Case | HBS Case Collection | July 2011 (Revised October 2011)

Lady Gaga (A)

by Anita Elberse and Michael Christensen


In September 2009, Troy Carter, manager of up-and-coming pop star Lady Gaga, has to decide on a new course of action now that his artist's planned co-headlining arena tour with hip-hop superstar Kanye West has been cancelled. Carter knows that continuing the tour, but doing so solo, comes with huge risks, but scaling it back to smaller theaters or postponing the tour altogether has disadvantages as well. Making matters more complicated, Carter also has to consider the implications for Gaga's partners, including the concert promoter Live Nation and the William Morris Endeavor agency. What is the best strategy? Designed to help students understand the decisions that helped propel Lady Gaga into one of the entertainment world's biggest names. Written from the perspective of her manager, the case provides rich insights into the artist's touring, recorded-music, and social-media activities, as well as supporting economic data.

Keywords: Employee Relationship Management; Marketing Strategy; Product; Product Development; Business and Stakeholder Relations; Creativity; Music Industry;


Elberse, Anita, and Michael Christensen. "Lady Gaga (A)." Harvard Business School Case 512-016, July 2011. (Revised October 2011.)