How it all began: Green Tie Ball (1999-2006)

AGENCY 360° was still just a glimmer in the eye, so to speak, when Bill and Dakota first began working together.  Though Dakota had been working for Chicago Gateway Green for a few years (since ’99), Bill became the nonprofit’s executive director in 2003.  Here’s a quick review of those years:

After eight years as an under-performing fundraiser with high volunteer turnover, the Green Tie Ball was in need of institutional integrity to foster and sustain new growth.  Ultimately, the event became the largest charity gala in Chicago, featuring 100 restaurants, 50 bars, five stages of entertainment, live & silent auctions, and charitable casino-style gaming.

Results (1999-2006)

  • Increased annual attendance from 1200 to 3700 guests
  • Tripled annual NET revenues to $300,000+
  • Created exclusive category and “Presenting” sponsorships, a shift from non-marketable corporate donations
  • Customized and executed sponsor benefits to include sampling, core demographic exposure, expansive branding, store traffic incentives, business-to-business networking/hosting
  • Created exclusive media sponsorships totaling $500,000 in annual advertising: NBC-5, Chicago Magazine; The Chicago Sun-Times; The Mix 101.9fm
  • Created television commercials, a first for the organization
  • Created first annual Green Tie Ball World Series of Poker Circuit Event
  • Created annual citywide Green Tie Ball Signature Drink contest for bartenders, vodka sponsor
  • Expanded theme-specific event collateral from print invitations and program books to rich-media cyber content, print ads, promo cards, posters, HTML & flash e-vites
  • Engineered relocation of event to new lakefront venue after eight years in Lincoln Park
  • Achieved unprecedented annual media coverage on all network television stations, ten radio stations, both major daily newspapers and dozens of web publications

Here’s the video re-cap of Green Tie Ball XV:


Some of the first (ahem, now “classic”) commercials we created for the event:



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