A Circus Visits the Circus: The DGC Team Spends a LEGENDary Night in Brooklyn with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS®
One cold night in February, DGC’s “Children of All Ages”® stepped off the subway and into Barclays Center for a magical evening at “The Greatest Show on Earth®.” This year marked DGC’s second year working with the world famous Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus as it traveled through the New York Tri-State area. “Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS”® is an all new show that rolled into the area in mid-February on the largest private train in North America, carrying 100 performers, 100 animals and 200 crewmembers.
There’s been quite a bit of media excitement about the new show, with feature stories appearing in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Daily News, The Huffington Post and New York Magazine as well as broadcast segments on Good Day New York, WPIX and NY1. But after months of listening to DGC’s Ringling Bros. team pitching stories about the circus, the rest of the crew wanted to experience the show for themselves and see what all the excitement was about!
The DGC team arrived early for the interactive all-access pre-show an hour before official show time and watched juggling and balancing skills, met performers and hung out with the famous Ringling Bros. clowns.
LEGENDS is truly a magical journey into the imagination. DGC’ers watched with amazement as the Torres family, eight motorcycle daredevils, raced together inside a 16-foot steel sphere at speeds up to 65 mph; as the Cossacks performed astounding acrobatics from the backs of magnificent steeds galloping full speed around a small ring; as the China National Acrobatic Troupe leaped and flipped into our hearts with four incredible acts of strength and grace; and as the loveable clowns from Ringling Bros. famous “clown alley” made us laugh and cheer.
The Medeiros troupe performed hair-raising aerials suspended 30 feet in the air by their long tresses. The magnificent “king of the big cats,” Alex Lacey, tamed some of the world’s most ferocious felines. Audiences were charmed by the menagerie of almost 100 animals, including elephants, rescue dogs, llamas, goats, pigs and kangaroos and left speechless as a Pegasus, unicorn and wooly mammoth performed on the arena floor.
Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson, who stands 6’5”, is a 15-year veteran of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey family. At 22 years old back in 1998, he was the youngest and first African American ringmaster in the history of “The Greatest Show on Earth.” Joining Johnathan was his sidekick Paulo, the “legend seeker,” whose feats of strength belied his diminutive stature.
As the lights came up, the DGC team rolled out of Barclays Center full from nachos, slushees and cotton candy. Visions of clowns and elephants danced in our heads.
A big thanks to the folks at Feld Entertainment for a LEGENDary evening.
“Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS” continues its journey through New York and New Jersey with runs at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island from March 5 – 10; Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., from March 13 – 16; and IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J., from March 19 – 23. For tickets and additional information, please logon to http://www.ringling.com.
Content and Audience are King In Today’s Online Media Landscape: Key Learnings From 2014 Digital Hollywood Media Summit
Fed up with exorbitant prices and programming packages that include more channels than a viewer needs – consumers across the U.S. are “cutting the cord” and sourcing their TV programming elsewhere. Over the last few years, audiences have gone from live TV viewing to time-shifted viewing to now binge-TV viewing, and consumption habits continue to change and evolve. So, the question that begs to be answered is –is this an evolution or a revolution?
Those questions and others about the value and future of online video surfaced at Digital Hollywood’s annual Media Summit in NYC on March 5. Experts including Gary Reisman, CEO of Leap Media Investments (www.leapmediainvestments.com) delved into topics including how the online content landscape is changing, what is a trend vs. what is a fad, what will be the media hub of the home in 2017, and how brands and marketers can better leverage online video to connect with their consumers.
On the panel, Gary was accompanied by Nathan Brown (General Manager, Video and Complex TV, Complex Media), Alyssa Vitrano (Director of Content Marketing, Mindshare), Maha Al-Emam (VP of Product and Technology, Daily Candy), Reid Genauer (Chief Marketing Officer, Magisto), Cameron Friedlander (VP, Global Innovations, Blast Radius, WPP Group), and Wes Williams (Director of Product Management, Scripps Networks Interactive).
The room was abuzz with conversation for the entire session, but one question in particular that got the room talking was one posed by moderator, Steve Bradbury, Chief Operating Officer of Zazoom, when he asked the panelists to fill in the blank: “Content and ___ are king.” Some said context, some said experience, some said distribution. Reisman declared, “audience.” See the video below for his full explanation.
This week, DGC’ers took a field trip to PS 140 on NYC’s Lower East Side where we got to spend time with great students, grades 1-5, at one of Educational Alliance’s After School Programs. We helped them with homework, did group reading, learned about the cutest boys in One Direction (it’s a toss-up between Harry Styles and Zane!) and were treated to an early viewing of talent show dance moves.
During our mini-briefing about The Educational Alliance After School Programs, we learned that the organization provides almost 2,000 kids between 5 – 17 years old with tutoring, homework help, snacks/meals – and “a safe place to go” after school. Activities are modeled after The Boys & Girls Clubs’ nationally-recognized program, so classes and events focus on important issues like education, the arts, health, exercise & nutrition, and alcohol/drug, pregnancy & gang prevention.
This experience was DGC’s second time working with the Educational Alliance. For our annual holiday philanthropy in November 2013, we spent a morning with the Educational Alliance Head Start program, a pre-school program for children ages 3-5 located on the Lower Eastside of Manhattan.
As always, we had a wonderful time with the kids – in large part, thanks to the UJA-Federation New York for helping to coordinate DGC’s participation. Giving back is not only something we love to do; it’s one of DGC’s core cultural values. Now it’s time to brush up on our dance moves as we get ready to attend PS 140’s upcoming talent show!