The Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra has nearly doubled its sponsorship revenue from $250,000 to $475,000 over the past year.

The increase was driven by SLSO president Fred Bronstein, who made sponsorship a priority upon joining the organization in March after five years at the helm of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

One of his first steps: Placing more emphasis on offering marketing-driven sponsorship packages.

“Businesses are trending more to the sponsorship side and away from the exclusively philanthropic side,” Bronstein said. “It is incumbent for properties to create real value.”

The strategy has paid off: In July, the SLSO announced a three-year agreement with Wachovia Securities, LLC to title its orchestral season. The deal marks the first time the organization has sold title to a season.

The brokerage firm is using the sponsorship in part to build visibility in St. Louis following Wachovia Corp.’s $6.8 billion acquisition of A.G. Edwards, Inc. in late ’07. Wachovia last year phased out the A.G. Edwards brand, which had maintained a presence in St. Louis for more than 120 years, and established the headquarters of Wachovia Securities in the Gateway City.

In addition, the SLSO brought on three first-time sponsors for the ’08-’09 season: Charter Communications, Inc; Lutheran Senior Services and Scottrade, Inc.

Beyond offering first-time rights such as title positioning, the SLSO has taken the following steps to increase sponsorship revenue, and also build its audience base.

Provide benefits targeted to specific market segments. Recognizing the importance of narrowcasting for many companies, the SLSO is putting more focus on developing sponsorship programs that reach targeted audiences.

For example, the symphony worked with Lutheran Senior Services to create a platform in which the operator of residential communities and in-home services underwrites the printing of a large-type version of the SLSO’s program books.

“The sponsorship allows us to get our name in front of people we would not normally reach,” said Jane Wilke, LSS’s administrator of communications. “The sponsorship shows that we care about seniors at large, not just those living in our communities.”

In addition to ID in the large-print program, LSS receives tickets, as well as on-site signage in Powell Symphony Hall.

Carve out new sponsorship inventory. To make the SLSO the “place to go” in St. Louis and attract new subscribers and ticket buyers, Bronstein has expanded the organization’s programming through new concert series, events and community initiatives. The SLSO also positions those programs as opportunities for proprietary sponsorships.

For example, the property last September signed Scottrade as the presenting sponsor of its Orchestra Holiday Celebration. The deal is the St. Louis-based online investment firm’s first with the SLSO, as well as the company’s largest-ever sponsorship of a nonprofit.

In addition to signage and other on-site benefits, Scottrade received a private holiday performance for its employees at Powell Hall. The company already has renewed the sponsorship for another year.

More focus on promotional partnerships. The SLSO also is putting more emphasis on using in-kind media ties to drive ticket sales.

For example, the organization brought on cable TV provider Charter Communications as a sponsor of late December’s Oz with Orchestra, a series of three performances that featured live orchestral accompaniment to the film The Wizard of Oz.

In exchange for tickets and other benefits, Charter produced and ran 15-second spots for the show during holiday programming. Those ads played a major role in driving ticket sales, Bronstein said.