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Narrow niche claimed by iBADGE

NNBW Staff

Tony Perry is the father of one of Reno’s niche industries the creation of backstage passes.

It’s a narrow niche, and now Perry finds himself mining a niche that’s even narrower the distribution of accessories such as lanyards to organizations that buy backstage passes.

Even Perry acknowledges it’s not much of a business, but a non-compete clause with the purchaser of the business he founded keeps him out of the pass business for another year and a half.

“This is what I do, so I’ve got to go with it,” Perry said.

“The accessories business is small, but being a one-man show, it’s nothing I can’t make money on.”

Perry is quick to acknowledge, however, that he’ll return to the backstage pass business in September 2005 just as soon as the non-compete agreement expires.

For 12 years, the company he founded, PERRi Entertainment Services, was a prolific provider of backstage concert security passes.

At one point, it commanded an 80 percent share of the market for major tours.

Its clients were a Who’s Who of pop, rock and rap acts.

And then Perry disappeared from the radar screen in September 2003.

That’s when he sold his business contacts, website and phone number to a Reno-based competitor, Access Pass and Design, run by former PERRi employee, Seth Sheck.

Other key employees had left a few months earlier to start yet another rival pass company, Cube Services (also located in Reno).

That brought to four the number of competing pass providers in Reno, including the company, T-Bird Entertainment, for which Perry began a backstage-pass division at age 20.

“Ironically, I trained people who went on to become my competitors,” Perry says.

“After closing the core business of PERRi Entertainment last September, I got out of the industry.

The non-compete contract runs into September 2005.

But I finally realized I’m a printer by trade and by choice, that entertainment is my passion, and that this is who I am.”

The realization brought him to launch iBADGE, a 24-hour online source for credential supplies plastic pouches, lanyards and other accessories.

A clause in the noncompete contract permits Perry to sell accessories as iBADGE.

Perry also has joined with Dean Huff, owner of backstage passproducer T-Bird Entertainment, to serve clients.

T-Bird prints passes, while iBADGE (ibadge.com) provides accessories.

But Perry doesn’t leave much doubt that he’s returning to the pass business in September 2005.

The PERRi Entertainment name and logo were not sold in the transaction.