USSBA asks events to collaborate, improve fundraising potential

When two schools combine their events, both bands win!

Hosting a US Scholastic Band Association event is one of the most lucrative fundraisers for booster groups to assist in supporting their marching band program. 

Given the current economic conditions, more bands are looking toward the USSBA to provide them with the highest quality adjudicators and service possible, along with access to the largest network of marching band programs in the nation. 

However, with a limited number of dates and the increase in number of interested hosts, the USSBA is suggesting an alternative to going it alone when hosting an event. An ideal solution could be to collaborate and combine events into a larger showcase of marching bands and music in the schools. 

Sean King, Director of the USSBA commented, “The co-promotion initiative may be a little counter to our business model, to host less shows and generate less income at the USSBA, but with the best interest of the bands in mind, it makes the most sense for two less attended events that are nearby to collaborate to make one, larger and more successful event.” 

Events that have created long term successful events with hard work and consistency over a period of years should probably not reconsider this option unless extraordinary circumstances have befallen the school.  Additionally, the USSBA will not suggest for any contests with fifteen or more bands to restructure their events.  However, there are a number of schools that may see the combined event as the way to go. 

The USSBA has identified numerous potential co-partnering candidates and will be reaching out to the schools in the next few weeks after decisions regarding the budget have been finalized.   The perfect situation is two events which are 10-15 miles from one another and have been hosting less than 10 bands in consecutive years. 

The model would look something like this.  Band A and Band B agree to co-host a USSBA event.  Schools agree to take turns hosting the event each year. Two eight-band events become one 16-band event.  There is only one USSBA fee, one stadium, one set of police and so on.  On the expense side, the threat of rain is diminished because now the risk is also shared. 

Currently, with two stand alone events, with tickets, concessions and miscellaneous sales on the income side and the USSBA fee, police, stadium, personnel, the show may struggle to break even and all profit is made in ad sales and concession net. 

With the proposed combined show, gate tickets, concessions and miscellaneous sales all double, while the contract and expenses only increase modestly, creating a split income of $3,000 or more to each band, before the program book and sponsorship ad sales. 

As one of the more profitable income generators, both schools should sell ads for a shared program book where the expenses will be split as well, yet income potential remains strong. 

 “Geography really comes into play with the partnership plan between bands,” said Tara-Lee Bryant, Local Event Host Coordinator. “With nearly 50 events over eight weekends in New Jersey, obviously some shows will be very close to one another.  Until now, we’ve held the position to never say ‘no,’ but in these uncertain times, we believe less may be more, meaning more bands, more people and more money for schools that co-host together.” 

Of course, the USSBA would never ask their bands to do something they weren’t willing to do.  This summer, the USSBA will be co-partnering with the Jersey Surf to promote a Drum Corps: An American Tradition drum corps show at The College of New Jersey in Ewing, N.J., on June 29. 

“We’ll be able to share all of the stories associated with a co-promotion after this summer,” said King.  “But so far, (Jersey) Surf and their team have been great to work with and we believe you’d have the same experience if partnering with a local show.” 

Current hosts interested in a cooperative venture with another event host, please contact Bryant at tara@yea.org or by telephone at (610) 821-0345, Ext 119.

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