Ad Drives Arena Ticket Sales

April 25, 2005
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GRAND RAPIDS — Someone just might have let the cat out of the bag.

SMG Marketing Director Lynne Ike said an insider at Pollstar, an entertainment industry trade publication, told her that Van Andel Arena was 12th in ticket sales worldwide this year, moving up from the 40th spot last year.

Ike credited the jump to increased group ticket sales and to a print ad that appears in the directories of Pollstar and Billboard, which are regularly read by concert promoters.

“It was an idea that (SMG General Manager) Rich (MacKeigan) gave me and it has a long shelf life,” said Ike last week.

The ad, which was created in house and has been running for four years, features a nearly empty wallet at the top of the page and a wallet stuffed with greenbacks further down. The caption above the thin wallet reads “This is your wallet before playing Van Andel Arena.” The caption over the thick wallet reads “This is your wallet after playing Van Andel Arena.”

The ad closes with, “Any questions?” The arena logo follows with contact information.

“It’s all about differentiation, about doing something different,” said MacKeigan.

MacKeigan said he sent wallets full of “arena cash” to promoters prior to the start of the ad run. For contrast, Ike said most concert venues advertising in the directories use a collage of artists that have recently played the building in their print ads.

Pollstar and Billboard issue separate annual rankings of arenas and concert halls.    

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