Bryan Broetsky is driving change through social media in his first full season working for Frazier Shows, his family's carnival.
Broetsky, 24, a third generation showman, is the son of Steve and Julie Broetsky, the owners of the Phoenix company. Bryan graduated from Arizona State University in 2015 with a communications degree, specializing in social media. He joined the show full-time at the midpoint of last season and owns a few rides and concessions.
This year, Broetsky has taken the lead on promoting the carnival through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and it's producing results.To date, Frazier Shows has 31,750 followers and the greater exposure on social media has resulted in the carnival booking some new events and hiring new employees.
edia is my specialty," he said. "There's a reason why we're [among] most popular carnival Facebook page[s]. There's been a lot of interaction and engagement and we're having fun with it. I took it over a year ago and we've gone from 800 likes to about 32,000. Events are calling us to find out more information about our carnival."
As part of the social media campaign, Frazier Shows promotes a weekly VIP all-day wristband giveaway on Facebook, which amounts to a $100 value for the carnival's nine hours of daily operation compared with the typical $20 wristband limited to three to four hours on the midway.
As part of the online activation, Broetsky posts a photograph of the promotion with the hours and location, and users are asked to like and share the photo. He picks a random winner for two wristbands. The multiple shares of the post has increased interest in the show, he said.
In mid-July, for example, the wristband special reached 44,000 people and 1,500 liked it and shared it on their Facebook pages, according to data compiled by Broetsky. About 8,000 clicked on the photo to get more information and there were 500 comments, he said.
Midway through the 2016 season, things are pretty good for Frazier Shows. New ride superintendent Billy Carpenter, also known as "Bright Light Billy" for his knack of outfitting rides with LED lights, has given the carnival a boost by upgrading the equipment. Carpenter has been in the business for 30 years and is married to Lauren Lauther, Broetsky's cousin.
The show currently has 28 rides, a number that will change with the acquisition of two new rides, an ARM Rock Star and a Luna Park carousel. Both pieces are expected to be delivered in time for the 2017 season.
The Rock Star costs $750,000. On his own, Broetsky purchased the kiddie carousel for $65,000. He plans to travel to Poland in August to visit the manufacturer and check on the ride. It is scheduled to arrive Nov. 15, he said. Broetsky already owns a Farm Train kiddie ride and a funnel cake trailer.
Separately, Frazier Shows last year acquired a used Chance Century Wheel from Helm & Sons Amusements and installed new LED lights on the ride.
Apart from those new additions, the carnival owns a KMG Freak Out, a Chance Pharoah's Fury, ARM Vertigo, Larson Ring of Fire, a fun house and glass house, both produced by Owens Manufacturing. Other pieces include a Cliffhanger, Zero Gravity, Zipper and a Wisdom Starship 2000, which has been re-skinned with a new theme.
The carnival has upgraded its trucking operation as well. The family spent about $70,000 to buy a dozen new Peterbilt trucks and spent another $5,000 on accessories. The shiny vehicles' aluminum wheels and fiberglass bumpers are part of the show's effort to eliminate the negative image associated with the carnival industry, Broetsky said.
Gary Miller, the show's 52-year-old concessions manager, has been working with Steve Broetsky for almost 40 years. The two first met in Detroit when Miller was just 15, Bryan said. Miller owns games as well as Adam Shrum, a family friend for 20 years. Otherwise, the Broetskys own the remaining games and food stands.
Frazier Shows is on its way to New Mexico to play dates in August and September after spending June and July in Nebraska and Wyoming. The carnival starts and ends the season in Arizona.
Major dates include the Teton County Fair (July 22-31) in Jackson, Wyo., San Juan County Fair (Aug. 8-13) in Farmington, N.M. and the Southern New Mexico State Fair in Las Cruces. Teton County is Bryan Broetsky's personal favorite. The fairgrounds is not far from Jackson Hole, a ski resort and popular vacation spot.
New dates include a private rental for the Keen footwear company in downtown Salt Lake City, secured through the Facebook connection. The show will set up a Ferris Wheel in August for the firm's summer outdoor retail expo, Broetsky said.
The Broetskys have owned Frazier Shows for 15 years after buying the business from Cecil Frazier. The carnival itself has been in operation for 35 years. Steve Broetsky previously was the lot man for Deggeller Attractions for 22 years
Insurance broker David Garrett did business with both the Fraziers and the Broetskys and brought the two families together to complete the transaction.
"My family moved from Tampa to Phoenix," Bryan said. "I had never been past Texas prior to moving out west. But it's been good for us. I grew up in the carnival business and after graduating from college, I thought I might as well work with my family."
Stephen Broetsky, Bryan's older brother, serves as the carnival's general manager. His two sisters, Andrea and Ashley, help run the office with their mother.