Most of the talk has centered around my idea of spending about $35,000 on two full-page ads in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Nashville Tennessean to get the attention of artists such as Sir Elton John, Alan Jackson, Usher, Faith Hill, Brad Paisley, Ludacris, Sugarland, Widespread Panic and many others.
All live in or work out of the Atlanta or Nashville area.
Another $4,000 is for a follow-up campaign to have mailers with the full-size ads hand-delivered directly to the managers and agents for each artist.
IT'S BEEN UNDERSTANDABLE that some folks, including one or two of the Authority members, are only looking at "$39,000 for two newspaper ads." Allow me to place it in better perspective.
The James Brown Arena and Bell Auditorium lose approximately $39,000 every 12 days . None of the money is invested directly to generate additional shows, faster, in our buildings.
Over the years, the relic that I am, I've produced shows for the likes of Tina Turner, Kris Kristofferson, Otis Redding, Sly and the Family Stone, Rare Earth, Jim Croce, Barabara Mandrell and Family, Jackie Wilson, the Charlie Daniels Band and scores of others.
I think I have a grasp of how artists think and I know it takes some different and unusual things to get their attention. Just calling their managers or agents -- or running an ad in the trade magazines -- is done hundreds of times a day. Nothing different about that (although we'll part of that, as well, after the ads run).
There are no fewer than 49 Grammy-quality show business types who live in the Atlanta area alone. They all have friends, family, and business associates who all have access to these artists every day -- just as James Brown did in the Augusta area.
There is no doubt in my mind that should this full-page ad run, it will have an impact.
AND WHO KNOWS? With a little luck, we may get some recognition in the Atlanta and Nashville press and maybe even some by the wire services nationally, for the very unorthodox idea -- which would certainly give us more bang for our bucks invested.
Everyone wants to know "will it work?" It's never, to the best of my information, been done -- so no one can say for sure. But what always is nothing is doing nothing. It the grand overview, it seems to me a small investment for a great potential of return. It will only take one or two of the artists to respond to make it all worthwhile. Once we get a couple of "majors" in for successful events, the others will surely follow.
I would appreciate your prayers and support for all our efforts on your Coliseum Authority. Please encourage members to vote yes at our meeting on Tuesday and help put Augusta back on the fast track of the concert circuit.
(The writer is a member of the Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority.)