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Best-in-Class Sponsorship Through Perfect Brand Alignment: The Farm at SillyVille Presented by Safeway

By Paula Beadle

Fall has officially begun. The 21-day Washington State Fair has come to an end with more than 1 million people attending the biggest get-together in the state. This year, with the support of Safeway and Albertsons, the Fair launched a brand-new attraction—the Farm at SillyVille.

The Farm at SillyVille tells Washington’s food and farming story. It’s a free, hands-on exhibit that connects kids and families to the agriculture industry and to the farmers who produce the food they consume, and it introduces them to healthy eating choices. Its goal is to enrich the lives of kids and families by connecting them to the farm-to-market cycle—a mission that happens to be perfectly aligned with the Safeway/Albertsons brand.

Families move through a sequence of interactive storytelling stations; each area features engaging, hands-on exhibits with touch screens and animatronic characters. At each station, children participate in activities that allow them to be a part of the farming process, collecting replicas of nutritious food items to exchange at the farmer’s market. And each station provides a unique opportunity for Safeway vendors to participate. For example, Lurcene’s is the sponsor of the Dairy Barn, where each child receives a play carton of Lurcene Milk.

In its inaugural year, nearly 80,000 guests visited the Farm at SillyVille—an average of 400 people per hour. And nearly 30,000 children participated in the Farm and received prizes. While the Farm at SillyVille debuted at the Fair, it’ll remain open all year long as a field trip destination for elementary school students with specialized Farm School curriculum. Which means it also offers a year-round opportunity for Safeway to provide support.

Partnering with the Farm at SillyVille has provided Safeway with significant brand awareness through TV, radio, print and digital advertising, along with prominent signage at the Fair. Sponsorship activation also included the sale of discounted tickets for the Fair at Safeway and Albertsons locations, plus in-store appearances by Big Wa, the Fair’s cuddly bigfoot mascot. The partnership program is a great example of successfully integrating multiple tactics to increase the value of the sponsorship for Safeway and enhance visitor experience at the Fair.


About the author: Paula Beadle is the president of Caravel Marketing. She is a results driven trailblazer with a proven record of creating order out of chaos. By developing and managing innovative sponsorship initiatives, generating incremental revenue, and successfully coaching thriving teams, executives and boards, Paula has helped numerous organizations discover and achieve their goals.