1st sponsorship - Oversaturated the Podcast
I'm a heavy podcast listener, and I'm a huge supporter of podcasts from the Midwest. A little while ago, I was approached by one of the hosts of Oversaturated, a bi-weekly podcast curated by 2 young Black men from East St. Louis. I was initially put onto the podcast before I started Revel 2, and became an instant fan of theirs. Ralph and Johnnie discuss music, movies, pop culture, mental health, and pretty much everything in between, topics that, of course other podcasts discuss, but there is room for Ralph and Johnnie, too.
When they announced that they were having their live show, as a fan, I was already trying to find a way to make it down to STL to be there in person, even if I had to make this trek solo (which I ended up doing anyway). But Ralph, one of the hosts reached out to Revel 2 to ask if Revel 2 would be interested in sponsoring their live show, to which there was absolutely no hesitation in saying 'yes.' Now, being a sponsor was something pretty new to me, so in addition to supporting a podcast that I'm a fan of, for Revel 2, it was about making an impression on a new group of people. While there is some expectation to make Revel 2 a notable name in Chicago, I never even thought about taking Revel 2 outside of the city, let alone the state. So to make this investment to make Revel 2 known in STL/East St. Louis was mind-blowing and a little scary, but definitely worth it.
When I got down to STL and was getting ready to go to the show, I was a little nervous: this is my 2nd solo trip, I was not familiar with the area, and this was more for business than for pleasure. When I got to the venue, everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) was welcoming and hospitable. The venue was quaint, yet perfect for the vibe that was in the space. Granted, there was a delay, but because everyone was conversing, chilling, and what-not, no one really cared about the late start.
Shout out to Black women for holding it down on the sponsorship tip- all of the sponsors for the live show were women and were present for the event: Doohicky Craftique, Elizabeth Saint James, and myself (that's me in the middle).
Going to a live show for a podcast is definitely an experience, as I have attended quite a few live shows before, so many things were anticipated, but for certain podcasts that aren't on a major network like Loud Speakers or Gimlet, I give major kudos to podcasters who really use their resources to put on a comparable live show. But, what matters most to smaller podcasters is the fans that take time out of their schedule to purchase a ticket, to travel and make accommodations, etc. to actually show their support. Being from Chicago, getting support from your people is like pulling a lion's tooth (i.e.: it's beyond difficult), so it mattered to me as both a listener/supporter and a black business that I throw my support to my people. It's the support that makes the event worthwhile.
This experience was great; I had a wonderful time attending the live show. What I liked the most was the discussion on mental health, which is becoming a staple topic on their show now, but it was refreshing to see 2 Black men openly and unabashedly discuss going to therapy, embracing the process of talking about the difficult things that go on in their lives, and promoting mental health to a room full of Black people. I appreciate the normalization of seeking therapy in the Black community, and that this message is being delivered through podcasting for this generation. Other topics that were discussed were MCU and them trying not to spoil End Game for those who haven't seen it yet, music, and their infamous "Off The Dome" segment.
I'm definitely looking forward to the next live show in the future. It was a great privilege to sponsor this event and I'm proud of Ralph and Johnnie for pulling this off.
-Ryan @ Revel 2.