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Innovation

To “Educate,” Entertain First

I was reading this article on the New York Philharmonic’s Very Young People’s Concerts. The series arose, apparently, when the younger brothers and sisters of the kids who showed up for the famous Young People’s Concerts got a little rowdy. Rather than giving those kids their first experience getting tossed out of a venue, the NY Phil did something much more wonderful, which was to create a series of concerts designed to entertain 3 to 6-year-olds.It’s very cool.What I...

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Bright Ideas

The 7 Habits of Highly Sexy Ninja Masters

Recently, Jim announced another batch of speakers at TEDxBroadway 2014.Even if you don’t live in NYC, the Mark Fisher Fitness website is a lot of fun. It warns, “If you don’t think unicorns and glitter go hand-in-hand with achieving your fitness goals, we are not your jam!” And labels itself, “An Enchanted Ninja Clubhouse of Glory and Dreams.”Mark Fisher and Michael Keeler are the super smart and energetic guys behind Mark Fisher Fitness. They’ve been featured in outlets like...

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Selling Out With

Selling Out With Melissa Carbone

Melissa Carbone and her entertainment company, Ten Thirty One Productions, scored the biggest deal in Shark Tank history this past October when she agreed to Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban’s counterproposal -- $2 million in exchange for a 20% equity stake. Apparently, Carbone and the growling zombie by her side didn’t scare Cuban. With wildly popular events, like the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride and the Great Horror Campout, that draw big crowds and bigger revenues, Cuban chose instead to...

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Experience

Hockey: Better With Palm Trees and Snowy Mountains

Since 2008, the National Hockey League has held a hockey game outdoors on New Year's Day. It's been a big success because it's such an unusual event. They play in baseball and football stadiums to very large crowds and very large TV audiences, even though the game is just an ordinary regular season game. People are excited at the chance to see hockey at Fenway Park or Wrigley Field.And this year, on January 25, the outdoor hockey experiment will...

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Marketing

You Can’t Kill Demand for a Product by Giving It to More People

Imagine professional basketball as a business that’s exactly the same as it is now, except that you couldn’t watch a game if you weren’t in the stadium when the game happened.Would it make the live product more valuable? Would the teams suddenly make a fortune charging for tickets, merchandise, food and beverages? Or, would it be a business constantly flirting with financial disaster, looking for ways to “build its audience”?Bet on the latter. With live competition alone, the NBA...

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Experience

Does Predictive Data Ruin the Fun of Online Shopping? Maybe, Maybe Not.

Online retailers like Amazon (or Goldstar for that matter) use predictive math to try to guess what you might like to buy next. This is nice enough, especially when it works, but there's also a sense that good old-fashioned serendipity could be lost in more and more of our shopping experiences and, therefore, in our lives. That's the point of this article.Some people believe that this isn't true, saying that every technology that's come along was charged with driving...

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News

Happy Thanksgiving and Hanukkah!

For everyone in the venue and live entertainment community who has helped us launch SellingOut.com successfully over the last couple of months, I want to say a huge thank you. Have a great Thanksgiving!Also, and while I've still got a sliver of your attention, I want to ask you again to consider making a quick and easy donation to one of the organizations we've linked to on Goldstar. It's a 10-year tradition and one of my favorite things. The...

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News

Let’s Hope New Material Stands Up to Old When Monty Python Reunites

Hide Your Dead Parrots! Comedy Troupe Monty Python Set to Reunite After 30 Years for New Stage Show.Like the Police Reunion years back, this is going to be enormously successful. As Stewart Copeland told me a few years ago, keeping the brand "pristine" by not touring is going to mean the demand to see the Monty Python gang onstage will be epic. Write it down, and buy your tickets early if you can.One interesting side note is that they...

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Innovation

Breaking the Frame: Nothing is Too Bold to Be Unacceptable Now

For some reason, this phrase keeps popping into my head lately: Breaking the frame.What I mean by this is that something -- possibly a building or a show or an approach to marketing -- escapes the container in which it's normally held. For example, when Hotmail first launched (in 1995, I think it was), it was a frame-breaker. It was email, but on the web. It doesn’t sound all that impressive, but at the time, it was. It spread...

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News

Santa Anita Park Gets Major Upgrades to Attract New & Old Fans

There is no sport that's fallen as far as fast as horse racing. In 1960, America's three most popular sports, arguably, were baseball, boxing and horse racing. Baseball is still popular, if not No. 1 anymore; boxing has been eclipsed by MMA and is no longer dining table conversation.But horse racing has dropped out of view altogether. There's still a tiny bit of hoopla about the Kentucky Derby, but it wouldn't be hard to miss it completely, even if...

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