There seems to be countless of festivals springing up in every major city in the U.S. From music & film to holiday & art, there is a variety of themed-events to choose from for virtually every season and holiday. As the former professor at the University of Calgary turned tourism and events management consultant, Dr. Getz, states “festivals always have a theme, and they have potentially very diverse programs and styles, all in pursuit of fostering a specific kind of experience.” Houston alone hosts hundreds of festivals, both big and small, that target different age groups and attract sponsors wanting to identify with a specific audience. For example, Free Press Summer Fest, Houston’s largest music festival held yearly at Eleanor Tinsley Park, targets a younger demographic (ages 18-24) by booking popular music guests like Lorde & Mac Miller, and has locked-in sponsorships with Brisk, Jeep, and Vita Coco – all companies looking to identify with the festival’s demographic. The Houston Children’s Festival attracts a more family-oriented demographic and has sponsors like Mcdonald’s, Metro PCS, and Double Tree Hotel that are trying to identify with the parents of children attending the festival.
Festival sponsorships are a great way to incorporate businesses with local communities. On-site activations give companies the opportunity to interact with potential customers. According to Digital Music News, “ [since 2012] brand sponsorship of music festivals in North America reached over $1 billion”. With the rise of music festivals and “themed” festivals, it’s clear to see how companies from different industries would be inclined to direct a portion of their marketing budget to support public events, helping them expand in reach and visibility.
One of the more popular, sought-out sponsorship opportunities is the naming rights to a performance stage at an event or festival. The stage serves as the central point for whatever performance or presentation occurs at a particular event. People gather around to watch, and in today’s digital age, mobile device users can use their devices to capture unique experiences in real-time and share their festival experience in the moment on social media. Social media has the capability to give the stage sponsor an advertising opportunity while still offering added value to the festival and spreading significant brand awareness.
Today on the blog we highlight 4 sponsorship stages from different festivals in Texas that we believe add value to their respective festivals while spreading brand awareness to festival attendees.
The Houston Children’s Festival is the largest children’s festival in the U.S. with 4 stages featuring music and entertainment, 14 family adventure areas, and over 300 activities. As the official title sponsor, McDonald’s also has naming rights to their main stage – shown below.
Austin-based music festival, Austin City Limits, approximately 450,000 people attend the festival each year. It features eight stages with performances from popular and rising artists from various genres including rock, indie, country, folk, electronic and hip hop. Approximately 450,000 people attend the festival each year. All eight stages vary in size and capacity and are sponsored by companies like Miller Lite and Samsung. Honda sponsors the festival’s main stage – shown below.
The Houston Livestock and Rodeo Show Cook-Off is an introductory celebration to the actual Houston Livestock and Rodeo event. Despite being open to the public, the bbq contest features 250 teams competing in the event. Most teams have tents in the festival that are “invitation only” and are sponsored by various companies – they feature intimate performance stages like the one below.
Magical Winter Lights is Houston’s largest holiday festival and the largest lantern festival in the United States. It brings a fresh, multicultural take on holiday light shows with larger-than-life Chinese lantern sets, many of them renditions of world landmarks and imaginative designs. The light exhibits are accompanied by a full-size carnival, a food court, nightly acrobatic performances, and many other forms of entertainment. The acrobatic performances are held twice-a-night at the Boost Mobile stage, pictured below.
Magical Winter Lights is 52-day festival that features larger-than-life lantern sets featuring a full-set carnival, delicious cuisine, daily acrobatic performances and more. The 2017 Magical Winter Lights is currently looking for companies to team up with. The family-friendly event is perfect for businesses that are trying to tap into a family-oriented demographic & to the holiday shopping crowd. Our team works closely with its partners to customize sponsorship packages that better suit the needs of our sponsors. Learn more about the 2017 Magical Winter Lights sponsorship here.