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ABOUT ISE's SPONSORSHIP: Shakespeare is one of the world’s premiere brands- and The Iowa Shakespeare Experience is THE area’s sole Shakespeare-specific theatre organization. 

We offer BARDTASTIC opportunities to get your name out there in Iowa's Capital City!  Our venues include several of the Metro’s most prominent, prestigious Riverwalk venues or historic landmarks– and ISE offers an array of incredibly unique ways to activate your sponsorships.  

We also provide audiences of significant size (the single largest audiences of any locally-produced theatre group), with ideal purchase power demographics. 

And, our diversity and youth programs ensure that corporate contributions are used in a way that you can be genuinely proud of!

Additionally, in honor of our fifth anniversary year, in 2013 Iowa Shakespeare kicks off our new Corporate Sponsorship campaign in association with Edwina Brandon, nationally-known arts consultant with particular specialization in sponsorship.  Ms. Brandon is best known locally as the individual who during her tenure in Des Moines, managed the Des Moines Arts Center's extremely successful 34 Million Dollar Sponsorship campaign, a first of its kind.  But Ms Brandon is also a founding Board Member of the Iowa Shakespeare Experience, and although her work has now taken her far beyond Iowa to national sponsorship experience, she remains committed to working with Des Moines and some of its organizations which remain near and dear to her heart- - here in Iowa, where she spent so many happy and successful years. 

Ms. Brandon's largely-donated involvement with our Fifth Anniversary Sponsorship campaign is signifcant.  Because one of the reasons why Ms. Brandon has been so successful in assisting corporations and non-profits in the creation of mutually-benefitical sponsorships is because she is genuinely committed to creating true win-win.  She creates sponsorships which truly benefit the Sponsor as well as the non-profit...  and thus, an ISE/Brandon fostered sponsorship can genuinely be counted on to benefit the all parties - and also, the overall community.

In sum, with Iowa Shakespeare, you can be certain that your sponsorship arrangements are fairly valued, creatively activated - - and provide excellent value. 

So contact the ISE today about fully customizable Sponsorship opportunities- including terrific naming rights- or simply watch this space for more information forthcoming on our Corporate Sponsorship opportunities!  (Not to mention our wonderful Corporate perks and bennies!)

And for a basic overview of details, peruse the information below concerning ISE's "reach".

Meanwhile, ISE and Ms. Brandon have established the following basic Sponsorship values (based on local fair market values) for the 2012-2013 season:


ISE's one-of-a-kind summer festival puts Sponsors into a showcase which is comprised of many of the prestigious outdoor locations in Iowa's Capital - all along the Des Moines Riverwalk. 

The Year- round opportunities noted generally below can be customized to apply solely to the outdoor Festival season, which runs from the begining of our Spring Break Youth Camp thru the outdoor Riverwalk season (from April through July.)  Most sponsorships are customized, but in addition to this, the Festival also offers the following basic Sponsorship opportunities:

Program ads (see below; rate card provided upon request)

Banner placement (we create: from $500-$3500 value based on size and location)

Banner placement (you bring banner; allowed in front entry area only; from $200-$500 depending on size and placement location)

Booth space, upper plaza front entry (you provide furnishings/signage):  $150

Community table, upper plaza front entry (we provide 3 x 12 table, 2- 4 chairs; you provide signage) $250

VIP Community table (not available for festival 2013):  $500

Sandwhich board "Tent" style placard (2 x 4, both sides):  $100-$200 depending on location

Handpainted Court Avenue summer-long Sidewalk Square  (in the heart of the downtown entertainment district; $300 half square, $150 name placement.  Call to discuss logo placement.)



ISE's extraordinary fall show takes place in partnership with particularly prestigious, iconic (and typically historic) venues across the central Iowa Region. 

Fall shows offer banner/poster/table/podium opportunities plus program ad opportunities, and a variety of additional sponsorship possibilities which can be completely customized.



ISE's Holiday show is unique:  this show takes place in partnership with the Iowa Governor's Mansion of Historic Terrace Hill.   Therefore, all Sponsorship agreements are processed with Terrace Hill involvement- and offer extremely unique visibility in association with one of the most recognized cultural instituions of the entire state.

Because of this relationship, all ISE sponsorship opportunities for our Holiday show are individually custom-created.  However, in no case are values for sponsorship of a Terrace Hill show any less than values shown elsewhere here.  In most cases, values are greater for shows at the Iowa Governor's Mansion. 



ISE also offers unique year-round sponsorship opportunities, as follows:

-Website recognition

-Electronic Dedicated Newsletter to 5,000

-Electronic Partner Newsletter (membership base from 5,000-50,000)

-Press Releases circulated to all major media markets in Iowa

-*Program ads (internal, b/w, all sizes;  for up to 3 shows and year and from 5-30 show events)

-*Program ads (external, full color, all sizes: reaches a minimum of 110 show events in the Des Moines market, inclusive of well over 100,000 unique readers of proven cultural competancy/interest.)

*NOTE:  All programs professionally produced by Pioneer Publising (publisher of The Iowan magazine) on glossy paper, three-color cover and full color inserts.

-Ingersoll Avenue Signage (4 months per season in high traffic, high end shopping/lifestyle avenue along Des Moines's "cultural corridor" that links its highest end residential neighborhoods with Des Moines' bustling downtown.)

-On Site Sponsorship "Tree" (Recognition-oriented Art Sculpture)

-Art Posters (4 Color custom designed by nationally -recognized Iowa Artist John Sayles)

-Advertising Posters (Full color, primarily posted downtown and in the Grand/Ingersoll corridor plus additional placement in key districts such as East Village, Valley Junction, Malls, Universities, etc)


-Podium rights/podium shout-outs

-Information booths (we provide tables, chairs; you provide signage)

-information booth space (you provide furnishings and signage)

-VIP information booths:  (we provide furnishings and custom designed signage which you approve)

-Customizable sponsorship sections:  Sponsor/name our Wine Tent, our VIP Plaza, our Royal Food Court, or our Band or Festival Dancers.  Sponsor our youth programs, our Family Night --

- -or for something truly unique: consider attaching your sponsorship to our beautiful Costumes- or even to our famous actor roles.  Why not sponsor a King (King Lear, Julius Ceasar - - you name it) or Queen (Cleopatra?  Elizabeth?) or go for a humorous link to Festes, Malvolio - or many more!  With our national consultants, we can work with you to develop fresh and uniquely memorable approaches to getting your brand out there! 

And we promise: you'll have the most fun ever, creating your customized sponsorship approach!  Huzzah!



ISE has truly terrific reach - and provides a notable value for your brand.

Our hardcopy Sponsorship Prospectus provides much more information, and is available upon request.  Meanwhile, here are a few basic details of interest:

"A HORSE!  MY KINGDOM FOR A HORSE!" - -SHAKESPEARE FESTIVALS HAVE REACH!  Published research shows that Shakespeare Festivals like ours tend to draw audiences from at least a 90 mile area (approx 250 towns and unincorporated residential areas) - - and currently ISE documents regional attendance at its summer festival from across a multi-state area comprising over 100 documented (self-registered) zip codes, with many more zip codes understood to be not yet registered/documented. 

Accordingly, ISE sends out press releases to 100% of Iowa's major markets: 224 broadcast and print media sites across the entire state.(All Television, radio, dailies; plus the state's top 50 weeklies, the print components of which comprise a combined circulation of 1 million 144,000 readers - our complete distribution list plus circulation numbers provided upon request.)

Additionally, ISE and our summer festival is represented by media partnerships with such well-respected media groups as Big Green Media (Cityview) and the Des Moines Radio Group, where ISE maintains both a year-round presence as well as a Festival-specific presence during prime periods.  

Regarding radio:  ISE has regular coverage and spots on local KFMG, with an immediately-local audience of 16,000 plus radio streaming all across the entire state. Sponsors named in our ad messages will additionally reach a mutli-dimensional Radio audience of (numbers to be confirmed in late Spring)

Regarding Print: ISE maintains a robust print presence as well, and sponsors can be named in large format Cityview ads reaching audiences of (numbers will be confirmed in late Spring) and in a year-round presence that ISE maintains with advertising in association with over 110 regional arts performances produced by 11 of the region's top performing arts organizations, reaching at least 100,000 Metro-art discerning, specifically arts-savvy audience members annually. 

HEAR YE! - -THE NEWS LOVES ISE PROJECTS!  ISE projects are colorful, unique and newsworthy.  Thus, beyond purchased print and radio presence, editorial media coverage of ISE events has been robust since our founding 5 years ago.  ISE has received coverage from both Cityview and the Des Moines Register, where we are -in both publications- routinely listed in weekly "top five" and other recommendation editorial content.  Each year we also receive coverage from KCCI Channel 8, WHO Channel 5, WHO Channel 13.  As the City's Shakespeare Festival, we also typically have featured spots on Cable 7 as well.  And, we've had 3 independent films/cable shows come cover the festival alone!

Further, we have been featured on the front cover of Datebook plus in internal features in Datebook and Juice in all five years since our founding, along with feature full length articles in DSM Magazine, the Iowan Magazine and the Des Moines Business Record, plus short stories in multiple additional Metro-area free distribution magazines, such as annual coverage by glossy magazine Welcome Home and a Cover Story by Neighborhood Magazine.   

The Des Moines Register has additionally published 5 Metro page features on ISE projects and/or ISE personnel, most notably, a 2 page front cover feature story on the artistic achievements of ISE's Artistic Director Lorenzo Sandoval, which appeared in all Register editions across the entire state.  ISE is also regularly mentioned in innumerable e-stories across the web, such as in the broad family of e-products produced by the prestigous Des Moines Business Record.

As one example of ISE's robust media coverage, in 2012, ISE's summer Shakespeare Festival was featured as one of Des Moines Radio Group's hotly competitive Top Five picks, resulting in an email blast that was sent to 14,399 email subscribers for that one message alone.

ISE also credits top level sponsors thru an extensive, truly regional social media campaign that includes email blasts sent to all of Metro Arts e-blast list, plus all of plus all of Cityviews eblast list, plus all of Business Record arts list, plus all of Des Moines Radio group list, plus all of Midwestix multi-state regional list ... as well as our own ISE e-newsletter subscriber list of over 3000 unique names.  The cumulative number of newsletters is thus sent to an audience of some XXXX readers
(2013 numbers to be confirmed this Spring.)

"O MERRY BAND OF BROTHERS" - -SIGNIFICANT EXTENSION OF YOUR BRAND VIA PARTNERSHIPS: Finally, through exciting new 2013 non-profit partnerships that ISE is establishing through collaborations with some of the other leading arts organizations in the region, top name sponsors also can be credited on the email blast lists and/or websites of such organizations as historic Jordan House Mansion of West Des Moines (CONFIRMED), Des Moines Civic Music Association (CONFIRMED) - - and several other key area arts organizations where collaborative negotiations are currently in progress.

These partnerships, plus our prestigious multi-season 9 year partnership with the Iowa Governor's Mansion, means that regional and state-wide websites that feature ISE in combination with our own website receive approximately xxxx page views per month.  (Number for 2013 will be confirmed late this Spring as our 2013 partnerships are finalized.)



ISE wants you to be thrilled with your Sponsorship - that's why we provide a win-win expert like Edwina to help you create a terrific package that truly maximizes your brand. 

To read more about our Sponsorship  philosophy,

check out this helpful material, which brings to mind ISE's stellar focus on audience Experience.  We like this article because it starts with YOU, not with us- - and ISE starts with our audiences (and you--) too!


Maximising sponsorship investment is not rocket science (but it is a science)

 by Alicia Beachley ON 4 March 2013

Alicia is founder and CEO of April5, an independent and specialised promotional marketing activation agency. With 20 years industry experience, Alicia has managed a vast array of campaigns from million dollar sales promotions to new product launches and national retail and experiential events for a broad range of clients. Alicia is currently on the executive committee of the Australasian Promotional Marketing Association (APMA), a subsidiary of The Communications Council, and manages the annual APMA Star Awards program.

When it comes to sponsorship, brands and rights holders alike are far more likely to gain greater long-term benefit if they start with the needs of their target audience rather than their own agendas.

Sponsorship can provide a compelling theme to be leveraged throughout the marketing mix but we must all ensure we are looking at the bigger picture and actively adding to the experience. People’s passions are why we get involved in sponsorship in the first place and sponsors are trying to leverage that passion. With this in mind, we must always put the target audience first.  

These days, sponsorship should have moved on from the ‘cash for rights’ model -and when you are up to the negotiation stage there are a few important points to keep in mind. Know everything you can about the rights holder and the sponsorship property. Can you add value, bring them cost savings or marketing support that is of value to them? It can often become a question of ‘currency’, that is, what can both parties bring to the table? If so, use them as negotiating tools.

Don’t be swept up by rights holders touting huge audience numbers at you. Nor should you be taken in by big databases. What you should be looking for is the quality of relationship that the rights holder has with its audience. In the current times of data and digital media, this cannot be excluded from the discussions. Visibility and hospitality become nice-to-haves.   There are often many limitations with sponsorships and restrictions about what you can and can’t do, however, sometimes all it takes is to ask the question of the sponsorship coordinators. Are other activities possible? (with ISE, usually the answer is Yes!)

As long as you are selective and take time in the decision-making process, you will find that there are plenty of good agencies and consultants who can help you secure the best deal.   More and more, the classic rights holder/sponsor relationship is becoming increasingly blurred as brands are identifying business synergies as a basis for sponsorship deals and with common objectives from the outset, are working more closely together to create value for each other, and most importantly, their target audiences.  

It’s a big decision for a brand to invest in a sponsorship and over the past years I have seen some great sponsorships, as well as some not-so-great ones. In my opinion, what transforms a good sponsorship into a great sponsorship is the ability to activate, to actively leverage the property to achieve better results including a higher level of engagement with your target audience.  

Once the sponsorship is over, you need to evaluate and check if the property met the expectations set. Did it meet the marketing and brand objectives, and was it measured effectively? Was there any activation associated with the sponsorship and, if not, why not?   The answer to the activation question is often ‘no’ as all the money in the budget is usually used to pay for the sponsorship itself with nothing left over to do anything much with it. I would always recommend factoring in activation at the start.  

As I have said, leverage is key and can take many forms. Increasingly and unsurprisingly, social media is proving to be the preferred channel to promote sponsorship activities.   Think seriously about ‘creativity’. Formulaic activation is not going to get noticed in these days of fragmented media. You need a memorable theme around which to link marketing communications across multiple platforms.  

Signage and hospitality benefits come standard with event sponsorship packages and often there can also be the opportunity for media exposure. With sponsorship activation, however, you can add life to your program and enhance engagement.  (Singing Shakespearean Valentines, anyone?)

Activating takes many forms, it’s everything from brand associations and using the property in advertising, general media, marketing and promotions and then there is the grass-roots association, having people on the ground during the events. (ISE offers exceptional opportunities to engage with a very broad sector of the community - - but a sector where folks are typically truly relaxed and "present"- - ISE festival goes tend to draw highly intelligent, engaged audiences without the extreme focus on alcohol that can occur at other festival events. )

You can certainly liven things up by providing an active customer experience with your salespeople.   Sponsorship activation transforms your sponsorship opportunity into an integrated marketing program of its own.

There’s no reason to be satisfied with a generic package of benefits when you can build brand loyalty and boost sales at the same time. Successful activation will improve awareness of your brand as well as boost sales during and after the event you sponsor.   Other examples of sponsorship activation are:  

-A well-publicised register-to-win sweepstakes (ISE has GREAT giveaway ideas) that will bring traffic to your point of sale at the event. It will also generate sales leads before the event as well as during it.

-Distribute coupons and samples at the event to encourage sales after the event. By doing this, you will build a foundation for future business with attendees.  

-You could also negotiate with the event organisers for a discount admission system. How this could work is if people buy your product and present a proof of purchase, they could receive a discounted pass or free admission.

Encourage your marketing team to create something unique at the event to break through the clutter of all the other attractions there, and you’ll notice an immediate return on investment.  

As mentioned, social is key. Think, or speak to an agency, about the best ways to creatively capture audiences to achieve key objectives.

While it is difficult to get your sponsorship activation 100% right first time, the key to ensuring you get it right sooner rather than later is by ensuring you have put into place a proper set of evaluation metrics.  

A question often asked by people searching for an easy fix is: how much should I spend on leveraging my sponsorship rights? Some companies use the 100% model. What they spend on the sponsorship, they spend the same on leveraging. That may not be possible in all cases. What’s important is recognising the need to activate sponsorship to maximise its effectiveness.

However, trying to apply a one-size-fits-all formula to a discipline as diverse as sponsorship is to misunderstand sponsorship entirely.  

As with all good sponsorship, objectives need to be set at the start. From those objectives come an activation strategy and ideally at that point, an activation budget.

That budget will vary dependent on the objectives. It will depend on the type of sponsorship, and on the target audience. It will also depend on the length of the contract. It will depend on myriad factors. There just can be no ‘typical’.  

The decision to invest in sponsorship should not be taken lightly. However, if the sponsorship successfully puts the target audience first, is on brand and has clear objectives as well as a strong activation strategy, you are sure to see a healthy return on investment and impressed stakeholders.