Last week's sad news about Dave Brubeck's passing reminded me of one of the most enduring lessons about sponsorship, events, and audience development, learned through my many years working on music festivals.
George Wein, founder of the Newport Jazz Festival, grew concerned that we were losing so many jazz greats and committed himself to cultivating young jazz artists and audiences so jazz would continue.
He created a second stage and, at the time, producer Art Edelstein programmed an adventurous line-up, beloved by critics and both new and existing festival audiences. Seeing an opportunity for our sponsor, also cultivating a younger audience, I proposed the stage naming rights to Mercedes Benz, and it became the Mercedes Benz Pavilion
We think about audience development in the short term, but what are you doing to cultivate audiences for the long-term? What will the long-term impact of your event or festival be in your industry or genre? Does this present a sponsorship opportunity?
My condolences to Mr. Brubeck's family, friends, and fans. I invite you to take time to honor his legacy by watching these videos of Newport Jazz performances, collected on YouTube by the Festival staff.