S|E|A sees ‘sky’ high market for sponsorship & hospitality

Aly Thomson
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HRM Business Parks

Five years ago, Derek Martin had an idea: to start his own full-service sport and entertainment company.

After having a hand in almost every major event to hit the city, including both the 2007 and 2009 Tall Ships events and the Sir Paul McCartney concert, S|E|A is growing to accommodate the demand for its unique services.. (Sail Training International photo)

Five years ago, Derek Martin had an idea: to start his own full-service sport and entertainment company. This company would provide clients with a one-stop option for sponsorship sales, event creation and management and unique VIP corporate hospitality experiences.

Using his years of sports and event managing experience, Martin did just that; and he’s come a long way from being a one-man show.

Since 2006, Sports & Entertainment Atlantic (S|E|A) has been taking over the events scene in Halifax and beyond. After having a hand in almost every major event to hit the city, including both the 2007 and 2009 Tall Ships events and the Sir Paul McCartney concert, S|E|A is growing to accommodate the demand for its unique services.

“There aren’t a lot of folks around here that have experience in working on large scale sports events. What you find a lot of the time are events run by a volunteer board, or non-profit associations, where that’s the only thing they do for the entire year,” says Martin from his desk in the newly renovated S|E|A office on Lower Water Street. “We’ve come in and identified a bit of a niche.”

From bringing 2,000 tonnes of sand to the Halifax waterfront this summer for the 2011 FIVB World Beach Volleyball event, to creating bus and ticket packages for U2’s final stop on their 360° World Tour on July 30 in Moncton, Martin says SEA’s aim is to “find new ways to help people enjoy these events better.”

“We really try to get involved in as many different things as we can so we can offer corporate clients different options,” he says.

For example, some of Martin’s clients have experienced sitting high above the field watching the Saint Mary’s University Huskies football team in one of the VIP boxes the company calls “SkySuites.” Based on traditional box suites in arenas, the SkySuites idea was borrowed from bigger world events like the PGA, and is new to this region. Martin says the response to these has been amazing.

Now, S|E|A is bringing the aerial suites to one of the summer’s biggest concerts: Rock The Hill featuring Metallica on Citadel Hill. Businesses can purchase one of five SkySuites that will be set up along the venue at the Garrison Grounds for $7,500. Or, snag one of 10 tables that seat 10 people in the “SkyBar” for $3,000. Either way, you’re equipped with a full bar, VIP services, amazing seats and a one-of-a-kind view.

With all of these projects underway, Martin says his hope for his company is that it be “known as the go-to place for your sports and entertainment needs.”

After taking on five employees in the last six months­–bringing the total to eight–Martin says he wants to continue to grow S|E|A, but at a steady pace.

“It’s really not a large market, in terms of competition,” Martin says, mentioning there are only about five of its kind in the country. “We’re not trying to become a large corporation. We’re a small company and we will always want that small company feel.”

 To learn more, visit S|E|A’s website at www.seatlantic.ca.

Organizations: Sports Entertainment Atlantic, University Huskies

Geographic location: Halifax, Lower Water Street, Moncton Saint Mary Citadel Hill

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