A Tale of Two Vegas shows…

Marketing-O-Rama / Resources and Tools

My buddy Dean Jackson pointed out an interesting example to me the other day that really got me thinking. There’s a big lesson here so keep your eyes peeled…

It’s about 2 very successful shows running in Vegas.

Both of them were blockbusters and entertaining sold-out audiences each and every night. Both were family-friendly and both had sterling reputations. And both even had specialized theaters built for them, named after their shows…

But that’s where the similarities end.

You see, one show got shuttered after a tragic accident on stage and the revenue drops to pretty much zilch. The other show is flourishing worldwide and is now a multi-million dollar company.

So which shows am I talking about?

siegfriedandroyWell, the first one is Siegfried and Roy. They created this amazing long running show of magic and illusion featuring their famous white tigers.  They had a lifetime gig doing their show at The Mirage in Las Vegas, until that fateful day in October of 2003, when Roy was mauled by one of his tigers.  They had made no other contingencies. Now the show closed down and their business was gone…POOF!

And that second show?

bmgIt’s the Blue Man Group. Maybe you’ve heard of them, remember the Intel ads that featured them or know them from the television show “Arrested Development”. It’s a group of 3 guys painted electric blue from head to toe, who splash paint, make sounds and splat stuff out of their mouths. It might sound a bit juvenile but audiences love them! And from a business or entrepreneurial case-study point – there are a lot of things to learn here.

The little light bulb moment came for them when Jillete Penn (part of the duo Penn & Teller) saw their show in NYC during the first month. He told them, “Oh, my God! You guys can do what Teller and I can never do! You can clone yourselves!”

They didn’t get it at first because they thought they had to be the talent.

But finally the idea dawned on them that they really could leverage what they were doing by painting other actors (who were trained by them) blue and doing another show. They started in Boston and things didn’t go smoothly because they didn’t have a system to duplicate the show. They literally had to lock themselves up in their apartment with their creative director for 3 days to write and tape record themselves going over every part of the show. The recordings were transcribed creating an operations manual and a way to systematize their performance.

Currently, their live stage shows can be seen in New York, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Orlando, Berlin, and Tokyo plus frequent tours.

When they first started they were using almost $1000 worth of Jell-O per show – their producers decided to lose that part of the show. Luckily, two of the three were working for a catering company who picked up the cost and made the Jell-O for them each week. After being featured in the Intel ads (which were shown during the Grammy Awards, the NBA playoffs and the World Series) they went from 10 shows a week at 50% capacity to 14 shows a week at 100% capacity.

But get this – right now the original 3 members of Blue Man group do not even perform – they’re busy growing their brand. They’ve ventured into all sorts of other venues including film, music, TV, education and even children’s toys. The toy development is a license to create toys based on their musical instruments. Smart! They’ve even opened their own school – the “Blue School” – for kids. Here’s an article about it from Time Magazine.

Frankly, the biggest lesson here is leverage…

Siegfried and Roy never figured out a way to get paid beyond their performance. (Yes, they got paid lavishly but they had golden handcuffs because they could never stop performing day-in and day-out.) But Blue Man group leveraged themselves by duplicating their performances and now by starting to license their creations. That means they have revenue coming in from lots of “open doors”.

Now I certainly don’t know if you’ll create the next blockbuster show in Vegas – but I’ll make you a bet you can still leverage yourself in a slightly different way without painting yourself blue.

If you’ve got any sort of info product, content, software, I.P. or even a business idea – you’ll love this! (Even if you don’t there’s a killer opportunity to stick yourself in the ‘middle’.)

You see, I’m pulling back the curtain on this weird way I’ve “Rented” my existing content to create brand NEW profit streams that require virtually zero work after they’re set-up one-time. (I’ve quietly been doing this for 3+ years now and banking 6-figures a year from it!)


I truly believe this is going to change the way you think about your business because there are tons of ways of doing it beyond what I’ve done. In fact, I’ve personally sought these experts out because I’m going to step up what I’m doing in this area.

It’s a serious way to exponentially leverage what you’re doing already in your business and let others profit from it and keep paying you month after month.

And if you watch the presentation ’til the end there’s a special bonus linked to my upcoming Underground Online Seminar 6.

Even if you don’t think this applies to you – you can still be the ‘middle man’ or broker and bring 2 parties together. There is a significant untapped opportunity here. In fact, I would seriously pay for someone to be a broker for our content because it’s all found money!


  1. January 22, 2010, 9:16 am


    An excellent example using shows that most people have heard of to illustrate longevity and lifetime value of a product or service.

    Like you wrote, “It’s a serious way to exponentially leverage what you’re doing already in your business and let others profit from it and keep paying you month after month.” The key here is to have this planned as part of the growth and exit strategy when you begin.

    That’s why you and the other Maverick’s are breaking new ground online and offline. Keep it up!


  2. Clement
    January 22, 2010, 9:56 am

    this gave me great ideas. would be seeing what I can do in Singapore to organise Forex Seminar with underground speakers. Thanks for the great ideas!

  3. January 22, 2010, 10:10 am

    Very interesting story, Yanik. Thanks for the great idea.

  4. January 22, 2010, 10:33 am

    The Underground is a registered trademark of our company – but if you’d like to discuss licensing that brand for your Forex event we’re happy to talk. That’s one of things we are going to be licensing this year.

  5. January 22, 2010, 10:56 am

    Hey Yanik,

    The whole idea of leverage and licensing is both pure genius and way—WAY—under utilized by most business owners. But take the examples of the rock bands KISS, The Rolling Stones, and U2.

    They ALL license their images and video content and it brings in hundreds of millions of dollars of additional revenue every year. And companies such as Disney (which owns PIXAR Animation) know the full value of this kind of leverage and we’re going to be seeing a lot more of this when the new Toy Story movie comes out later this year. Pretty cool stuff and highly lucrative if done properly. All great stuff. I look forward to learning more at UG6.

    —Gary B.

  6. January 26, 2010, 8:11 am

    Whoa… so true about the Blue Man Group. Just by painting these guys they can be anywhere. So smart.

    I’ve done alot of licensing with my product launch and marketing campaigns of which I learned from Bob Serling. It’s really ingenius as you do the work once, “tweak” the campaign to fit their business, and just find more and more businesses to inject it into.

    It really is a very underground strategy for massive success.

    Nice post Yanik. :)

    – Chris

  7. January 26, 2010, 3:16 pm

    So the magic is in leverage….

  8. February 6, 2010, 5:37 pm

    Great perspective on leveraging your existing efforts.

    Looking forward to seeing you at the upcoming Underground Seminar!!!

  9. February 25, 2010, 9:19 pm

    Fab post Yanik & a great example of the power of leveraging your time. We were always taught in telesales to “paint a picture” for your prospect.”

    You have done that perfectly in this post.


    Barry Cross

  10. July 27, 2010, 1:23 pm

    Hey Yanik,

    I am very interested in this licensing business opportunity, however I have zero products, and am struggling to create a product at the moment. So for a newbie, someone who doesn’t have any products, would you recommend this product and diving into product licensing?

  11. July 27, 2010, 2:31 pm

    @Asim – no, it’s best to get your an info product under your belt first. A very good primer is our ‘Moonlighting on the Internet’ book from Amazon or BN.com

  12. July 27, 2010, 2:33 pm

    Thanks Yanik,

    Much appreciated.

  13. Asim Ahmed
    July 27, 2010, 5:02 pm

    Hey Yanik quick question,

    For someone who is broke, only has bout $100 pocket change and really wants to start making money online and create a infoproduct business online, would you suggest this person which is basically me to spend weeks and months on researching a niche, or just find a hungry niche by looking at how much the keyword was searched for and spending time in forums figuring out what people need?

    I understand that a good marketer always tests the market before creating a product, but I just want to get some kind of income stream going at first. Do you think I should just create something and put it up online by doing a weeks worth of research in the market through social media? By the way I purchased your book, looking forward to reading it.

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