A lesson in almost free marketing from the local Playhouse

My oldest son started theater in middle school.  He was a shy little thing then, and we watched him grow into a kid who could break into a number from The Music Man a few years later in a busy shopping mall, without giving it a second thought.

The very first play he was on at our local community theater, the Flagler Playhouse, was Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Most of the cast members were elementary through high school aged kids and the play was a phenomenal success.  It was the first play performed at the newly purchased first permanent home for this 25 year-old community organization, a hundred year-old church in a not so desirable area of Flagler County. I remember standing outside the entrance with just a fabric banner announcing the name of the theater, and watching hundreds of bats flying over our heads on their evening journey.  Apparently, there is a nest there that came with the building, and I hope they manage to keep it intact.

my son in Annie Jr at the Flagler Playhouse

In any event, the playhouse under a different name has been a fixture in this community for over a quarter century, and for them to finally get a permanent home is an incredible achievement.  Joseph was sold out, which amounted to about 170 people in the audience for each night of this play’s run.

So let’s say the play ran for 8 evenings.  That means 1,360 people saw the play.  Something tells me some of those people purchase goods or services in this town, whether real estate or gifts or food.  The sponsorships in the program could be purchased for $50.00  So let’s do the math:  for $50.00 a business could have touched $1,360 people, which breaks down to just over .03 per person.

The surprising thing to me, looking at that program, was that not a single Realtor was listed as a sponsor.  Some mom and pop restaurants, the same ones that tend to support all local events were, and a few banks.   I am not aware of a less expensive real estate marketing venue than these types of events and community organizations provide, and more importantly, I don’t think you can purchase the kind of good will generally associated with supporting the arts and the kids in your communities elsewhere for any money.

So take note and check out your local performing arts venues, and ask how much an ad in one of their programs is.  You’ll be building your brand and helping a great cause at the same time.


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