Jane Ellis
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Stacey Jones
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March 08, 2005
Accenture Helps Royal Shakespeare Company Strengthen Audience Bond

LONDON; 8 March. 2005 – Accenture (NYSE: ACN) and the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) have announced an innovative relationship aimed at helping the RSC better anticipate and fulfil the needs of its audiences.

Accenture, the RSC’s "High Performance Business Partner," is providing the Company with direct financial support for its work on stage as well as with consulting services, which should help the RSC achieve the same success at the box office that it enjoys artistically.

Using Accenture’s skills and capabilities, the two organizations are working to enhance the RSC’s understanding of its current and potential audience. Initially, this entails analyzing theatregoers’ frequency of attendance, geographic and demographic distribution, seat and performance preferences, and seat-booking preferences. In doing so, they are building a highly insightful profile of the RSC’s audience. This will help the RSC overhaul the way it communicates with audiences around the globe, and it will help its artistic team continue to develop its repertoire to generate the financial returns required to support a thriving Company.

Although in its early stages, Accenture’s support has already begun to pay dividends. For example, when the research indicated an opportunity to grow the number of young theatre-goers, the RSC launched an initiative to offer 16-25 year-olds access to £5 tickets for all performances in the Company’s season at the Albery Theatre in London. Tickets include some of the best seats in the house.

The research also helped the RSC better understand whether customers preferred to receive information about performances and book their tickets online or through the box office. Based on this information, the Company fielded a test marketing campaign that more than doubled the number of tickets booked online. Additionally, the RSC is using the research to more accurately describe its audience to sponsors and donors.

The RSC and Accenture are currently applying these insights to the RSC’s season at the Albery Theatre in London and the Stratford-upon-Avon Winter season.

"The RSC is one of the great classical theatre organizations in the world, and this relationship is an opportunity for the best of business and the arts to join together," said Mark Foster, group chief executive of Accenture’s Products operating group and a Governor of the RSC. "Choosing and working with the right partners can make all the difference in an organization’s ability to achieve high performance."

Kate Horton, commercial director of the RSC, said, "This is a great opportunity for the RSC and a meaningful partnership that provides us with real value. In an increasingly competitive leisure and entertainment market we need to know more about how best to engage with audiences. Working with Accenture we can now identify more suitable ways to communicate with our regular members, freeing up resources to attract new audiences."

About Accenture
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Committed to delivering innovation, Accenture collaborates with its clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. With deep industry and business process expertise, broad global resources and a proven track record, Accenture can mobilize the right people, skills, and technologies to help clients improve their performance. With more than 100,000 people in 48 countries, the company generated net revenues of US$13.67 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2004. Its home page is www.accenture.com.

About the Royal Shakespeare Company
The Royal Shakespeare Company’s aim is to keep audiences in touch with Shakespeare as our contemporary - understanding his work through today’s artists, actors and writers. Therefore the company’s repertoire not only includes the work of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, but classic plays by international dramatists and work by living writers. The RSC also produces extensive education and outreach work to engage more people with Shakespeare’s work and live theatre.

The RSC’s work is performed throughout the year in Stratford-upon-Avon, regularly in London and throughout the United Kingdom. Although the UK is the Company’s home, its audiences are global with regular performances in international theatres.

For more information about the Royal Shakespeare Company visit www.rsc.org.uk.

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