How does a new record label round up people to watch an unknown act? Offer a bounty.
Solid Discs of North Hollywood paid the Burbank High School soccer team $1 for each person it persuaded to attend a free performance by a local alternative rock band, Permission to Breathe.
The arrangement helped save Solid Discs thousands of dollars and raised money for the cash-strapped soccer team. Solid Discs marketing director Gale Rosenberg said students also got a look at the record business.
"The kids have an opportunity to look at a career direction," she said. "This is stuff they don't teach in school."
Solid Discs is one of a long roster of companies using schools to market products. Many schools collect supermarket register tapes to "buy" Apple computers or accumulate Campbell Soup labels for audiovisual equipment. Apple donates equipment to teachers willing to pitch its products to parents.
Critics of such programs, such as Consumers Union, say the deals are inappropriately turning schools into marketing machines.
Solid Discs provided the Burbank students with promotional kits that included posters, a CD sampler of the group's music and tickets to distribute to friends. The soccer team was paid after the tickets were counted and collected at the Virgin Megastore in Burbank, where the performance was held Nov. 22.
Rosenberg said Solid Discs saved about $6,000. Thanks to sales from concert-goers, the band's album ranked among the top 30 for that week at the megastore.
The Burbank soccer team? Athletic director Dave Kemp said that in return for rounding up 100 teens, the team received $100.
Denise Gellene can be reached by fax at (213) 237-7837.