Slowly and surely, they warmed up to us. Each event we played became more and more successful. Soon we were the event and the radio station was merely hosting. Halloween ball, Spring Break Beach Party, Booze Cruise. Still it's great having your name on the radio and all, but we still felt that we could always push the relationship further to our advantage. Particularly with the Halloween event. Back in 2005 we did our first Boo Ball with only 100 invited winners in a hotel ballroom. In 5 years it grew to a public event hosted in a civic auditorium. Last year's turnout was 800. This year, over 1100 in attendance. The Program Director who previously didn't give us much attention, devotes much of his time during his morning show joking about us and what it's like to work with us... attention we relish.
We've never been pushy for our requirements and we're always agreeable to work with. It keeps us employed with them each year. However this year we approached them about having some ad time, in exchange for all the time we've donated over the years. They said sure... in fact, come up with an ad... 30 seconds and they will put it on regular broadcast. So we called in some favors. Last summer we played a private party for comedian John Brennan, 1/2 of the fame Jerky Boys act. He still does stand up and regular voice over work for 'Family Guy' and other animated programs. He's a big fan and friend of the band and we offered to play a family party at a discounted rate if John would create a commercial for us. He came up with four great 30 second commercials. Here's part of one (we did one for each season). Frank Rizzo commercial.
So Saturday night we play Boo Ball... 1100+ in attendance. Monday morning the first of four daily drive time commercials aired. Not expecting anything hugely monumental except for "Congrats... I heard the commercial" from other bands and friends I was a little taken back when I logged onto our Facebook account this morning and found 373 friend requests. Additionally the radio station posted my video recap to their website.... on a good day I might get 30-40 views. Since noon yesterday it's been played over 320 times. It's only Wednesday and we've never seen a bump like this from any event we've done. The comments, and private emails from those who attended the event have been fantastic.
I don't post this stuff to gloat... I just like to point that if we demanded pay for our services in these situations we would all walk away with a $100 each for our time and be treated like any vendor. Instead, choosing to partner with the station, and being flexible we've created a great, thriving relationship that is dependable and respectful. No contracts are signed, everything is verbal, under the table handshakes. And both parties benefit. That's what a local sponsorship should be all about.