Garth Brooks effect could mean big business

By Jodi Schwan

Seven days.

Nine concerts.

And about 100,000 people.

If you haven’t thought about what the upcoming Garth Brooks concerts could mean for your business, you might want to get busy.

“If I was a business owner, I’d be digging deep into my thought bank and asking what I can do to get those people to eat in my restaurant or what can I get them excited to buy in my store while they’re in Sioux Falls,” said Teri Schmidt, executive director of the Sioux Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau.

“Let the imagination roll and go for it because this is a big, big deal.”

Many businesses already have made plans for special promotions and unique offerings designed to capture a share of country music fans’ spending.

Original twists

“Mr. Brooks” by Sioux Falls artist Brad Kringen

As soon as Sioux Falls artist Brad Kringen brought his latest painting to Rehfeld’s Art & Framing, owner Matt Jorgenson knew the timing couldn’t be better.

Titled “Mr. Brooks,” it’s a country-inspired work with a big aspiration.

“One of Brad’s wild hopes is that Garth sees it and buys it,” Jorgenson said. “Ambitious – but I like his spirit!”

Sticks and Steel also saw an opportunity to tie its newest brand, Spunky Fluff, to signature Garth Brooks lyrics.

The store acquired Denver-based Spunky Fluff, maker of colorful wooden signs and magnets, earlier this summer. The specially designed Garth signs include “I’ve got friends in low places,” “Ain’t goin’ down til the sun comes up,” “I’m much too young to feel this damn old” and “I’m shameless when it comes to loving you.”

“We’ll be giving some away through social media promotion, and we will also have an in-store drawing, with the winner getting to choose their favorite lyrics for a sign of their choice,” owner Terri Schuver said. “Additional signs will also be available for sale.”

Steve Hildebrand saw a sweet opportunity for his business as soon as the concerts were announced.

The owner of Josiah’s Coffeehouse & Cafe — and a Garth fan — will be re-creating some of Trisha Yearwood’s Food Network recipes and serving them at the bakery. The menu includes the German chocolate cake Yearwood makes for her husband’s birthday and a caramel apple cake.

Dressing western

Concert-goers already have started shopping for new western apparel, said CJ Prewitt, sales manager for Renegade.

“We most definitely see them getting a new outfit for it,” she said. “They like the new shirt, something fun, and we have a wide variety of items from core western to casual to a little crossover into rock.”

Renegade is offering discounts at The Empire Mall.

The western-wear store at The Empire Mall plans to host a live radio broadcast to generate more awareness of their promotions for the concert.

Renegade is offering 10 percent off its Garth Brooks men’s denim line and additional discounts on men’s and women’s clothing.

Downtown, Chelsea’s Boutique is using online content to generate interest from country shoppers.

The store created an online quiz “to help you figure out which country-girl style you are,” owner Chelsea Tracy said.

Answer questions about your accessories of choice and style icon, and you’re directed to options for apparel and accessories.

A blog post from stylist Kacie Olson details five outfit options, from classic to casual cowgirl, urban, bohemian and glam.

It encourages shoppers to snag a selfie at the concert in their Chelsea’s outfit, post it with #chelseasfashionblog and be entered to win a $50 gift card.

Even businesses without a retail angle to take advantage of the concert can use it to promote internal engagement, said Schmidt at the CVB.

She suggests inviting employees to dress in western wear or find other ways to bring the energy of the concert into the workplace. And don’t forget to hang up a sign or change the marquee to welcome the performers, she said.

“I encourage businesses to have some fun,” she said. “Do something that would extend an extra hand to Garth and Trisha, and let them know this community is excited they’re coming here.”

Garth Brooks effect could mean big business

As about 100,000 people prepare to take in a Garth Brooks concert, many businesses already have made plans for special promotions and unique offerings designed to capture a share of country music fans’ spending.

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