Launching a New Springtime Tradition

S&R Foundation

The Overtures Concert Series

In April 2012, the S&R Foundation launched a series of seven concerts by renowned, world-class musicians at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in DC. The Foundation selected Sage to establish an Overtures brand, a microsite and an advertising and public relations campaign to promote and launch the concerts.

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Situation:

S&R Foundation’s mission is to support talented individuals with great potential and high aspirations in the sciences and arts, especially those who are furthering international cultural collaboration. The Foundation wanted to establish the Overtures Concert Series as an annual springtime tradition; however, since S&R Foundation is not a highly visible organization, and the Series was new, a strong concert brand and marketing communications campaign was needed.

Objectives:

The Foundation wanted to: Develop a “globally friendly” event brand that appealed to an urban-sophisticate audience, and was durable enough to sustain an annual event series Build baseline awareness and attendance from the primary audience to establish the event series as a subscription-worthy fixture on the annual DC music calendar Create a group of sponsors and partners, who could extend the appeal of these events to a wider public and provide potential venues for future concerts Attract favorable press coverage of the concerts and overall series that could validate the brand and its events among trusted readers/viewers.

Our Process:

Sage established an Overtures brand, microsite, and advertising and public relations campaign to promote and launch the concert series. Sage began by drafting a messaging hierarchy for general and targeted audience, then began branding the concert series with a name and visual identity system.

Upon approval of the Overtures name, Sage developed marketing collateral, a series microsite to post the Overtures Series schedule, artist bios, and sponsorship opportunities and to track results, and comprehensive public relations and social media outreach campaign.

Our public relations team hosted a press event at Evermay with the artists, and created social media channels, including Facebook and Twitter, to promote the series and interact with interested followers. Sage worked closely with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to coordinate information for Playbill and the distribution of the Overtures program with Playbill before the performances.

In addition, Sage managed the design and production of numerous collateral pieces including:

  • Sponsorship Kit
  • Postcards
  • Program
  • Theater Signage

Results:

The series achieved night-over-night attendance through a combination of earned (social media and PR) and paid media (advertising). In only one month, the Overtures microsite received 2,639 visits from 2,171 unique visitors. Overtures connected and communicated with its audience via Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare and Youtube. Overtures also leveraged their partnership with National Cherry Blossom Festival to increase Overtures social media following and build relationships. On the PR front, Sage drafted and distributed a media alert and hosted a media meet-and-greet with the Overtures artists. The series received coverage in local publications and blogs including, The Washington Post, Washington Life, The Washington Examiner and KStreetKate.

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