Innovation at Cirque Du Soleil

            
 
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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR269
Case Length : 16 Pages
Period : 1985-2007
Pub Date : 2007
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Cirque Du Soleil
Industry : Circus Entertainment
Countries : Canada

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.



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Introduction Contd...

Cirque was cited as one of the companies to have implemented 'Blue Ocean Strategy' by creating demand, by developing a new market space, where competition was non-existent (Refer Exhibit I for information on Blue Ocean Strategy). Instead of being considered as just another circus company in a declining industry, it redefined its market by fusing art and entertainment (Refer Exhibit II for the history of Circus).

The company was successful in creating a new form of art by combining circus art, theater and ballet. Subsequently, Cirque also introduced its line of apparel and accessories. About 85 percent of Cirque's revenues were from the sale of show tickets and the rest from the sale of audios, videos, books, and licensing agreements for products like T-shirts, jewelry, hats, shoes, masks etc. Apart from touring and permanent shows in places like Las Vegas, Orlando, and Walt Disney World, Cirque had also produced a number of movies and television shows. Some of the shows like 'Cirque du Soleil Fire Within', Coreto and Dralion had won the popular Emmy awards in various categories.

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Commenting on the success that Cirque has achieved, Linda Tischler, Senior Writer and Former Managing Editor (of the 'New Media' section), Fast Company, wrote, "At a time when audiences for all performing arts are declining, Cirque du Soleil has taken a particularly moribund segment of the market -the circus -and created an entertainment juggernaut, with a burgeoning record label, a retail operation and a deal with Carnival Cruise Lines."6

Background Note

In 1980, Gilles Ste-Croix (Ste-Croix), with skills in stilt-walking, along with some performers founded Les Echassiers de Baie-Saint-Paul (Les Echassiers), and began street performances. Soon Laliberte and Daniel Gauthier (Gauthier) joined the group.

In the same year, Gauthier and Ste-Croix planned to turn Le Balcon Vert, a performing artists' youth hostel that they managed into an organized performing troupe. To raise funds for this purpose, Ste-Croix stilt-walked7 between Baie-Saint-Paul8 and Quebec City9. This attracted the attention of the Quebec Government and it provided the trio with the necessary funds...

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6] Linda Tischler, "Join the Circus," Fast Company, July 2005.

7] Stilt walkers attach themselves to very high poles and walk while elevated above normal heights. Stilts are poles made of wood, about five feet in length, provided with a shoulder and strap to support the foot, on the upper part and the lower part is enlarged to enable walking while maintaining balance on the ground.

8] Baie-Saint-Paul is a city in the province of Quebec and is located on the Saint Lawrence river.

9] Quebec City is the capital of the Canadian Province Quebec and is the second largest city in the province after Montreal.

 

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