September 2023

behind the SCENES

let's PLAY BALL!

MARQUEE "Up at Bat" for MBAC Pitch Night

This summer, we were selected to participate in the Minority Business Assistance Center’s (MBAC) Accelerator program, LAUNCH. The goal is to assist women and minority entrepreneurs who have started their businesses but may need greater access to government, state, and institutional contracts.

After six weeks of classes on accessing capital, partnerships, certification, and marketing, the 20+ entrepreneurs had 90 seconds to present their businesses shark-tank style in front of a panel of regional business advisors and financiers, the other business owners, and their guests.   

MARQUEE treated the opportunity as a chance to show how we would have branded and promoted this event with our experiential marketing flair!

  • We titled the event “A League of Their Own,” reflecting that every entrepreneur believes their business is unique and leaned into the famous early 1990s movie to carry the message.
  • Each judge received a sample guest party favor of peanuts, crackerjack, baseball gum, a bat-shaped pen, and a MARQUEE baseball card!
  • Of course, I donned a full Rockford Peach costume customized with the event logo, borrowed my son’s old ball glove, and tossed around a pink softball as a prop.
  • I described how MARQUEE's techniques hit a home run for clients (see video link below).

It was a Grand Slam and elicited positive feedback, but not the cash prize. Congratulations to fellow YBI business Signatures By Symone, who is using the funds to buy new printing equipment!!

But there’s no crying in baseball – or business! Getting to bat in the leagues is a victory in itself. We learned a great deal, networked with local entrepreneurs, and proved that our emotional, active, sensory, and thinking approach to business and events hits it "out of the park" for our clients.

Let me introduce our fellow cohort participants:

All Spruced Up Cleaning Co. | Angelic Life Creations LLC | B&P Home Improvement | Beloved Guardians Home Health | Blueprint Industries Management | Crumb Snatchers Playhouse | Divine Living of Madison | Doughlicious Bakery | Enjoy My Kakes & Katering LLC | Expressions of You | Kaloche Galore & More | La La Love Healthcare | MUSE Creative Spaces | My Melanin Speaks LLC | Nurse Angela | Russ' Charging Station | Sav's Macarons | Signatures by Symone | Smart Solutions Unlimited LLC | Spin Cycle Solutions | Touch of Class Party Planning & More LLC | YHSAV Initiative

Aundréa Cika Heschmeyer, President

“MARQUEE is up to bat at Pitch Night, and it’s time to Play Ball!”

As the Major League Baseball postseason is in full swing, it is only apropos that the MARQUEE team had a chance to experience our own World Series this month when we participated in the YBI MBAC Pitch Night and competed for a $5K business growth grant.


the creative SCOOP

PUMPKIN SPICE & Everything Nice

This is my favorite time of year! As the calendar wistfully flips to mark the summer's end, our senses are enhanced with all things autumn. The chilly mornings with the smell of wet, changing leaves wake your senses as you leave for school and work.

Nature stimulates our vision by surrounding us with warm, rich, earthy, vibrant landscapes. The colors stretch from the darkest brown and leaf green to the most intense orange and yellow, passing through old gold and almost all shades of red. Each is inspired by the seasonal changing of leaves' colors as temperatures drop and daylight shrinks. I want to surround myself with everything so it also appears in my design palettes.

I am a huge coffee connoisseur and love a quality seasonal latte. Sure, there are naysayers, but I am not focused on all that - I am just enjoying it, especially this year. It is the 20th anniversary of the now iconic Pumpkin Spice Latte!

On an early spring day in 2003, the Starbucks R&D team gathered, armed with kitschy fall decorations and pumpkin pies to explore ideas. They spent days sampling a forkful of pumpkin pie followed by a sip of hot espresso – teasing out which flavors from the pie best complemented the coffee. For three months, they explored options before the now iconic beverage was born.

This patient effort is a lesson for us all. Small business owners and marketers can studying techniques used to create this now thriving "pumpkin spice economy" highlight the following:

  1. Understand your audience
  2. Capitalize on consumer sentiment
  3. Package design matters
  4. Infuse playfulness and personality
  5. Build anticipation
  6. Truly lean in and don't look back.

I recommend you indulge in quite a few before the seasons change again!

 — Agata Khoury, Art Director

shining the SPOTLIGHT

The Feast Day Celebration of Our Lady of Częstochowa

You'll find quiet in her arms and you'll find shelter from the evil, 'cause she has a tender heart for all of her children.”

lyrics from “Czarna Madonna”

Polish Youngstown and St. Columba Cathedral partnered with MARQUEE for an event combining faith, culture, and tradition. The celebration of Our Lady of Częstochowa's feast day included a special mass and celebratory dinner with a featured speaker. The "Black Madonna," as she is known, has been intimately associated with Catholic Poland for more than 600 years. The event was intended to call attention to the unique shrine at the front of the cathedral dedicated by His Excellency, the Most Reverend Bishop George Murray, in 2012.

We strategized a campaign consisting of digital marketing, event management, and brand awareness to increase user engagement, drive community involvement, and initiate event partnerships. Graphic design, media relations, social media, and advertising were implemented to ensure the event's success. We also secured the Past President and Board Member of the Polish-American Priests Association, Reverend Eric Orzech, as the keynote speaker to tie the shrine to modern Catholic teachings.

Interested in learning more about the event? Check out the full story below.

Megan Duden,

Director of Client Success


in the KNOW

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"Content strategy." "Influencer marketing." "Artificial intelligence." If you are a marketer (or even if you're not), you probably have heard all these buzzwords - and more - countless times in meetings, newsletters, or on social media.


the industry TRENDS

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