Maroonopoly game board and social media reaction.

Orlando (Fla.) Venues Division Manager of Events Eric Staufer didn't want to present pop stars Maroon 5 the standard team jersey backstage gift prior to their show at Amway Center, Orlando, Fla. Sept. 9, so he came up with a creative memento for the band — a custom designed Monopoly board reimagined as 'Maroonopoly'.

“I was working a load-out for a corporate show in late July, and I started thinking about our next major event, which was a concert by Maroon 5 in September,” said Staufer. “Knowing that the band has been around 15 years and been in our building several times, and we've given them team jerseys in the past, I wanted to do something different.”

What Staufer came up with was definitely unique; a Monopoly game board tailor-made for the band. “I wanted something completely off-the-wall and different that could be personalized for the band. I played Monopoly as a kid and it just popped into my mind.”

Members of Maroon 5 with Eric Staufer; Tanya Bowley, marketing manager, Orlando (Fla.)Venues; AJ Wasson, GM, Live Nation, Fla. and Allen Johnson, executive director, Orlando (Fla.) Venues gather around the custom made Maroonopoly game board.

 

Staufer searched google for someone who made custom Monopoly boards and struck gold when he ran across a link to someone who did just that. “I reached the person who made the boards on a website called 'Esty.com' which is a craft website that connects people who make personalized crafts with people who want to buy them.”

The custom Monopoly board maker is Clarissa Bryant and her company is called Custom Made Kitsch. Bryant was thrilled to work on the project. “It was going to take about a month to get built,” said Staufer, “So the timing was perfect.”

Staufer filled out a template where he substituted Maroon 5 related names for the names on a traditional Monopoly board. “Clarissa needed to know what I wanted to call the spaces on the board, so instead of Reading Railroad or Boardwalk, I had to come up with a name for each of the property pieces.”

It took Staufer a week to figure out the names. He started by researching Maroon 5, reading a lot of blogs about the band and going on fan websites. “I wanted to trace their career history,” said Staufer. “I decided to use 'Grammys' as the biggest game space instead of 'Boardwalk' and worked backwards from there. The first spot wound up being 'Brentwood (Calif.) School' where most of the band members met.

Instead of 'Go' and the normal 'Collect $200' Staufer put the Amway Center logo along with 'Collect $222 Salary'. “The number 222 has significance for the band,” said Staufer. “They recorded their first demos in a recording studio called Room 222 in Hollywood and Adam Levine has a '222' tattoo.” Staufer used song names, venues they played in and awards as inspiration for the rest of the names. Instead of utilities he used agents CAA and WME.

“Instead of railroads I used other forms of transportation and as the board progresses it went from 'Bicycle' to 'Automobile' to 'Tour Bus' to 'Private Jet,” said Staufer, laughing.

In order, the properties were called: Brentwood School, South Barrington Place, Income Tax, Bicycle, Edible Nuns Avenue, Mostly Men Avenue, Kara's Flowers Avenue, Jail, Troubadour Place, CAA, We Like Digging Avenue, Room 222 Avenue, Automobile, Malibu Beach Party, Reprise Avenue, The Fourth World Avenue, FAN PARKING (Instead of  FREE PARKING), Square Avenue, Octone Avenue, Feldstein Avenue, Tour Bus, Jane Avenue, Platinum Avenue, WME, Billboard Avenue, Go To Jail, This Love Avenue, Jagger Avenue, Sugar Avenue, Private Jet, Payphone Place, Luxury Tax and The GRAMMYs.

Staufer also created custom 'Chance' and 'Community' cards. “I wanted them to be funny and humorous,” said Staufer. “I wanted to have fun with them.

Examples are:
-The girl with the broken smile finally left.  Collect $50.
– You're at a payphone trying to call home.  Pay $15.
– Adam got another tattoo.  Pay each player $50.
– Private corporate gig!  Collect $150.
– Overpayment to agent. Collect $100.
– You have won a Teen Choice Award. Collect $10.
– Pay Brentwood School Fees of $50.
– Collect $50 in music royalties.
– Advance token to The GRAMMYs.

Instead of a car or thimble, the game pieces are laminated headshots of each of the band members. “They were made with the photos upright so they could go around the board,” he said.

“Seeing it live was fantastic,” recalled Staufer. He presented the 'Maroonopoly' board to the band just before they were due to start the show. “The band loved it.”

The reactions of the band members were really genuine and they thought it was a great gift. PJ Morton, Maroon 5 keyboardist, instagramed a photo of the board and got 2,500 'likes' and hundreds of comments in half an hour.”

Kirk Wingerson, marketing division manager, Orlando Venues, said, “There are many, many Maroon 5 fans in our building and it was easy to grab hold of the unique idea and move it along,” said Wingerson, when asked if he needed to be 'sold' on the novel gift presentation. “We all thought it was a creative opportunity to show the band we appreciate them coming to Amway Center. We thought this would resonate with the band far more than giving them another jersey.”

“It worked,” said Wingerson. “It was well received and had a great pay off.”

From a marketing perspective, Wingerson said that it's great exposure for Amway Center since it's being written about and shared on social media and helping build relationships with artists. “When you have an artist as popular as Maroon 5, maintaining a healthy relationship is important,” said Wingerson. “The next time they are routing a tour we hope this will be something they'll remember and that will bring them back to our venue.”

The band played to a capacity crowd that night, 16,000. The cost of the custom Maroonoploy board? $250. The return, according to Staufer, “priceless.” 

Interviewed for this story: Eric Staufer, (407) 440-7041; Kirk Wingerson, (407) 440-7024