or pop music, Hilton Honors powered by Live Nation offer experiences for every passion point. As we plan for the remainder of the year, we are excited for many more experiences to come – access to fan’s favorite artists and some major surprises along the way.

Our partnership has offered fans worldwide access and opportunities far beyond the ordinary. We know these moments can make lifetime memories.
Mark Weinstein, HIlton

RW: Hilton Honors events have been some of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever attended. Which live music experiences have left a lasting impression on Hilton Honors members?

MW: I agree and have to start by thanking our incredible teams.  Those events are the result of the incredible Hilton and Live Nation Team Members that pour their hearts and souls into curating every detail of the experience.

Music is in Hilton’s DNA.  So many Hilton Stays have been at the center of music’s biggest moments and moments in history – for example the first GRAMMYs was held at the Beverly Hilton, John Lennon wrote “Imagine” on his New York Hilton Midtown notepad, and Freddie Mercury wrote “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” while taking a bath at the Hilton Frankfurt.

So we’re particularly committed to creating the next generation of music experience for our Hilton Honors members. Our partnership has offered fans worldwide access and opportunities far beyond the ordinary. We know these moments can make lifetime memories. For example, one of our Hilton Honors members redeemed her points for a private drum lesson with icon Travis Barker as a gift for her son, an aspiring drummer. He was so excited to meet Travis and learn from a world-renowned musician that he looks up to, sharing that Travis’ advice on being authentic in his playing deeply resonated. Experiences like this vividly illustrate how we’re helping our members create lasting memories.

Blink-182's Travis Barker gives private drum lesson to Hilton Honors member

RW: Out of all the Hilton Honors member events you’ve experienced, which ones resonated most with you?

MW: ​​For me, it’s corny as it may sound, it’s about standing the back and watching the experiences we are creating for our members. I get goosebumps watching a kid meet their favorite artist and then turn to their mom or dad – the Hilton Honors member – and thank them for making it possible.

You know I’m a huge fan of music. Pretty much any genre. And am inspired by artists doing what they love and do best. So it’s really hard to pick just one…

Years ago we had OneRepublic on the rooftop of the Beverly Hilton the week of the GRAMMYs. It was pretty epic. But what stood out the most was hearing Ryan Tedder spontaneously, almost surprising himself, mid-set recalling traveling with his family as a kid and staying in our hotels. It was so pure and authentic. And then we did an encore at Abby Road Studios – where Ryan stopped mid-song after singing the words “Abbey Road” realizing he wrote the song about his time in the very same room.

And more recently, we hosted John Legend at Waldorf Astoria Washington DC. It’s my hometown. It’s an incredible hotel. And he was so authentic letting our Hilton Honors members in on his personal journey – how his family and travels inspired his music.

There’s something incredibly special about seeing the joy on our members’ faces during an intimate performance by an artist they admire and never imagined they’d get to meet. I’m grateful to you and your team at Live Nation for helping us make that possible.

John Legend for Hilton Honors

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