SARATOGA SPRINGS — Schenectady-based Ellis Medicine is sponsoring the 2019 concert series at Saratoga Performing Arts Center.
Ellis’ partnership with event promoter Live Nation will include acts ranging from Kiss to Phish to Tedeschi Trucks Band. Ellis decided to buy naming rights as a marketing tool -- a way to boost its profile with the roughly 400,000 people expected to attend Live Nation shows at SPAC this summer.
Live Nation is the global events promoter that presents the popular music performances at SPAC. Ballet, philharmonic concerts and other fine arts performances are not staged by Live Nation and are not part of the agreement with Ellis.
The roughly 30 shows will be called the Ellis Medicine Concert Series at SPAC. The full lineup will be announced later this year.
“Live Nation approached us about this opportunity,” said Ellis spokesman Philip Schwartz. “We looked at it and thought it would be a good fit. We found that this would be just a good space to be in.”
He said the agreement bars Ellis from disclosing how much it paid for naming rights.
In practical terms, the agreement will result in concertgoers seeing Ellis signage, a tent and video presentations on site before concerts. All of these will be designed to get health-related information out to the audience and boost awareness of Ellis and the services it offers.
The arrangement might even help Ellis find some new employees, which is an issue in a tight labor market.
“We’re finalizing this in terms of how we can leverage this in recruiting,” Schwartz said.
Many SPAC concertgoers come from out of the region, but a large percentage live within Ellis’ service area, Schwartz said. Many are in the key 25-54-year-old age demographic, he said, and more than half are women, who, more often than men, are the family decision makers for healthcare. So it made sense to put Ellis’ name in front of concert audiences, he said.
Ellis does this in other ways, such as sponsoring 5K runs and partnering with the American Heart Association on the local edition of its annual Heart Walk. Another highly visible Capital Region example of this type of sponsorship is CDPHP Cycle!
There are other health industry concert series sponsorships in New York, including Northwell Health at Jones Beach in Long Island and St. Jospeph’s Health near Syracuse. Ellis looked at those organizations' experiences before committing to the SPAC promotion.
The 2018 concert series at SPAC totaled 30 shows, Schwartz said, and the 2019 series is expected to be about the same.
“They could be pushing about 400,000 guests this year,” he said.
If one of the performers Live Nation puts on stage at SPAC gets mired in controversy before the show, Ellis would have the right to remove its name from that concert, Schwartz said.
It’s typically a family-friendly venue and concert lineup, he added, so Ellis isn’t expecting to have to exercise that option.