Connect Savannah sponsor commits to $20,000 battle of the bands ad schedule
Connect Savannah is an alternative weekly publication with an audience primarily of college students and the local military. Each Wednesday 15,300 free copies of its print product are rack distributed throughout the metro Savannah, Georgia area. Its online home is ConnectSavannah.com. Owned by Morris Multimedia, which has approximately 70 daily, weekly and alternative publications and TV stations in 10 U.S. states and the Caribbean.
Online banner advertising sales were a struggle for the small alternative in the big, competitive market.
A variety of Second Street’s UPICKEM contests offered something new and exciting to advertisers as well as readers and local consumers. The two most successful were Rockin’ on the River, a battle of the bands for local amateur musical groups; and Bonnaroo Ticket Giveaway, in conjunction with the huge music festival known as the “Modern Day Woodstock”.
Rockin’ on the River ran for 10 weeks – five weeks of band entries and creation of online videos, followed by five weeks of online voting. Prizes included Budweiser T-shirts and a grand prize of an amplifier from a local music store.
Rockin’ on the River and Bonnaroo Ticket Giveaway each more than doubled ConnectSavannah.com’s traffic, and generated nearly $7,000 in sponsorship revenue for the weekly. Southern Eagle Distributors, the local Budweiser distributor that sponsored Rockin’ on the River not only committed to sponsorship of several more contests but signed up for $20,000 in online advertising on ConnectSavannah.com.
LiveWire Music Hall General Manager, Dan Robertson, was delighted with what the “Bonnaroo Ticket Giveaway” sponsorship brought his company: “The best Tuesday I’ve had since I’ve been in business.” The festival event realized 20 group contestants and 7,000 votes.
In addition to that, a 26-week audience-nominated “Hottest Bartender” contest brought Connect Savannah $7,800 in incremental revenue.
Why It Worked:
- For Rockin’ on the River, two full weeks of pre-contest promotions, and a marketing collaboration with local radio station Rock 106.1 drove traffic.
- For Bonnaroo, collaboration with LiveWire Music Hall enabled walk-in entries at the LiveWire location or on its site as well as via ConnectSavannah.com. It was easy for consumers, and brought brick and mortar as well as Web traffic to the happy sponsor.
- A $50 “Rockin’ on the River” band entry fee helped pay for contest prizes.
- While sponsorships were sold a la carte, advertising reps also touted the benefits of advertising on ConnectSavannah.com.
Before UPICKEM, we had had an extremely hard time even selling Web banners. This brought us something new and exciting to offer.”
Brad Foley, Online Marketing Director for Connect Savannah