High School Bands Seek To Expand On Promotional Opportunities, But Remain Relatively Untapped

It appears that the marketing world isn’t immune to the hierarchies found in high school. Similar to the cool kids in 1980’s John Hughes movies, marketers all too frequently overlook “geeky” band members in favor of reaching out to the popular cheerleaders and athletes.

Yet now it appears band members might be edging their way onto the A-list and into mar- keters’ consciousness. For instance, according to Ken Martinson, founder of Marching.com, a site that serves the marching band community, in the past year there have been significant marching-related milestones, including:

  • The introduction of Halftime magazine, a bi-monthly publication focused entirely on marching activities;
  • A documentary film, From The 50 Yard Line, that has been winning awards at film festivals;
  • Publication of several new fiction and non- fiction band-themed books.

Martinson adds his website has received inquiries from MTV and the producers of the NBC reality show America’s Got Talent who are looking to include marching bands in their pro- gramming.

In addition, for the past two years, ESPN has aired the All-American Marching Band’s per- formance during the nationally-televised Under Armor All-American High School Football Game. “At a luncheon the day before the game, Howie Long even introduced the [selected] band mem- bers at the same time as the [selected All-Amer- ican] football players,” underscoring the fact that “band members were just as visible and important as the athletes,” says the National Association for Music Education’s Earl Hurrey…

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