Nashville Gets Some Big Sponsorship Love

For an orchestra that Bank of America (BoA) deemed so unsustainable that it decided to foreclosure on its primary venue, the Nashville Symphony Orchestra (NSO) still manages to secure large corporate sponsors for their flagship concert series. On 6/13/2013, the NSO announced that Aegis Sciences Corporation has sponsored the orchestra’s 2013/14 Classical Concert series to the tune of $300,000.

Adaptistration_Guy191The orchestra’s press statement includes comments from the sponsor’s CEO and founder who reinforced the value and contribution the NSO provides.

“Aegis greatly respects the difference the Nashville Symphony makes to the Middle Tennessee quality of life. We are committed to supporting the symphony talent and management, and are very proud of the partnership we have forged with this great Tennessee treasure. We have extended our financial commitment to demonstrate our confidence in their ability to deal with today’s challenges and our confidence in their future contributions to our community.”

The announcement adds to the growing amount of public sentiment in Nashville against BoA for what a 6/9/2013 editorial in The Tennessean characterized as unnecessarily putting the NSO into a no-win position.

In stark contrast to other instances in the field driven by financial challenges, the NSO has, to date, been able to secure and announce this fundraising accomplishment without using it as a bargaining chip in negotiations against their own stakeholders.

The BoA auction is scheduled for June 28, 2013.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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