Your client taking a role at a local playhouse
Reach an older, very upscale audience at these local venues
March 3, 2013
Broadway is the center of the theater world in the U.S., but there are many regional and local theaters around the country that are also good venues for advertisers to reach affluent audiences.
Theater audiences skew older, with nearly 60 percent age 45 or above, and they have plenty of money to spend, with about a third claiming an annual household income of at least $100,000.
Brands can sponsor individual productions or entire seasons of plays, host special events or sponsor galas. Sponsors get the additional benefit of looking good to the local community for supporting the arts.
To find out how to get your client at theaters, read on.
This is one in a Media Life series on buying out-of-home venues. They appear weekly.
Sponsorship at live theaters.
Individual theaters handle their own sponsorship programs.
How it works
Theaters aim for an uncluttered environment, so rarely are there ads in the seating area or near the stage. This lack of clutter helps the sponsors stand out.
The most basic option for brands is sponsoring a play or a season of plays. Usually the advertiser’s name or logo will be included in any marketing for a play or series of plays, such as “The Annual Summer Series Presented by Brand X.”
Other benefits of theater sponsorship can include recognition in play programs, a presence in emails sent to theater members, free tickets for clients or employees, and even private use of the theater for company events.
Brands can also sponsor special one-off events other than plays, such as concerts, readings or educational workshops. They can also put their name behind galas hosted to raise money for theater productions.
Advertisers can also place ads in play programs, either for one particular show or an entire season, or on envelopes used to distribute tickets.
Theater sponsorships are available in all major markets.
Total attendance at live theater events was 45.26 million in 2010, the latest data available from Americans for the Arts. That was up from 39.62 million in 2009, but down from 47.31 million in 2008.
How it is measured
Show attendance is tracked to estimate impressions.
What product categories work well
Recent or current theater sponsors include airlines, retail, financial, electronics, banking, hotels and auto.
Among adults who have attended a live theater event in the past 12 months, 52 percent are female and 48 percent male, according to Scarborough Research.
Sixteen percent are ages 18-29, 25 percent are 30-44, 39 percent are 45-64, and 20 percent are 65-plus.
Also, 69 percent have an annual household income of $50,000 or more, with 50 percent at $75,000 or more, 32 percent at $100,000 or more, and 5 percent at $250,000 or more.
Making the buy
Theater sponsorships are typically secured six months to a year in advance.
The cost of sponsorships varies depending on the size of the theater and the level of sponsorship. Small sponsorships could cost hundreds of dollars, while larger sponsorships run five figures.
Who’s already been at theaters
Current or recent brands that have sponsored theaters include Target, Best Buy, Toshiba, United Airlines, John Hancock, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Ernst & Young, American Airlines and Disney.
What they’re saying
“Depending on the needs of a sponsor, [theaters] can provide benefits including: access to a diverse, educated, loyal and professional audience; outstanding logo and/or name visibility, which generates millions of impressions; unique entertainment opportunities for client entertainment or employee rewards; and a prestigious association with the theater and its network of artists and supporters.” — Dorlisa Martin, director of development at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago
Web site info
Papermill Playhouse (New Jersey)
Goodman Theatre (Chicago)
Guthrie Theater (Minneapolis)
Fords Theatre (Washington, D.C.)
La Jolla Playhouse
Roundabout Theatre Company (New York)
Lookingglass Theatre (Chicago)
Tags: ads, advertisers, advertising in theaters, audience, best buy, development, director of development, Dorlisa Martin, Fast Facts, household, impressions, media life, out of home, out of home advertising, Scarborough Research, sponsorships, stage advertising, theater advertising
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