Commercial sponsors enhance base events
By Earlene Smith, 81st Services Division
/ Published February 07, 2007
KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, MISS. -- Since January 2006, Keesler has received more than $200,000 in cash, products and services from Mississippi Gulf Coast businesses that have sponsored various 81st Services Division activities.
By taking advantage of the Air Force commercial sponsorship program these businesses have enhanced such events as Child Pride Day, the Easter egg hunt, Christmas in the Park, Cruisin' Keesler, the Armed Forces fishing rodeo, boxing, dances at Vandenberg Community Center, Keesler's 65th birthday celebration and Strut Your Mutt Day.
The sponsorship program has been in effect for more than 15 years. Each year has seen an increase in the amount of contributions, according to Nicole Cote, marketing specialist.
"Businesses enjoy doing sponsorships," Ms. Cote pointed out, "because it affords them an opportunity to promote their products or services to a large number of Keesler's military, retiree and civilian populations.
"In addition, the businesses are recognized at various Services events for a specified time. This recognition can be in the form of a banner display, logo placement in the Services 'Scoop,' VIP seating at special events, logo recognition on T-shirts and uniforms and many other combinations of advertising.
"Just receiving logo recognition in the 'Scoop' newspaper does a lot to expand a company's customer base," Ms. Cote added. "The publication has a distribution of more than 6,000 reaching active-duty, retirees and civilians in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama."
Top sponsors for 2006 were US Food Service, The Home Depot, Planet Beach Tanning and Spa and RPM Pizza (Domino's). All merchant representatives were recognized at a sponsorship appreciation luncheon in October where they were presented certificates and letters of appreciation signed by Brig. Gen. Paul Capasso, 81st Training Wing commander.
"It's never too late to participate," according to Ms. Cote. "There's always something going on in the 81st Services Division. In addition to our recurring annual events, we're currently seeking sponsors for upcoming golf and bowling tournaments, special club events, sports and fitness programs, National Craft Month, dinner theaters, artist crafts- man/photography contest, a variety of celebrations in observance of the Air Force's 60th birthday, an arts and crafts harvest festival and many other functions."
For more information, call Ms. Cote, 228-377-1597.