Viewpoint: Sponsoring Fest a boon to businessesAs this year’s president of the Cottage Grove Strawberry Festival volunteer committee, I am able to watch in awe as our event coordinators plan and organize the various pieces of what is sure to be another fun-filled family event.
By: Justin Olsen, South Washington County Bulletin
As this year’s president of the Cottage Grove Strawberry Festival volunteer committee, I am able to watch in awe as our event coordinators plan and organize the various pieces of what is sure to be another fun-filled family event. That includes great live music, terrific food, a carnival, and numerous other attractions. The festival committee strives to make each year a little bigger, a little better and a little more appealing for both festival-goers and sponsors.
The 2009 event, scheduled for the week of June 15, promises to be the best yet! To celebrate our 25 year anniversary we have added a craft show, top chef contest, and more exciting activities for the whole family to enjoy!
Another exciting development for 2009 is the official designation of the Cottage Grove Strawberry Festival as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. That means any and all donations to the event are tax-deductible. If you or your business are looking for a terrific way to partner with a local, high- traffic, high-quality event, then we absolutely fit the bill. Sponsorship has some great advantages also. The festival committee works very hard on behalf of all event sponsors, from branding on our event’s materials, banners and T-shirts to print ads featuring sponsor names and logos both before and after the event.
Having been in retail business my whole working life, I am well aware of how important it is to “think globally, act locally.” Local sponsorship is a fantastic way to do just that! Whether local businesses choose to support Strawberry Fest, or any of the other very deserving local nonprofits in the area, the key is to do something to give back to the communities that support you and your business. Our committee knows finding inexpensive, high-value sources of positive visibility, like the Strawberry Festival, can be difficult for local businesses. Corporate sponsorship of the Strawberry Festival gives them an opportunity to paint their company in a positive light, while achieving maximum visibility among local residents. Cottage Grove and the surrounding communities are lucky to have so many generous business partners who see value in local sponsorship. The Strawberry Fest has been fortunate to share in that generosity as well, and for that we are very thankful.
Most businesses, if they are anything like mine, understand that marketing is essentially a numbers game. The more people who are exposed to their products or services, the more sales and goodwill come from those efforts. Corporate sponsorship with the Strawberry Festival comes in all shapes and sizes, at a variety of price points. We will even customize a sponsorship package to fit your needs, which still gives you access and visibility to an unlimited number of potential customers. In addition to added visibility, local businesses can also benefit from corporate sponsorship in the area of image enhancement. It is one thing to provide a practical or useful product or service, but quite another to be viewed as proponents of our community. By sponsoring an organization or event like Strawberry Fest, a local business demonstrates a commitment to the “neighborhood,” which people like me and my neighbors certainly notice!
On behalf of the entire Cottage Grove Strawberry Festival volunteer committee, we look forward to seeing you at Kingston Park for this year’s 25th anniversary event! If you have any questions about sponsorship opportunities, please contact our committee vice president, Sheila Nitz, at (651) 458-9495 or me at (651) 459-6336.
Justin Olsen is president of the Strawberry Fest committee and a Cottage Grove City Council member.