Event Magic Article
are always looking for ways to go above and beyond traditional means
of exposure, and entertainment at events is one strategic way to achieve
that goal. When it comes to entertainment at an event, particularly
one in which a key sponsor is presenting the featured program, there
is always the challenge of effectively communicating a brands
message while simultaneously providing high quality entertainment to
the target audience. This is especially true if the sponsor is ultimately
responsible for the programming.
In order to achieve
these goals, as with any live event production, there are a number of
factors that play a part in creating and producing a successful event.
It is critical to the success of the entertainment program to weigh
all of these factors throughout the planning process. The following
is an outline of the planning and production involved in the PowerBar
Main Entertainment Stage at the 2000 NYC Marathon.
1. Understand the Product
an overall theme or production plan, it is imperative to first understand
everything about the eventwhat has been successful in the past,
what has not worked, what resources you have available (budget, size
of stage, equipment, time slot), who you will be communicating to and
the overall environment. Also, it is equally important to understand
the brands objective. In this case, PowerBar wanted to reach a
target audience of serious athletes who were users or potential users
of their products. PowerBar wanted their audience to walk away from
this event with a heightened awareness of PowerBars active involvement
with the race.
had been a sponsor of the Main Entertainment Stage for two years, so
they had a very clear vision of what they wanted, which made the producer's
job that much easier (assuming of course that producer and sponsor agreed
on the vision.)
2. Identify Specific Goals of the Production
PowerBar did not
want to simply put entertainers on a stage to "perform." Rather,
they wanted their core "active-minded" consumers to be able
to identify with and "participate" in the entertainment.
to create an association with the runnerssomething that would
provide additional value to the participants. This goal in turn needed
to be incorporated into the entertainment programming and the overall
theme of the event.
of Concept/Theme for Production
Based upon the goals of PowerBar, and equipped with the background information on the event and the resources, the next step was to develop a themed, conceptual production that would meet the goals of the client and provide entertainment value to the runners.
Throughout the creative
process, it was important to remember that for many of the runners the
NYC Marathon could be their first marathon, and/or possibly the biggest
running race of their life. Runners take their sport seriously, and
with the entertainment stage programmed for three hours prior to the
start of the race, the content needed to complement their race day preparations,
not serve as a distraction.
With this at the
forefront of the theme, an entertainment program was created to:
ï showcase active
athletes who use PowerBar products;
The key programming
elements included the following:
ï A master of ceremonies
encouraged participation from the audience and provided effective segways
between entertainment groups.
The live music, performance artists and multi-lingual race announcements combined to provide a well-balanced presentation that met the objectives of both PowerBar and the race. And of course it would not have been a sponsored event without the entertainers being decked out in PowerBar gear and announcements throughout the script telling the runners about the PowerGel station at mile 18 of the marathon.
4. Planning and
event production planning elements were an important part of the event
development and implementation and included the following:
Dan Mannix is President & CEO of LeadDog Marketing Group, a sports/event marketing, production and promotions company based in New York City. LeadDog Marketing Group produced the PowerBar Main Entertainment Stage at the 2000 New York Marathon.