By Andrea Palmer
Major music and entertainment venues these days must come up with creative ways to meet their annual budgets, stay afloat and remain a vibrant segment of the community.
They investigate many funding sources, and among them is working with corporations, offering them ticket, benefit and advertising packages that are a boon for both the companies involved and venues like Saratoga Performing Arts Center and in Saratoga Springs and Cool Insuring Arena.
Another major company, Live Nation, also uses corporate packages. VIP packages are a popular sponsorship choice for corporate partners, said Chris Perez, marketer of venue sales at Live Nation, who works out of the Saratoga office.
Live Nation is an events promoter based in California, but with an office in Saratoga Springs. They book many of the major touring rock and country acts, from classic legend bands to newer popular groups. With SPAC being one of the largest local venues, they have an ongoing relationship.
For many companies in the region, sponsoring an event at SPAC gives them the exposure to the community at large.
“A lot of businesses are using us for client entertainment and employee entertainment. They buy box seats, and our box seats come with VIP parking and VIP access. There are many extra perks with the box seats,” said Perez.
Companies who partner with Live Nation can offer day or evening of entertainment, food, bar service, concierge treatment, a VIP lounge and seating.
Elizabeth Sobol, SPAC president and CEO of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, said “It’s important to understand that SPAC is a 501(c)3 organization. We have a $10-$11 million annual budget and we need to raise half of that amount through charitable giving. We rely on the generosity of both corporate and individual underwriters.”
“We don’t just ask businesses to give philanthropically. We align sponsors with their target demographics, and get their name in front of the people they want to reach,” said Sobol.
SPAC has three levels at which a business or individuals can partner with the organization. As a corporate member, a business would receive tickets, ticket discounts, access to the patron terrace, ticket concierge and more. Those businesses can provide entertainment opportunities for their clients. As a corporate sponsor, there are many opportunities for enterprise visibility.
“We can tailor any opportunity so businesses can speak to the audience they want to speak to,” said Sobol.
SPAC has invested in educational programs within the organization, including the Festival of Young Artists summer program.
“Over 600 young artists were on our stage, with the thousands in the amphitheater,” said Sobol.
The program was underwritten by the Adirondack Trust Co.
SPAC has worked with the New York Racing Association in advertising.
“NYRA has partnered with us, promotionally, providing spectacular visibility,” said Sobol. “And we’re working on broadening and deepening that opportunity.”
“SPAC’s reach is growing. We’ve expanded to year-round programming, especially in regard to educational programming,” said Sobol. “We have a full holiday series coming up as well, and that is a great sponsorship opportunity itself.”
SPAC recently replaced the ramps in the facility, and are renovating the entire concession area next year.
“There are many naming opportunities with the concession area project,” said Sobol.
Sponsorships, corporate and individual partnership opportunities can be found at www.spac.org under the tab “Join & Support”.
In Glens Falls, “We customize every package for what the business wants,” said Jeff Mead, general manager of the Cool Insuring Arena. Mead is also the president of business operations for the Adirondack Thunder Hockey team. But the venue also hosts concerts and other entertainment during the year.
“We try to figure out the best way to benefit a corporate partner,” said Mead. “The business will know themselves more than we do, so we ask what they need in a partnership with us.”
“Our video board is pretty amazing and we love showcasing a business on that,” said Mead.
“We collaborate and customize every package, whether it’s a small investment or a big one,” said Mead. “The partnerships are all unique. The investment levels vary widely. And we appreciate every one of our business partners.”