American Marketing Association hosts media mogul, Professor Consortia

The American Marketing Association will conduct two meetings this week, the first featuring a visit from Jim Peterson of The Renaissance Festival and the second featuring the club’s annual Professor Consortia.

Peterson will speak to the club about marketing and his life in the entertainment industry on Tuesday, Oct. 20. The Professor Consortia will be held Thursday, Oct. 22. Both meetings will be held from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 126 (auditorium), John R. Roach Center for the Liberal Arts. All majors are welcome; lunch will be provided.

The  Professor Consortia will give students a firsthand view of the different courses offered for marketing majors and what they entail, and an opportunity to meet business professors and maybe even some gain some valuable advice.

Tuesday's speaker, Peterson, has made every facet of the entertainment industry his specialty for more than 40 years. He is renowned in all aspects of the production and promotion business, including ticketing, talent management, recording, theatrical productions, and major stadium and themed events. 

His first significant role in the entertainment industry began in 1965 when he founded Schon Productions. Schon Productions was the major music promoter in the Midwest, averaging more than 300 shows a year. Playing host to every major rock and roll act, Schon brought the “big time” to major markets in both the Midwest and national major markets.

Peterson guided Schon Production’s expansion into theatrical production and closed-circuit video. Schon produced Julie Harris in “The Belle of Amhurst,” national tours of “Godspell” and Leonard Nimoy’s “Vincent.” In closed-circuit sports, Schon presented the Ali-Norton fight of 1976, the 1978 World Cup Soccer Championship, the 1980 Hearns-Cuevas fight and the 1983 Hagler-Duran fight.

Peterson’s fascination with the changing demographics of the American audience led him to undertake a venture in 1976 that was to plunge him into a burgeoning new business – producing Renaissance-themed festivals. He bought the fledgling Minnesota Renaissance Festival and built four corporations working year-round to produce themed events and is now one of the largest producers of corporately owned, historically themed events in America.

Mid-America Festivals Corp. and Castle Kitchen Corp. own and operate the Minnesota Renaissance Festival and the Trail of Terror. The Minnesota Renaissance Festival employs and partners with more than 5,000 artists, craft workers, employees and entertainers. It draws about 300,000 visitors annually.

Other projects have included creation of the 10th anniversary party of Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion show, the Victorian Christmas production and the Minneapolis Aquatennial powerboat races.

For more information e-mail the Marketing Association.