Don't get us wrong: We're never going to be disappointed about the opportunity to see a Ludacris show. Hell, the guy even played the Dallas Observer's St. Patrick's Day concert a couple years ago. But when news broke yesterday afternoon that the Dallas Mavericks will be hosting a Luda concert on Tuesday, March 29, at The Bomb Factory (and not American Airlines Center, mind you), it raised a question. Just what is Mark Cuban up to?
The production is the latest, and certainly the biggest, from the Mavs' new event company, Another Mavericks Production. Other events have included Mavs SPIKED!, a sand volleyball tournament that took place last summer, and Mavs Run This Town, a 5k they hosted back in October in conjunction with the start of the season.
"We've had some concerts at the arena, many years back, in terms of post game or situations like that. But what we're really trying to start here is Another Mavs Production," says Mavericks Chief Operating Officer Floyd Jahner. "What we're trying to do is have a wide variety of events that appeal to all of our different fans, because basketball fans have many other areas of interest," he adds. "Music and basketball fit together well."
Jahner says he's not aware of any other NBA team that's started a separate promotion company like AMP, but that it's a logical fit. "Everybody talks about how you have to expand your fan base forever. That's [true of] sports in general," he says. "Even though there's a basketball game, we still look at it as though we are an entertainment product. It's not just a basketball game when you come to watch the Mavs play."
The Ludacris concert will be completely separate from any games, of course (the team is off the night of the show), so putting on a stand-alone concert at a 4,300-cap room like The Bomb Factory likely represents AMP's biggest event. "When you can work with somebody that really knows their business, and we know how to promote and put together an event, it's not that bad," Jahner says. "It's a lot of work, but it feels worth it."
The Bomb Factory connection was a simple matter of proximity, given that the Mavs' offices are located in Deep Ellum. "We started to meet some of the people and said, 'Hey, would you be interested in doing something with us?' and they said, 'Sure,'" Jahner recalls. "It was kind of a natural fit and after that we just had to find the right entertainment to bring in."
Should the Mavs continue to host more stand-alone concerts in the future, The Bomb Factory would remain a logical choice of venue — though the relationship will not be exclusive. "As long as everything goes well, we would definitely be interested in working with them again," says Jahner. "But it may also depend on the artist and finding the right venue for the fans to come in and enjoy that artist."
Jahner admits that he hasn't been to a show at The Bomb Factory — "This will be my first" — and that it will also be his first time seeing Luda. "Music has a huge tie-in over the year with the NBA, especially in the area with Ludacris and hip-hop," Jahner adds.
If all goes according to plan, Cuban should be there right alongside Jahner come March 29. "[The concert] started with the Mavs in our entertainment group there, and then it got blessed by Mark," he says. "Mark obviously is involved with everything Mavericks, and he's planning on being there as long as his schedule permits."
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