diversity watch

US Gay and Lesbian Task Force Invites Brands to Winter Party

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 23, 2012 10:04 AM

Brands are invited to the Winter Party Festival in Miami Beach, an annual six-day, 20-event festival fundraiser. Running Feb. 29 to Mar. 5 at venues throughout Miami Beach and Miami, more than 10,000 visitors from around the world are expected.

Produced by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Winter Party already counts major brands as WPF 2012 sponsors

Showtime, a longtime supporter of LGBT causes and programming such as Queer as Folk and The L Word, will be promoting Nurse Jackie and The Borgias. Office Depot is underwriting t-shirts and donating office supplies. Coca-Cola's brands and Grey Goose/42 Below vodkas are the official non-alcoholic and spirits sponsors, respectively, while Surfcomber is the festival's host hotel.

"The payoff for these companies can be tremendous," said David Alexander, director of institutional giving for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in a press release. "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."

The pitch: LGBT consumers are known for loyalty. According to a recent Harris Interactive survey, seven out of 10 LGBT consumers say 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.

"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," Harris added. 

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