In recent months, I have had the opportunity to work with “The Millennium Theatre”, a 1400 seat venue, in Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach, a predominantly Russian community, frequently referred to as “Little Odessa.” Over 100,000 Russians call Brighton Beach their home and for years, “The Millennium Theatre” catered to the needs of this community by promoting Russian singers, actors, dancers, comedians and circus acts who appeared on their playbills.
But times have changed and the Russian community in Brighton Beach is getting older while younger Russians are moving out, either to the suburbs or to other parts of the city.
And that called for a change in strategy. No longer could the Millennium just book Russian acts and expect sold out crowds.
Now it had to broaden its base and appeal to other audiences around the community such as the young and affluent Park Slope singles and young parents segment, the Orthodox Jewish segment, the African American segment and create product that would appeal to these NEW market segments.
The Millennium’s first foray into this new world was a Circus show around the holidays featuring Chinese acrobats, Ukrainian jugglers, American dancers, international trained dog acts, and all of the things you would expect from a circus. Its first foray was a difficult one, but it did stimulate press coverage and the understanding that the “Millennium” was no longer JUST a Russian Theatre.
Now new acts are planned for the Millennium. New markets are being targeted. A new energy is building and acts, who never would have considered The Millennium as a place “to play”, are calling to find out if the theatre is available for comedy shows, amateur nights, American plays, concerts and off-off Broadway shows.
Now if we as bowling proprietors can identify new markets, perhaps we can see our business grow as well.
Asian Americans are one of the fastest growing communities in the country. Yet, I have rarely seen any marketing, communications or programming targeting this group. Similarly, I haven’t seen, with the exception of proprietors in Southern California and Texas, the same marketing effort against Mexican Americans or other Hispanic groups. Why not?
It’s a new world with new marketing opportunities.
Are you getting your share of these emerging and fast growing segments?