There were more than a couple dozen sponsorship agreements for this year’s state fair, which saw a decline in attendance by 8 percent from last year, the State Journal-Register reported. The fair in Springfield attracted about 369,140 attendees this year.
“We could not do what we do out here without our partners,” said fair manager Luke Sailer. “Our sponsors that love the fair, our partners, they add those special touches, truly.”
Some sponsors’ offerings are generally well-known to fairgoers, such as the Budweiser beer tent from Skeff Distributing, while others are less known, including the portable phone charging stations provided by Springfield restaurant Westwoods Lodge.
New City Greenhouse in Pawnee donated 400 flats of flowers to decorate the fairgrounds this year, a gift that was worth at least $10,000. In return, the business was recognized as a sponsor and received fair and concert tickets, among other perks.
Altorfer Incorporated offered up a grader, backhoe and other equipment through its sponsorship agreement.
“Altorfer gives us over $1 million in equipment and resources that we honestly could never afford,” Sailer said. “They let us use their equipment and resources. It takes an army to get this fairgrounds ready.”
Sailer said that in most of the cases, businesses approach fair organizers about becoming a sponsor.
“We do actively try to go out and seek new sponsors for some new things, but for the most part they generally come to us,” he said.
Sailer said he’s satisfied with the fair’s current sponsorships.
“I’ve very happy where we are right now,” he said. “There’s a lot of wonderful people and a lot of wonderful companies out there.”