When it comes to sponsorship spending on fairs and festivals, slow and steady may be the best description.

Burdened by the sluggish economy and tight marketing budgets, fairs and festivals have been one of the slowest growing sectors in recent years.  

And 2013 is no exception.

Sponsorship spending on fairs, festivals and annual events is expected to total $849 million in 2013, up 2.9 percent from 2012.

The increase lags spending on arts (3.3 percent); associations (4 percent); causes (4.8 percent); entertainment (5.1 percent) and sports (6 percent) as well as the projected 5.5 percent increase for the overall sponsorship industry.

While spending growth trails other sectors, fairs and festivals continue to draw interest from corporate marketers looking to build their local presence, engage consumers and drive sales.

To perhaps no surprise, much of that activity is driven by the beverage category. Anheuser-Busch InBev, PepsiCo, Inc., The Coca-Cola Co. and MillerCoors are the four most active companies sponsoring fairs, festivals and annual events in terms of number of deals, according to IEG Research.

Three other factors fueling interest in events:

  • The opportunity to reach consumers during the summer, a period when many people are difficult to reach through traditional media
  • The continued popularity of mobile marketing programs
  • A platform to support corporate social responsibility initiatives

Top Companies Sponsoring Fairs And Festivals

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*Anheuser-Busch InBev sponsors 31% of all fairs and festivals.

 

Most Active Categories Sponsoring Fairs And Festivals

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*Media & publishing companies are 9.9 times more likely to sponsor fairs and festivals than the average of all sponsors.