The LGBT community is a fiercely loyal consumer. According to a recent Harris Interactive national study, seven out of 10 LGBT consumers said they are likely to remain loyal to a brand they believe is friendly and supportive of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, even when less friendly companies offer lower prices or are more convenient. This loyalty, coupled with the estimated $845 billion consumer spending power of the LGBT community, has national, mainstream brands actively courting LGBT consumers.
One of the most popular avenues to reach the LGBT community is through event marketing, says David Alexander, director of institutional giving for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. As proof, Alexander points to the upcoming Winter Party Festival in Miami Beach, a six-day, 20-event festival produced annually as a Task Force fundraiser. Among the national brands supporting this month’s Winter Party are Showtime Networks, Office Depot, Coca-Cola, Monster Energy, Grey Goose/42 Below vodkas and Kimpton Hotel’s Surfcomber Miami, South Beach.
“With the annual buying power of the LGBT community nearing $1 trillion, these companies know that targeting this high-value demographic is simply good business,” said Alexander. “Winter Party, which attracts more than 10,000 guests from around the world, has proven to be an ideal opportunity for these national brands to showcase their products.”
Alexander estimates that the combined value of cash and in-kind Winter Party sponsorships well exceeds $200,000, the largest sum in the event’s history. The type of sponsorship exposure varies, he said, and is tailored to whatever best benefits the brand. For example, Showtime will be spotlighting the network’s Nurse Jackie and The Borgias shows, Office Depot is underwriting t-shirts and donating office supplies, while Coca-Cola brands and Grey Goose/42 Below vodkas are the official non-alcoholic and spirits sponsors, respectively. Surfcomber is the festival’s host hotel.
“The payoff for these companies can be tremendous,” Alexander said. “On the surface, they’re reaching thousands of potential customers with experiential brand marketing, but the more subtle message is that they enthusiastically support the LGBT community. No doubt, the community will enthusiastically support them back.”
Produced by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Winter Party Festival raises funds to build power, take action and create change for the LGBT community. The majority of the net proceeds generated from Winter Party Festival go to work in South Florida through grants administered by The Miami Foundation, while the remainder supports the Task Force’s efforts nationally. Since assuming responsibility for the events in 2004, the Task Force has provided nearly $1.2 million from the proceeds of Winter Party and the annual Recognition Dinner to LGBT organizations in South Florida.
Winter Party runs February 29 to March 5 at venues throughout Miami Beach and Miami. For information, visit www.winterparty.com.
Source: National Gay and Lesbian Task Force