Pregnancy and Bonnaroo: Reflections on Sponsorship

Meet Diane Jalfon, Director of Development, and one of the coolest and nicest people I know. Read her perspective on life inside the Brooks, and sometimes, outside of it as well.

You know how when you’re pregnant you notice all the other pregnant people? Well, when you’re in development you can’t go to anywhere without noticing sponsors. Attending a concert at the Botanic Garden? Gotta find out who the sponsor is. Seeing an exhibition at a museum in Nashville? Gotta see who sponsored it. We even notice whose logo appears on the ads for parties in RSVP. Last night I was watching Dave Matthews live stream from Bonnaroo on YouTube and I can tell you that Ford Fiesta sponsored that stream. I know, obsessive, right?

So why the obsession with sponsors? Well, sponsors are our lifeblood. We can’t have an exhibition, an event, or a program without a sponsor. They give us funding and we give them exposure. We put their logo on our website, invitations, and advertisements. Sometimes we give them tickets to events. And we give them the satisfaction of knowing that their money went to a good cause.

We’re constantly looking at who is sponsoring what so we can see how our benefits stack up. We know we’ve got a great product. I mean, how many other 96 year old art institutions are there in town? We know we’ve got a great marketing team that creates killer posters and bus shelters (see Who Shot Rock & Roll). And we know we will bend over backwards to make sure a sponsor is happy with their choice to support the Brooks.

But we can’t be complacent. We don’t want to miss an opportunity to match up a great company with the perfect sponsorship. And so we look at what everyone else is doing. Not in a “oh, we’re better than you” kind of way. More like a “good for you – that’s a perfect fit. I’ll have to remember that company supports the arts.”

We’re lucky to have a lot of very generous corporate supporters in Memphis. Next time you’re at an event make it a point to notice who the sponsor is. And then thank them.

To find out more about Brooks’ sponsors and events, call 544.6200.

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