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Christian Smooth

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The Fiscal 2025 Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Marketing Sponsorship Program offers targeted marketing assistance to local community groups, nonprofits, event organizers, sports groups, and tourism-related businesses.

Focused on enhancing event attendance and destination vibrancy, the program emphasizes advertising and promotional support to attract visitors from beyond a 50-mile radius, typically from out of state. This effort aims to increase out-of-area attendance, bolster targeted advertising campaigns, and promote overnight stays at local accommodations. The primary goal is to stimulate economic activity by attracting visitors. Applications must be submitted at a minimum of 90 days before the event date for consideration.

Sponsorship Application Criteria:

  1. Alignment with VAAAC’s Mission and Core Priorities: Sponsorship proposals must align with VAAAC's mission and core priorities. Applicants should review our mission and priorities here.

  2. One Sponsorship per Organization per Fiscal Year: Each organization may apply for only one sponsorship per event during the fiscal year.

  3. Detailed Marketing Plan Submission: Applicants must include a comprehensive marketing plan with their sponsorship application, outlining how they will allocate funds towards paid advertising to maximize marketing impact. The plan should focus on increasing festival/event attendance and extending overnight stays. 

  4. Funds Exclusively for Marketing Expenses: Sponsorship funds are solely for marketing expenses and may not be used for general operating costs such as facility/equipment rentals or payroll.

  5. Submission of Complete Application: The application form and all supporting documentation must be submitted in full at the time of application. Applications without a marketing plan will not be reviewed.

  6. Public Events Only: Sponsored events must be open to the public and accessible for general ticket-purchasing spectators. Private, political, and fundraising events do not qualify for sponsorship.

  7. Consideration for Off-Season and Innovative Events: Events held during the off-season (November - April) and those offering new, unique visitor experiences that attract more than 2,000 spectators will receive enhanced consideration.

  8. Post Proof of Performance Report: Sponsorship recipients must provide a post-proof of performance report as discussed in the kick-off meeting with a VAAAC staff representative. This report is necessary for processing the final payment. Recipients of funds must also submit a formal report detailing how the funds were utilized, based on the performance metrics outlined.

  9. Post-Event Impact (NEW!): After each event, our team will require your support to analyze attendee demographics, origination zip codes, coordinated room blocks, and other data to assess economic impact metrics like local spending, hotel occupancy, and sales tax revenue.

  10. Good Legal and Financial Standing: Applicants must be in good legal and financial standing with VAAAC, Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, the State of Maryland, and the local community throughout the application process and sponsorship period.

  11. Right to Modify Terms and Conditions: Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County reserves the right to modify and update the terms and conditions of its sponsorship programs at any time, at its discretion.

  12. All sponsorships require a 1 to 1 cash match.​ All events/festivals must occur in Annapolis or Anne Arundel County to be eligible. All applicants shall review the Sponsorship Criteria at the bottom of this page before applying.

QUESTIONS? Contact Dan Cook, Marketing Sponsorship Administrator, using the button below the application.
Please also view the (3) three types of sponsorships available below the application.

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The three sponsorship programs for Fiscal 2025 include:

The Tourism Marketing Leverage Program (Marketing/Advertising Amplification)

  • The VAC Tourism Marketing Leverage Program enhances Annapolis & Anne Arundel County events, sports, attractions, and festivals with advertising and promotional support aimed at boosting overnight tourism. It focuses on increasing paid advertising to attract visitors from 50+ miles away to your event, complementing your existing marketing plan. To qualify, events must have a pre-existing paid media strategy and promote overnight stays. This program targets multi-day festivals and events, aligning with VAAAC's mission to promote the region for leisure, sports, business, agritourism, conferences, and meetings.

The Event Marketing Sponsorship (5,000+ Attendees; Multi-Day)

  • The VAAAC Event Marketing Sponsorship provides direct funding to support significant Annapolis & Anne Arundel County events, sports tournaments, and festivals, aiming to boost tourism and create economic impact. Eligible events should anticipate over 5,000 visitors, align with VAAAC's mission, vision, and values, attract overnight out-of-state visitors, and provide a marketing opportunity. This program leverages VAAAC's expertise in marketing, public relations, sales, tourism development, visitor experience, and partnerships. Applicants must submit an operating budget detailing the use of sponsorship funds with this application.

The Community Marketing Support Sponsorship (Single Day Events; Up to $1,000)

  • The VAAAC Community Marketing Support Sponsorship assists non-profit community organizations and civic groups dedicated to enhancing visitor experiences and fostering prosperity in our destination. Proposals should demonstrate community benefits, such as enriching resident sentiment and promoting community engagement, while directly correlating to tourism marketing or promotion opportunities and supporting the hospitality industry workforce for the City of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County.