The Grand Oshkosh’s new signs signal new avenues for revenue

Published: Mar. 26, 2021 at 5:39 PM CDT
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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - The Grand Oshkosh recently added some upgrades.

“I want people to come down the street, know where The Grand is, and how to find it,” said Joseph Ferlo, Grand Oshkosh Director.

Ferlo has wanted to get a new marquee since he started 17 years ago.

After much planning and partnerships it’s come to fruition, not only with a made-over marquee, but also a restored blade sign and a new electronic sign.

It’s all designed to compliment the building’s historic nature.

“We settled on the era 1910 to 1920 when the grand had the single amber lights and the blade sign, and it couldn’t have turned out any better,” said Ferlo.

The signs at the Grand don’t just give the venue a new look, it provides a new way to make money.

“This is a game changer for us, and it comes about with a really favorable and cooperative lease from our partners at the city who own the building,” said Ferlo.

Ferlo says it allowed them to enter licensing agreements, with Festival Foods being the first through a 10-year deal for the marquee and electronic message sign. The sign project was completely funded through the branding license and will be known as the Festival Foods Marquee.

That initial deal, plus naming rights opportunities to come, will bring in extra income to help the performing arts center stay afloat.

Plus, 25 percent of any income from future branding licenses will go to a fund specifically for further building improvements.

“So we’re not only helping us continue to find ways of staying alive and moving forward - but we are looking toward the future as well,” said Ferlo. “So it’s going to be a wonderful addition to our portfolio fundraising.”

With new signs bringing some spotlight back to the Grand, that future is looking especially bright.

“It’s great to give a shot in the arm to say ‘Yeah, the show’s going to go on.’ Don’t know quite yet when, how, or what it’ll look like,” said Ferlo. “But the show is going on.”

The Grand Oshkosh is streaming many shows for free and do have some very limited capacity live performances on the schedule. Ferlo hopes to allow greater capacities in the fall.

For more information on The Grand Oshkosh visit its website or Facebook page.

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