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July 30, 2010 2:45 PM   Subscribe

How do you get liquor companies to sponsor an event?

A friend of mine has put together an art book with pages from some relatively famous living artists and illustrators. She is now planning for the book release party at a large space in in Brooklyn in early October.

The publisher has given her a small amount of money for the release party, and the location is being donated for free, but she would like to have the drinks sponsored.

She has reached out to Pabst, and the Brooklyn Brewery, but is looking for advice on what companies are best to approach about sponsoring a 200 person event, and how to approach them.

Fancy cocktails are preferred, but she is open to anything free.
posted by abirae to Food & Drink (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This previous question might give some ideas about the sorts of approaches others have found successful (though it is someone asking about San Francisco).
posted by AnnaRat at 2:54 PM on July 30, 2010

I don't have contact info for them, but Coney Island Lager has been a sponsor of an organization I've been involved in and often provides free booze for our parties. They seem to like being involved in local events.
posted by Fuego at 3:13 PM on July 30, 2010

I do this regularly for one of the charity boards I am on. I am most successful when I ask my friends if they know anyone who works for a distributor, or a wine shop, or a brewery. I am frequently surprised by who I know and who my friends know.

The charity board has a prepared letter which includes the demographics of our typical event attendees, as well as a description of the event we're asking for a donation, and includes the tax deduction form (which probably won't apply to you). We also have samples of our promotional materials which show them how much free advertising they are getting from it, as well as samples of the display which will be at the event, naming the sponsors.

Neither step is more important than the other, in my experience. Having a personal connection--however tenuous--makes the conversation easier, but having concrete examples of what the donor is getting out of it not only makes their decision easier, but also shows that you are hosting a serious event that won't embarrass the product by association.
posted by crush-onastick at 3:14 PM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

Most of the time in this market the sponsored events are done in part by the wholesale distributors, not the retailers. I suggest picking a big name, like Absolut or Cuervo or something else well known. Find out who their global distributor is (probably someone like Diageo) and from them you can find the name of the local wholesaler. Call that local wholesaler and ask them.
posted by komara at 3:42 PM on July 30, 2010

Yes, call the wholesaler. I work for one (not in New York, unfortunately); we get these requests all the time and do sponsor quite a lot of events.
posted by something something at 3:49 PM on July 30, 2010

We've gotten Bacardi to do free drinks (mojitos and daiquiris) at kickball games a couple of times, and that's for about 300. nthing call a local wholesaler.
posted by CheeseLouise at 4:35 PM on July 30, 2010

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