Elvis Presley Enterprises had its "biggest year ever" in 2007, according to Scott Williams, EPE's director of marketing who spoke in Tupelo Friday. He's gave a run-through of the organization's activities for the past year. What made 2007 stand out, Williams said, was the successful brand partnerships.
He cited the partnership with Reese's for a Collector Edition Peanut Butter & Banana Creme version of its peanut butter cup. Other successful partnerships in 2007 included Harley-Davidson, Budweiser, Sports Illustrated, Tennessee Tourism and American Idol.
Another standout partnership, according to Williams, was with NASCAR and Dale Earnhardt Jr. "The only fans I can think of who are bigger than Elvis fans are NASCAR fans," Williams said with a quick laugh.
The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, of which Tupelo hosted one of the preliminary rounds, contributed to the year's success as well. Tupelo, being the birthplace of Elvis, was selected again to host a preliminary round at the Tupelo Elvis Festival June 6-8.
Williams said EPE used Tupelo last year as the model for a lot of the smaller towns that were hosting qualifying rounds. He also showed a video about the contest, which featured Tupelo's winner Brandon Bennett. The finals were held in Memphis during Elvis Week 2007 and sold out the Cannon Center.
Business also was good at Graceland and the surrounding properties in Memphis. Williams said about 600,000 people buy a ticket to tour the house each year, and another several thousand visit just to shop or do the free walk-up to the house.
And Williams said he only expects business in the Elvis world to get better.
"The magic of Elvis is still growing as more younger fans discover Elvis," he said.
About one-third of visitors to Graceland are younger than 34 and 75 percent of Graceland tourists are visiting for the first time.
"According to all of our research, it's growing and growing," he said. "The more than you guys can do to celebrate and bring awareness, the better it is for all of us."
EPE's goal is to preserve, protect and enhance the legacy of Elvis. It is a subsidiary of CKX Inc., a publicly traded company that also includes American Idol and Muhammad Ali.
EPE Had The Biggest Year EverFebruary 03, 2008 | Other Source:Daily Journal
Viva wrote on February 04, 2008
It is indeed telling that, of all EPE's alleged successess mentioned above, absolutely none of them have anything to do with the recorded works of the King, just how many different products you can see his face on. I find it very depressing that when we have to discuss the great Elvis moments of the year The best we can come up with is a jar of peanut butter and an impersonator competition. "EPE's goal is to preserve, protect and enhance the legacy of Elvis..." So when are they going to start doing that then?
Jumpin Jehosaphat wrote on February 04, 2008
Elvis Presley Blvd will soon become Disneyland of the Mid-South, a true carnival with a three ring circus Elvis in the 50's Elvis in the 60's and Elvis in the 70's however they will hide Elvis 76 and Elvis 77 from the public because he does not exist in their eyes.
Greg Nolan wrote on February 04, 2008
Nothing wrong with a little editing, Jumpin'. The best of the jumpsuited "'70s Elvis" can so much easier be found from images and footage from '70 to even '75. I don't see the problem in not dwelling in his worst moments... Viva, well said. EPE clearly has some marketing gurus who care about "Elvis, the 'brand'" which I find kind of sickening. Sure, keep him in the public eye, but recall that he was a recording artist, not some mirage in the desert....
Steve B. wrote on February 04, 2008
Sadly, Elvis has always been about more than just his music. I am thrilled that the Elvis thing continues to boom. No one could have thought that this Elvis thing would have lasted as long as it has. I was at Tribute Week and was totally blown away by the HUGE crowds. I have been to Graceland more times than I can remember. I am looking forward to seeing new things. If it becomes a Disneyland, so be it. Disneyland will last forever as will Graceland.
Brian Quinn wrote on February 05, 2008
Great News. Much of the success is down to Bob Sillerman. Graceland and EPE/CKX will go from strength to strength.
Viva wrote on February 14, 2008
EPE/CKX will indeed go from strength to strength. Unfortunately, Elvis' reputation will go down the toilet. More peanut butter anyone?