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Looking Back in Gratitude: Caravel Generates Millions in Sponsorships and Support for Infrastructure, Agriculture and Inclusion in 2018

By Chris Olsen

As the New Year gains momentum and plans for the future begin to unfold, Caravel Marketing is taking a moment to look back in gratitude at last year’s successes. In 2018, Caravel proudly supported several iconic nonprofits and organizations in their sponsorship efforts, raising millions of dollars for important causes and projects. Here are just a few of those projects:

Honoring a Major Milestone in Washington’s Infrastructure

As the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) prepared to honor a significant transformation in its infrastructure, the organization enlisted Caravel’s expertise. The goal was to develop partnerships with area businesses to support the opening of the new State Route 99 tunnel. Construction of the tunnel, which replaces the 66-year-old Alaskan Way Viaduct, began in 2013. The grand opening is scheduled to take place Feb. 2–3, 2019.

David Sowers, WSDOT deputy administrator of the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program, saw the value in working with strategic partners from the get-go. He acknowledged that project sponsors secured by Caravel, including the city of Seattle and King County Metro, have been instrumental in the planning and hosting of the celebration, which is expected to draw 100,000 people. “There’s no way we could pull off an event of this magnitude without help,” Sowers said. More than 30 partners were secured to support the momentous occasion.

Supporting Washington’s Food and Farming Story

In 2018, the Washington State Fair launched a brand-new attraction—the Farm at SillyVille. Designed to tell Washington’s food and farming story, the free, hands-on exhibit connects kids and families to the agriculture industry and to the farmers who produce the food they consume. It also introduces them to healthy eating choices.

Part of Caravel’s work on the project included facilitating a partnership between the Washington State Fair and national grocery chain Safeway/Albertsons. The goal was to provide the Farm at SillyVille with funding to support the exhibit, increase awareness and enhance visitor experience. As a sponsor, Safeway received significant brand awareness through advertising and signage. Perhaps most important was the connection developed between a brand and an attraction whose commitment to food education was perfectly aligned. In its inaugural year, nearly 80,000 guests visited the Farm at SillyVille; 30,000 children participated in the interactive experience and received prizes.

Celebrating the Most Inclusive Special Olympics USA Games in History

The Special Olympics USA Games were launched in 2006 to showcase the impact of the Special Olympics organization through world-class competition. This year marked the fourth quadrennial USA Games, which took place in Seattle. The USA Games’ theme was “Rise With Us,” and the Special Olympics challenged the city of Seattle to make the 2018 USA Games the most inclusive event yet.

Caravel Marketing supported the USA Games in developing key partnerships with organizations dedicated to inclusion. Presenting sponsor Microsoft led initiatives to elevate Seattle as a “city of inclusion,” organizing a job fair at the USA Games aimed at recruiting, hiring and retaining people with intellectual disabilities. Other event partners such as Kaiser Permanente embraced the inclusion challenge by encouraging employees to volunteer at the USA Games. The event was hugely successful, with more than 4,000 athletes and coaches competing, 15,000 volunteers contributing their talents and time, and 100,000 spectators cheering on the athletes. The six-day experience was made possible by hundreds of sponsors and partners who generated nearly $16 million for the Special Olympics USA Games.

Welcoming New Caravel Crew Members

Caravel’s work and growth over the past year would not have been possible without two new additions to the team. In March, Carol Garza joined Caravel as the partnership manager. Garza brings a wealth of partnership and event marketing experience and expertise to the table having worked with clients such as Amazon, Southwest Airlines and Delta Dental. She has been instrumental in developing and executing marketing partnerships for Caravel clients and is dedicated to ensuring high-quality experiences for both brands and audiences.

In April, Michael Kithcart joined Caravel Marketing as the chief strategy officer. Kithcart comes from iHeartMedia where she served as vice president of sales and event sponsorship. Her vast experience in all things strategy—from strategic planning and execution, to diversifying and growing revenue streams, to developing high-performing teams—have already been instrumental in helping take the organization to the next level. She is dedicated to supporting Caravel clients in growing their vision, revenue and people.

About Caravel Marketing

Caravel Marketing provides sponsorship and revenue development services to entertainment and sports properties, nonprofits, associations, corporations and government agencies. Caravel develops and implements strategic plans to increase sponsor value, accelerate performance, and connect companies and properties to create meaningful partnerships. For more information, visit