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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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Experience

Bourne With a Natural Talent for Being Audience-Oriented

I use the word "audience-oriented" a lot when I talk about content. For those who can't distinguish between being audience-oriented and "pandering," I refer you to Matthew Bourne. In his new interpretation of Sleeping Beauty:"I'm thinking of the audience when I'm making work, always. I'm not just pleasing myself." Like Jackie Chan, Bourne's mindset includes his creativity AND the notion of an audience who will ultimately be the recipient of it. Self-referential, self-indulgent, closed-room "creativity" might work, but if...

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Innovation

Broadway Should Encourage Risk Tolerance of Innovative Shows

If you missed it, last week the producers of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark announced that the show is closing on Broadway and moving to Las Vegas.I've heard talk from all the way back when the show opened that a Las Vegas production was in the cards, but the goal presumably was to run two versions of the show, not to move it. I think the Vegas show makes a lot of sense and will be extremely popular. Vegas...

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Bright Ideas

Make Somebody’s Thanksgiving Better, in Just a Click or Two

I’m really proud of something that we do at Goldstar this time every year. We call it the Thanksgiving Appeal, and it’s a time when we ask Goldstar members (and everybody else) to support a local organization. These organizations support low-income and homeless people throughout the year, but many of them really turn it on at the holidays because the need becomes all the more acute.I’ll tell you how this started.It was our second year in business -- 2003....

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