“We’re identifying areas in which we can take advantage of the synergy that already exists naturally,” says Bob Jacobs, director of marketing for DCI.
The agreement emerged out of the fact that DCA—an all-age organization—will be moving its championships event starting in 2012 from Rochester, N.Y. to the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md., a location familiar to DCI.
“DCA wanted to make it easier for customers to buy tickets and pick their seats,” Jacobs says. “So DCI produced a proposal on how they would go about helping DCA with championships tickets.”
But the two groups are also brainstorming other opportunities such as cross-promotion of events, ticket packages, joint merchandising and video production.
“We have had a very good rapport in helping each other in a very friend-to-friend sort of way,” Jacobs says. “With the challenges of not just drum corps but everyone in the arts [facing] declining attendance, … it’s time for us—before we have no audience left— to get together and look at this thing more holistically.”
Previously, the two groups had informal arrangements that allowed all-age groups to perform at DCI events. While DCI hosts more than 100 events each summer, DCA typically organizes 20 to 25.
“We’re looking forward to a two-way exchange of information and practices as we come together to offer the drum corps community … increased levels of service,” said Gil Silva, president of DCA, in a press release.
So, with these new collaborations, is a merger or acquisition in the works? “It would be premature to say that it would never be more formalized,” Jacobs says. “For now, [we’re taking] a look at how we could make each other stronger. There’s no directive, no plan, no agenda to flesh out any kind of merger plan, not by a long shot. DCI and DCA will remain autonomous for the foreseeable future.”