Originally created 10/25/98

Sponsors sought for campaign



Organizers of the Celebrate 2000 campaign are looking for corporate sponsors to help Augusta ring in the new millennium with style.

Celebrate 2000, a national campaign being sponsored and coordinated locally by The Augusta Chronicle, will be a schedule of community events and special promotions designed to celebrate the city's past, present and future.

The Chronicle is offering the city's corporate citizens the opportunity to join in this mammoth, yearlong project by helping sponsor events, ranging from historic photo exhibits to the burial of a time capsule.

"This is the largest project of this type that the newspaper has ever undertaken," said John Fish, assistant general manager of the newspaper and administrator of Celebrate 2000. "We're doing this campaign to develop community unity, pride and spirit."

Sponsorship will be offered at three levels -- silver, gold and platinum. Each level offers a company visibility at various events as well as advertising space in special sections published by The Chronicle that will be dedicated to turn-of-the-millennium events.

Community events and promotions will focus on four categories -- the Georgia Games Championships, business and industry, education and schools, and arts and entertainment.

In addition to the citywide events, The Chronicle will publish a daily page featuring Celebrate 2000 promotions such as reader-submitted top 100 lists on movies, music and books.

Other sections during 1999 would include historic retrospectives and forward-looking stories on topics ranging from the Masters Tournament to black history to automobiles, said Executive Editor Dennis Sodomka.

Celebrate 2000 was created by The New York Times Co., publisher of The New York Times. Every newspaper owned by Morris Communications Corp., the parent company of The Chronicle, is participating in the national campaign, Mr. Fish said.

Many of the Celebrate 2000 events will be conducted nationally, but each community will adapt the campaign to be specific to local markets, he said.

"The campaign is tailored to our market. We feel like we put together a special package," he said.

The centerpiece of Celebrate 2000 in Augusta will be the Georgia Games Championships, which are being sponsored by The Chronicle and WRDW-TV (Channel 12). Morris Communications Corp. will fund a $20,000 college scholarship for the first baby born in Richmond County in 2000.

Damon Cline covers business issues for The Augusta Chronicle. He can be reached at (706) 823-3486.

The partnership

The arts and entertainment partnership opportunity allows corporate participants to sponsor events such as the Class of 2000 senior prom, the Celebrate 2000 photo exhibit, a community cleanup day, and the Celebrate 2000 monument and time capsule.

Those involved with the education and family events can help sponsor a community forum on education, the Scripps-Howard Spelling Bee and a Parenting Expo, a weeklong lecture series devoted to parent education.

Business and industry partners can sponsor the Celebrate 2000 business seminar, the Celebrate 2000 showcase of new and antique cars, a technology expo and a children's inventor contest.

Georgia Games sponsors can contribute money or in-kind services at several events, such as the opening ceremonies. Platinum sponsorships can be purchased for $75,000, gold for $50,000 and silver for $25,000.