22 November 2018back

Showboaters Drama Group & MacPherson Electrical Ltd & Spey Design

The Steamie

Education & learning | Health & wellbeing | Older people | Tourism | Young people

A bright spark of creativity in a small Highland village

The project

The Steamie is an iconic and much-loved play, which encapsulates the social history of Glasgow in the 1950s. Working in partnership with Inverness-based MacPherson Electrical Ltd and Boat of Garten-based Spey Design, Showboaters Drama Group reminded an older generation and introduced a younger generation to both a play and a period of time.

Showboaters Drama Group & MacPherson Electrical Ltd & Spey Design

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Reaching an audience of more than 900 at Boat of Garten Community Hall, during eight sell-out performances in, the production and its promotion were significantly enhanced through in-kind sponsorship from Spey Design (valued at over £1,000) and a £2,000 sponsorship package from MacPherson Electrical, both match funded by CBFS.

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The partnership

The Showboaters Drama Group, founded in 2002 and based in Boat of Garten, is made up of all sorts of people who share one passion – producing professional-standard shows. The Group has enjoyed the loyal support of local Inverness businessman, Graham MacPherson, for many years. When asked to help with a  new production of The Steamie, Graham increased his original contribution of £1,000 to £2,000 when he was made aware of CBFS match funding. As a local businessman, whose high standard of work is acknowledged throughout this tight-knit Highland community, there was a natural synergy between business and creative partners and this was further augmented by the involvement of another local player –  creative studio, Spey Design.

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The creative force behind Spey Design is a highly successful designer who has worked internationally for large corporate organisations. Returning to Boat of Garten to raise her family, she continues to produce creative work of the highest standard – her ethos of excellence in a small Highland village, chimes exactly with the ethos of the Showboaters. Inspired by the opportunity to secure match funding from CBFS, Spey Design agreed to provide in-kind sponsorship to MacPherson Electrical as well as expert input and advice on set design, marketing, promotion, online sales and the use of social media.

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The impact

The cash sponsorship from MacPherson Electrical, doubled through CBFS match funding, enabled the Showboaters to update their lighting systems and pay for professional technical support and training which not only enhanced the quality of their production of The Steamie, but will continue to enhance future productions too. MacPherson’s enjoyed the opportunity of reaching over 900 new customers through their full page advertisement in the programme, eye-catching display in the foyer (organised by Spey Design) and acknowledgement at the end of each performance.

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Although Spey Design’s in-kind sponsorship translated into £1,080, its value also lay in the expert advice that allowed the Showboaters to maximise their revenue through appropriate ticket pricing and the setting up of online ticket sales. This increased an original sales projection of £8,000 to a realised income of £13,950.

Spey Design’s expert contribution to marketing, promotion and materials not only provided professional polish, but brought the production to the attention of other local businesses who offered smaller amounts of sponsorship late in the day. By asking those businesses to places adverts in the show’s programme instead, and contribute their sponsorship money directly to a local charity, the Showboaters both laid the foundations for future relationships and created a philanthropic giving stream within the community.

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“The publicity of the CBFS involvement with The Steamie, and the MacPherson and Spey Design sponsorshops, generated interest and favourable discussion among the community and other businesses.”

Ann Napier, Showboaters Drama Group

“The potential for match funding encouraged my business to increase its sponsorship from £1,000 to £2,000. The experience reinforced my view that Showboaters is a group that achieves high standards through hard work and commitment.”

Graham MacPherson, Owner, MacPherson Electrical Ltd

“The potential for match funding encouraged my business to maximise its in-kind sponsorship. Showboaters is a much-loved local drama group and being seen to be a supporter in bringing this popular play to the stage will enhance the image of the firm, with a possible resultant increase in business.” 

Spey Design