- The Washington Times - Monday, March 10, 2003

The Washington DC Marketing Center has signed on its first platinum-level sponsor in its effort to raise more funds from Washington businesses.
HQ Global Workplaces, a temporary-office leasing company with 20 locations in the Washington area, has paid $50,000 in cash to the nonprofit economic-development agency. In return, HQ will have a seat on the center's board of directors, as well as its name on the city's economic-development marketing materials and specific events that the center hosts.
"It's a way for us to develop ties downtown and in turn have our name associated [with the city]," said Jerry Thomas, HQ's mid-Atlantic area president.
Michael Stevens, president of the marketing center, says several other companies are considering platinum-level sponsorship. He has a tentative agreement with the new Washington Convention Center, which will provide space valued at $50,000 for future marketing center events.
Mr. Stevens wants just five top-level sponsors, making it more of an elite status for the companies that sign up. The $50,000 annual fee, which earns a seat on the board, can be given as cash and/or in-kind donations.
The marketing center has a $1.3 million budget $1 million comes from the D.C. government while private funding makes up the rest. The marketing center has six gold-level sponsors that contribute $20,000 each in cash or in-kind services and have seats on the marketing center's board.
The District of Columbia Building Industry Association,the DC Chamber of Commerce, Verizon and Potomac Electric Power Co. are four of the original gold sponsors that signed on with the marketing center in 2000. Law firms Nixon Peabody and Reed Smith became official gold sponsors in October. The marketing center also offers $15,000 silver and $10,000 bronze sponsorships.
Mr. Stevens says the sponsor program gives these local companies a "level of recognition."
"It brands them as an economic-development partner," he said.
This year, the marketing center has partnered with Homewood Suites by Hilton as its official hotel sponsor. It will provide discounts or free stays when economic-development officials travel.
In other news
The American Marketing Association's D.C. Chapter is starting an awards program to honor local marketing efforts that achieve results. Marketers will be judged on their strategy, innovation, risk taking, leadership, return on investment and success. All entries must be received by March 24. Winners of the first M Awards will be announced at a gala on May 16. For more information, log on to www.MAwards.com.
MDB Communications, a District advertising and marketing firm, landed two new technology accounts. MDB has been named agency of record for the state and local solutions group for Affiliated Computer Services Inc. MDB will handle a branding campaign for the technology solutions provider.
Raritan Computer Inc., which makes electronic keyboard, video and mouse switches and other related technology, also has selected MDB to develop a brand strategy and advertising campaign.
Young & Associates, a public relations firm in Rockville, has been hired by Dallas-based Verizon Information Services. As part of a two-year contract, the agency will handle all local and national media promotion of Verizon's print and online directories.
Momentum Marketing, a District-based marketing and promotions firm, has kicked off a five-city program for the Glenlivet, a single-malt whiskey, including a networking event for entrepreneurs that features a whiskey tasting.
Got news? Donna De Marco can be reached at 202/636-4884. Advertising & Marketing appears every other Monday.

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