MARKETING VS. SPONSORSHIP

It has been said that some of the smartest people out there are in advertising and marketing.  Think of some of the brilliant brand campaigns of the past and you would probably agree.  So why are we in live entertainment going to corporations with our hands out looking for a check rather than partnering-up to get the word out?  Why are we not attempting to build more Branded Live Entertainment properties?

Those in sponsorship sales have been saying for years that “the dollars are just not what they used to be”.  After all this time, there is still no uniform measurement for live events or live impressions as there is for media (CPM or cost per million, etc).  So if brands are spending less on traditional media, imagine how they are looking at sponsorship in these troubled times.  Live entertainment needs to partner with brands and play to each others strengths.  We provide the entertainment vehicle while the pros from the marketing world craft the message, while using their vast arsenal of weapons to get the word out there, heard, and understood.

In the concert business, when we break the news to fans that a show is going on-sale, it usually looks something like this…

  • a) Announcement to radio of on-sale date
  • b) Spam music fans that may have purchased tickets in the past about the date
  • c) Buy ads in local weekly for print (if you still do it), run 4-8 ads for 4-days on appropriate radio stations for the “break”…plus lame promos like win before you can buy…cable TV buys and possibly some web stuff. Of course all your marketing materials look and sound exactly the same as they did 20-years ago
  • d) You put together a “maintenance plan” based on how you did on the on-sale

How many times do you think a local marketer has to run the above exercise each year?  Now imagine those same people have the time, resources, manpower, and money to promote each live event as if it were a new product launch from Proctor & Gamble.  Just think of what you could do with $20 million versus $1 million ($25,000 x 40 dates), and a radio spot where you aren’t waiting to hear…”Funny car, Funny car, Funny car this weekend only”.

Talk with you soon…

Jim

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