From a group of 20 street performers at its beginnings in 1984, Cirque du Soleil is a major Québec-based organization providing high-quality artistic entertainment. Cirque du Soleil has brought wonder and delight to more than 100 million spectators in more than 300 cities in over forty countries on six continents. Since 2003, WHA has become the official PR partner for Cirque du Soleil’s touring tent and arena shows in Baltimore. WHA has represented 7 touring and arena shows in Baltimore throughout the past ten years; Dralion in 2003 (the very first show to premiere in Baltimore), Varekai in 2005, Kooza in 2009, Totem in April 2011, Quidam in August 2011, Michael Jackson: The IMMORTAL Tour in May 2012, Dralion in August 2012, Varekai in July 2015, Crystal in 2018 and Corteo in 2019.
We have worked closely with on-tour publicists as well as Cirque du Soleil's public relations and marketing teams in Montreal to garner PR coverage, enhance current promotions and other opportunities. Many of the local reporters had the opportunity to experience the everyday life and challenges of the performers. By having the chance to learn the basic skills required for various acts, each reporter established a newfound respect for the talent of each specific artist. In addition, each reporter was able to identify with the performers through their personal stories. The result: reporters were passionate about sharing performers’ stories, which generated excitement about the show and kept important media personalities talking about the show beyond just the premiere.
In 2003, Dralion was the first show to premiere in Baltimore. The end result, 92% sold, set a record in a new tour market and required the organizers to extend the show schedule in Baltimore. For Varekai in 2005, WHA far exceeded the past marketing and public relations goals by garnering print and broadcast coverage totaling more than 66 million impressions. For Dralion in 2012, a five-day tour, WHA secured 93 unique, individual news stories; ranging from TV meet and greets, interviews, show teasers, radio interviews, online previews and reviews, as well as print feature articles and calendar listings.
For Crystal in 2018, WHA was among the first local PR teams working with Cirque du Soleil to incorporate social media influencers into its overall public relations strategy. In addition to coordinating ticket giveaways with influencers, WHA hosted an Instagram takeover with @TheBmoreCreatives, showing images of the performers at iconic sites around Baltimore and giving viewers a behind the scenes look of the production. WHA's work with Crystal was recognized by the Public Relations Society of America (Maryland) as Best in Maryland for Media Relations (For Profit) in 2019.