Friday, January 25, 2008

The Best Of Both Worlds - Networking Leads To Hanna Montana Tickets

Again, having the right connections proved to solve an unsolvable problem. I laugh when people mock or lessen the importance of having a strong network of professional contacts, as it is networking that saves the day in so many situations. All opportunities come from people, so those who think "networking" is overrated are missing the boat.

And it is not just getting business leads, sales and money. Those who have heard me speak or read my book, Some Assembly Required, know that we located the pediatric neurosurgeon who saved my daughter through our network. There are many less dramatic situations in life where a network will come through with amazing results.

Earlier this week, it happened again. My kids, like all other pre-teen girls in America, wanted to go to see the Hanna Montana concert. However, it was impossible to get tickets. You would need to be living under a rock to have not heard about the hysteria that this Disney created fictional pop-star and the 15-year-old actress, Miley Cyrus, who portrays the TV sitcom singer/regular teen have created with this sold-out concert tour

(Yes, Miley Cyrus is the daughter of one-hit-wonder country music star Billy Ray Cyrus of Achey Breaky Heart fame. He also stars in the Disney network show portraying the father of "Miley Stewart and her alter ego, "Hanna Montana". Those of you who do not live with kids in the 5 - 15 age range have fortunately missed out on this cultural phenomenon and Billy Ray's big time come-back ).

On the morning the tickets had gone on sale my wife spent an hour on the phone and on-line trying to buy tickets, which sold out in 45 minutes. While there were tickets available on ebay, I was not interested in spending $300 per ticket to attend this show (The Police, Rolling Stones or other equally big sold out show maybe, but not for a Disney show! Even the Beach Boys...but not Hanna Montana).

In comes the power of networking. For six weeks I let people know that I was looking for tickets, and that I my family had saved the date in the calendar. I figured that someone might come across tickets. At 4 PM the day of the show I got an email from a friend, with the right connections, informing me where I could buy four tickets (face value). Five minutes later the month long dilemma was solved and we were on our way to see Hanna.

Were the kids thrilled? bet. My ten year old told me "Wow, those books you write about's all true!"

The show was well done, but from a grown up point of view it was hardly worth all the hype. That being said, the pre-teen girls who made up the audience were delighted by the performance which included singing, dancing and fireworks. I was one of about a dozen dads in the arena, as mostly mom's and daughters were there. They even changed the Men's Rest Rooms to Women's Rest Rooms, since all those in attendance were 99% female, leaving the men to hunt the halls for the one remaining place to pee.

Miley Cyrus performed the first half of the show in the blond wig that makes her secret identity of Hanna Montana, and the second half of the show as herself. The premise of her television show is that she leads a double life as a normal teenage girl, while secretly also being America's top pop star. The theme song of the show (and the name of the concert tour) is titled "The Best of Both Worlds" since she can have the life of a star, and still live a normal life.

One day Miley will stop being "Hanna Montana" (which is a Disney created character), but needs to build her own brand as Miley Cyrus, so this duel show is really a brilliant marketing plan for the young teen and her future career.

She closed the show by saying she would be performing a song that means a lot to her family. For a split second I was afraid she would be singing a cover of "Achey Breaky Heart", but instead played a song in memory of her grandfather. Very talented for fifteen years old, we have not seen the last of Ms. Cyrus. Hopefully as she grows up she will have a better track record that other former Disney kids like Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan.

Have A Great Day



Anonymous said...

Even though I now live in the western end of the state, I have roots in eastern Kentucky and grew up "down the road" from Billy Ray. We like to think he's had more than one hit ... his biggest hit, so far, is Miley !

My daughters are 23,22 and 20, but they still enjoy Miley and Billy Ray and I have to admit to watching 15 minutes of it myself a time or three.

She's a talented young lady and ol' Billy Ray's gettin' some air out of this too.

With his Humanitarian of The Year and Kennedy Center Honors awards, among a lot of other good work that most people don't know about, Billy Ray's actually been quite a good ambassador for our state. Check out wikipedia for a complete breakdown of his achievements.

Of course, like any good Kentuckian, he's had his share of missteps, but we're humans too...even tho we don't always seem so !

Glad you got to see the concert and I hope your kids enjoyed it !

StealthMarketer said...

Wow! You made a great memory for your family somtehing to be very proud of for sure.

My friend from Austin called me to see if I could get tickets the day of. I have some radio and TV contacts, but it was too late (maybe when she comes to Houston?).

I sent her you blog post. My daughter and I created a YouTube video of one of "Hannah's" songs, "Who Said", that has had over 48,000 downloads and lead to the inclusion of a spoof of montages from on-line videos that aired in Fox 11 LA. You can catch that video and a link to the Fox deal at

What is really cool about this, is being able to leverage all of this interest and now my daughter is going to play a lead role in a movie,

She loves the attention and as parents, we have to be mindful of all of the pitfalls. Thanks for posting. Dads want to give their girls their dreams - our little princesses.


Andy Valadez