Marketing / 03.29.22
Propelling Forward: Red Rocks Partners With Social Change Platform
Earlier this year, the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, Colorado, inked a two-year deal with social change platform Propeller. The collaboration gives Propeller an established presence at the landmark venue, including a concourse booth and signage. Artists, meanwhile, will be able to work with the company and Red Rocks to engineer unique incentives around the causes they value most.
Among those most excited is Brian Kitts, the director of marketing and communications for Red Rocks. “Propeller is a group that is activating collaborations between artists and causes at a venue level,” he says. “It’s an easy and efficient way for artists to reach their fans at a very grassroots level — at a show — and talk about things that are important to them.”
By Kitts’ projected estimates, Red Rocks will host nearly 1.5 million concertgoers this season. “Every one of them has an ability to amplify an artist’s message — assuming they share a common belief — and Propeller allows for that intimate collaboration at the venue level,” he says. “Red Rocks provides the platform; Propeller provides the activation and then the artist supplies the emotion.”
Propeller first approached Red Rocks in 2021 at a time when the venue was still hosting only 2,500 fans per night. Kitts and his colleagues were not sure where live events were headed back then as the COVID-19 crisis raged. “So, it took a while to get this going,” he says. “This year is going to be great. This might take the form of distributing information or working with both national and local organizations on-site. But it may be something bigger that includes fan fly-ins that highlight causes. In all cases, it’s a very interactive type of fan engagement rather than just signage and web banners.”
The partners will indeed work with talent to offer all-inclusive travel packages focused on their shows at Red Rocks. The first such package is in conjunction with popular Icelandic blues-rockers KALEO, who are scheduled to perform at Red Rocks on May 16. The package being offered features premium tickets, round-trip travel, high-end lodgings, an autographed Red Rocks show poster and a signed Gibson guitar. “On the venue side, we’ll be able to offer upgraded seating and more,” Kitts says. “It’s a fun way to highlight what the artists think to a receptive fan base.”
With the physical beauty of Red Rocks being part of the draw, the iconic, open-air amphitheatre located in Metro Denver is set to host a record number of events during its 2022 season. Propeller is set to have a presence at each and every one of them.
In addition to on-site activations, fans everywhere can take action with various partner organizations via the Propeller website — from volunteering to signing petitions to donating to the worthy causes and more. Fans can then enter for a chance to win various sweepstakes throughout the year, including all-expense paid trips to the venue for select events while exploring Propeller’s Denver-area hospitality partners.
So, does Kitts have any advice to other venue operators reading this who would like to follow Red Rocks’ lead? “Most venue marketers don’t need our advice,” he says, “because marketing, in general, has moved to that experiential mode instead of static branding. We’re fortunate in that our Propeller’s business model matched with Red Rocks’ desire to collaborate with artists and fans in promoting causes that benefit our communities.”
Mostly, Kitts and his staff are excited that Propeller fits with their plans to return Red Rocks to “normal” for 2022. The rest of the year ahead for concerts and live events looks very promising in Colorado and elsewhere. “There’s nothing but absolute optimism coming into the summer of 2022,” Kitts says. “We weren’t sure what would happen last year, and Red Rocks broke its own record for numbers of shows and became the most attended venue on the planet. We have even more shows booked for this season and thanks to artists, promoters and fans, we’re back in business. We’ve got renewed sponsor interest, a new beer headed to market, and huge number of tickets already sold.”
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Tags: Music , Venues , Leadership , Marketing