SERVING THOSE WHO SERVED

How the 2nd Annual Veterans Festival Became One of St. Louis’s Largest Public Events

VETERANS FESTIVAL IN FOREST PARK

Capital fundraising and statewide marketing campaign in St. Louis, MO

Objective

Develop a corporate fundraising effort to offset the expenditures of the 2nd Annual Veterans Festival in Forest Park. Launch a mass marketing campaign to raise awareness for Veterans’ resources and programs and increase public turnout. The goal for the festival was to become one of the St. Louis’ largest public events next to Fair St. Louis.

Situation

The founder of the V.P. Fair and the Veterans Festival Board of Directors needed to sell corporate sponsorships to offset festival expenses as well as generate a greater turnout at the 2nd Veterans Festival in Forest Park.

Solution

Develop a professional fundraising package, contact 400 A-list companies in person, raise funds by selling corporate ads and name recognition in the event program and in marketing materials. We designed a powerful 48-page prototype event program with compelling stories on veterans, plus a well-designed schematic of the festival layout in Forest Park.

To further boost fundraising efforts, we initiated a company employee program “Tees for Troops” as an alternative method for companies to support our troops and make a monetary contribution to the festival.

The marketing of the Veterans Festival included public relations, television and radio spots, billboards, community posters, website and social media.

Coordination and promotion included the St. Louis Zoo, Science Center, History Museum, Missouri Botanical Garden and St. Louis Art Museum.

Results

Anheuser-Busch became the premier corporate sponsor committing to a $50,000 contract of promotional elements and support components as well as its 8-hitch Budweiser Clydesdales to lead the opening day parade. From there, we obtained in-kind contributions from media, Schnucks Markets, Wehrenberg Theaters, retailers and individuals totaling more than $150,000.

Press release coverage appeared in local newspapers statewide as well as nine radio and television interviews were arranged for military leaders. News teams from all three St. Louis TV networks covered the event on evening and morning news programs. Billboard companies donated $50,000 worth of billboard space.

Despite that the tailwinds of hurricane Isaac hitting St. Louis the same day of the event, we drew an estimated 15,000 that weekend to the Veterans Festival as compared to a couple of hundred people at the 1st festival.

All branches of the military participated in the festival as well as politicians, Generals and Admirals. Military equipment, war reenactments, exhibits, Fighter Jets, Chinook Helicopters and a simulated submarine were among the many attractions as well as a lineup of 16 bands that performed non-stop.

OUR TEAM CAN SUPPORT YOUR EVENT, TOO

Do you have an event that needs a full-service marketing strategy? Perhaps you just need some fresh ideas to advertise your products and/or services. The creative team at Silverback scales our efforts to fit your company’s unique marketing and advertising needs.