Topic: Our brass band's recent corporate sponsorship  (Read 697 times)

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Offline Brett Sheaffer

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    • Freedom Brass Band of Northeast Ohio
Our brass band's recent corporate sponsorship
« on: May 11, 2006, 12:28 PM »
Some of you may know that I joined the percussion section of a 35-piece brass band about a year ago, and have thoroughly been enjoying and learning from the experience.  We are a volunteer organization of both professional and good amateur musicians (including students, band directors, college music faculty, recording artists, and hobby players).

As a result of the overwhelming response to our most recent Big Band concert, we were offered corporate sponsorship to "put us on the map."

In spite of the positive things this can do for us (think of the well-know bands here in the mid-west, "Brass Band of Battle Creek" or "River City Brass Band"), we want to step back and not allow the enjoyment and the freedom we have now to be trumped by the expectations of a corporate sponsor, regardless the exposure we could potentially get from it.

Here are some things our board wants to avoid as we go into this:

1. We don't want to drop talented and willing-to-learn amateur musicians for all professionals.

2. We don't want to make our attendance and rehearsal requirements so restrictive that they alienate the talented people who occasionally have other legitimate places to be.

3. We don't want so many performances that it becomes impossible for many of us to remain involved.

4. Bottom line: we don't want to give up our initial purpose, which was to get a bunch of talented, amateur-to-pro musicians together to enjoy playing good music to all ages.

5. ?

Likewise, being a volunteer organization, we are also looking at those things that should benefit us, as a group and possibly individually, from corporate sponsorship:

1. A nice increase in advertising budget.

2. More concerts, with the potential for larger venues and larger attendance.

3. Funding to allow more opportunities for recording.

4. Funding to allow purchases of needed instruments and percussion, possibly including "matching" instruments (for tonality and appearance).

5. Eventually, possible "stipends" for the volunteer musicians (think: gasoline money (some travel great distances); money for private lessons or other personal improvements; etc.)

6. ?

Obviously, there also must be some benefits to the sponsor (even though I haven't listed any), and our Board will be talking with the band and the corporate sponsor to come to an agreement of expectations, but what do you think?

What can we realistically expect, and what should we realistically offer?  I'm trying to get my hands around this to contribute ideas when the time comes.

Thanks for your input!
Natural ability will only take you so far. There is no substitute for playing, playing, playing.

Offline Chris Whitten

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Our band's recent corporate sponsorship
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2006, 05:08 PM »
Never having dealt with this kind of thing before I would guess a good approach would be to decide what your core values are and make those plain to any potential sponsors. Let them decide if they can live with the band's ideals.
I guess it's kind of like writing down your band's 'mission statement'.
There are probably consultants who can help you find the right sponsors.
My brother is an arts consultant. He doesn't work with charities, but in the world of commercial art, he puts artists and businesses together all the time.
I think it is a balancing act. You decide what you are prepared to compromise on........and a business will decide how much involvement they are willing to make.
The less you compromise, the less business involvement you will recieve I'm guessing, but that's not always a bad thing.


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