Special Event Marketing Sponsorship

Reno Tahoe facilitates a Special Event Marketing Sponsorship program for annual special events. Submissions are accepted once a year and will run on a fiscal year schedule, July-June. Funding approvals are scheduled to be made during the May Board of Directors Meeting.

Application for the 24/25 funding cycle has closed. 

Eligibility Guidelines:

Relating to the Marketing Sponsorship program, special events are defined as:

An organized annual event that generates overnight visitors for two or more Washoe County lodging properties, as well as out-of-area marketing exposure, and is of interest to the general public. Historically these events have included, but are not limited to: festivals, fairs, community events and certain sporting events. Qualified events must reinforce the Reno Tahoe’s branding message, provide Reno Tahoe with a sustainable and appealing destination message, and attract overnight visitors.

Goal of the sponsorship program: The Special Event Marketing Sponsorship is a partnership and a marketing opportunity, providing financial resources for events to broaden their advertising and promotional efforts to potential out-of-market visitors that would otherwise not be possible. Marketing Sponsorship is not intended to supplement event production expenses or to augment net income.

Reno Tahoe reserves the right to determine whether an event qualifies for Marketing Sponsorship consideration. The following guidelines may assist events in determining eligibility for, or compatibility with, the funding program:

  • Reno Tahoe is funded by transient lodging taxes and tourism surcharges generated when paid lodging is utilized in Washoe County. Therefore, Partnership Funding is earmarked for events that occur in Washoe County and have a history of, or the potential for, attracting overnight visitors to Washoe County.
  • Only the principal producing entity of a special event can apply for funding consideration. Likewise, only one organization will be considered for funding on behalf of any single event.
  • Venues do not qualify for funding consideration, even if their intent is to provide supplemental marketing support for one or more events taking place at their facility. However, if a venue is the principal producing entity of a specific event, they may submit an application for consideration.
  • The event currently promotes, or desires to promote, to potential out-of-market, overnight visitors (spectators and/or participants) and is not primarily an activity for local residents.
  • The event can generate overnight visitors for Washoe County lodging entities.
  • The event is fundamentally not a conference, meeting, trade show, workshop or expo.
  • Reno Tahoe will not be the sole/primary revenue source for the event and the event will not be dependent upon receipt of  Partnership Funding in order to occur.
    A funding request cannot exceed 25% of an event’s overall cash operating budget. In-kind goods or services extended to an event by suppliers and partners do not qualify towards calculating the 25% limit.
  • For events already receiving financial support from Reno Tahoe, funding approval may be affected based on value of contribution.
  • The event can/will occur annually in Washoe County and does not intend to be held one-time only. There is not a limit regarding the number of consecutive years the event can occur in the destination.
  • The event is definite, not tentative.
  • The event must have a spectator component, promote activities to the public (spectators), and does not require the public to purchase a membership or pay annual dues to attend. Spectator ticket or activity fees are acceptable.
  • The event will secure partnerships with at least two Washoe County lodging properties as the event must benefit more than a single lodging entity. Partnerships can be in the form of cash/in-kind sponsorship, room block, special room rate, venue location or marketing/promotional assistance. Individual reservations with vacation rental platforms (AirBnB, VRBO, etc) do not qualify. Funding requests of less than $1,000 require only a single property partner.

Explanatory Documents:

BEFORE preparing a funding application for submission, events are strongly encouraged to download the two document links below, “Getting Started/Funding Program Overview” and “Application Explanations.”

  • Getting Started/Funding Program Overview
    This document provides details relating to the following topics: How to save your online application for future work; acceptable attachment file types; program overview; application evaluation process; funding timeline; insurance requirements. Click here for document.
  • Application Explanations
    This “how to” guide clarifies specific questions in the application and details the desired information to include in the event’s supplemental documents. The completeness and consistency of a submission could be improved by referring to this document during application preparation. Click here for document.

Deadline, Funding Application:

Deadline for submission was April 1 at 5:00 p.m.

This is the final deadline to accept applications. To avoid the possibility of a late submission due to computer malfunctions or transmission errors, consider submitting the application prior to the deadline. Submission does not imply that a sponsorship will be awarded. The completed application and all required supplemental documents must be submitted by the deadline in order to be considered.

Events can prepare their submission in multiple sessions by using the “Save and Continue Later” button at the bottom of the application. Once an applicant clicks “Submit” however, their submission is no longer accessible to make further revisions.

The Reno Tahoe Sr. Marketing Events Manager is happy to meet with an event to discuss the Marketing Sponsorship program as well as the submission process. For an established event looking to add Reno Tahoe to its lineup, please reach out to us directly.