The Erlick Group has arranged “360 immersion” custom entertainment sponsorships for agencies and clients directly for the past 15 years.
Jim Erlick says he’s a “deal facilitator” and “deal accelerator” who creates strategic sponsorships and promotions for PR firms, ad agencies, promotion agencies, media companies and clients that are interested in cutting through the communications clutter.
He launched The Erlick Group in Manhattan following 14 years on the client side in marketing positions at American Express, General Foods and Seagram Wine Co. The idea was to concentrate on the “entertainment niche” in order to sidestep the crowded sports sponsorship market. “The world of sport was heavily fished in,” Erlick told O’Dwyer’s.
Erlick believes his expansive consumer marketing background enables him to develop “customized partnerships” that achieve brand positioning/sales objectives while incorporating the “unique assets” of the entertainment property.
TEG works with client’s in-house staff or can serve as an independent outside consultant. Access to Erlick’s huge Rolodex filled with contacts made during a nearly 30-year career with leading entertainment properties in theatre, music, film, family and venues is another major selling point.
Erlick has worked with multiple PR firms on projects that could run from $10K (sampling program) to a six-figure program.
Age of immersion
Erlick is truly upbeat about sponsorships because the “age of traditional media buys is a thing of the past.”
Today’s marketers want “360 immersion” and “unique turnkey experiences” and to do so as cost-effectively as possible.
Another reason for Erlick’s bullishness: “entertainment has gone mainstream.”
As evidence, he points to the Ford Motor program with singer Beyonce Knowles and the “Ladies of Note” (Judy Collins and Roberta Flack) effort forged with General Motors and Conde Nast.
Erlick says GM was looking for a customized program with an “upscale, female multicultural demographic that had a meaningful cause-related hook.”
The elements of the campaign included placement of a Buick Riviera outside each concert hall along with sponsor designation on tickets, posters and programs.
There was a four-page advertorial inserted in multiple Conde Nast magazines and a tie-in with local breast cancer groups.
A specially recorded CD of Collins and Flack was sent as a gift to those who contributed $20 to local breast cancer groups. The CD provided an opportunity to “enjoy the Ladies of Note for years to come.” The Ladies of Note sponsorship raised more than $250K for cancer groups and generated significant incremental advertising revenue.
Looking for sponsors
TEG publishes an informative newsletter filled with sponsorship opportunities, offering a wide range of local, regional and national platforms with entertainment and other unique media properties for PR firms and clients.
The firm has an ongoing relationship with “Menopause: The Musical,” a celebration of women and the change, that currently is staged in many US and international markets.
The show, which has already entertained nine million people, has a full schedule lined up for ’08.
In conjunction with his client, TEG offers a “multi-level franchise platform” for organizations dealing with health issues for women over age 40.
Sponsorship includes corporate name integration in print/electronic media, advertising and editorial in their self-published magazine/program, ticket discounts and cast “talkbacks.”
Erlick also is pitching Moda Entertainment, which holds the exclusive representation rights to an “A List” of classic Hollywood legends such as Humphrey Bogart, Greta Garbo, Lauren Bacall and Marlene Dietrich.
In time for next summer, Erlick is promoting Cool Media, a firm tying in with the global warming issue via its patented interactive kiosks that deliver a cooling fog and messages to users.
The kiosks will be located in high profile locations at a newly established network of all-family settings like zoos, aquariums and theme parks. A person receives instant relief by receiving an evaporative mist controlled by blower fans.
Cool Media says the kiosks provide an “ideal platform to attract sponsorship dollars while keeping people cool and informed.”
TEG has recently expanded its client roster beyond the entertainment sector.
TEG has executed multiple programs over the years for Time Warner’s HBO unit including developing the first sponsor of its Bryant Park summer festival of classic films.
Erlick arranged for a partnership with Snapple allowing movie-goers to sample new products from pushcarts during the films. Snapple also tagged their local radio buys to promote the upcoming screening schedule to assure terrific attendance in its inaugural season.
The sponsorship firm also partnered Cointreau with HBO’s “Sex in the City” and 800-Flowers as a “value-added” partner to lift response for new subscribers for HBO’s national direct mail campaign.
Eric Kessler, Co-President at HBO, calls Erlick “resourceful and strategic in his approach.” Erlick is “completely honorable in managing both parties” expectations throughout the process.”
For Feld Entertainment, TEG repped “Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus,” “Disney On Ice” and “Disney High School Musical: The Ice Tour” properties in creating exclusive VIP events in a cross-section of markets.
David Van Dam, Director-Corporate/Group Sales at Feld, praises Erlick’s “uncanny ability to conceive/broker unique mass and niche partnerships while also assuring that all parties are completely satisfied throughout the process.”
And the best testimony of all for TEG: Van Dam “looks forward to many more years of collaborating” with the firm.
Cool Media’s patented interactive kiosks deliver a cooling fog to visitors at select zoos, aquariums and theme parks. The Erlick Group represents the “anti-global warming” Summer 2008 advertising/sponsorship platform.