Not only was Ms. Latifah the event's honorary chair, she was also its co-sponsor, via her Queen Collection for CoverGirl, which co-sponsored the festival's first Film Meets Fashion event, alongside Macy's. Additional sponsors for this year's Urbanworld festival include HBO, Time Warner Cable, Grey Goose, Black Enterprise, WNBC, Power 105.1, Directors Guild of America, Essence, Vibe, Fox Searchlight Pictures, AMC Theaters and Weinstein Co.
Alvin Bowles, BET Networks' senior VP-integrated marketing, said the goal of BET's involvement was to make independent film a "passion point for the BET audience" and also demonstrate how his integrated sales group can offer cross-platform opportunities to clients. In addition to last week's festival and fashion event, the advertisers also received exposure online and on an upcoming 30-minute special featuring an "Inside the Actors Studio"-esque conversation with Queen Latifah. The special will air Oct. 8 at 10 p.m., featuring on-air sponsorship from Macy's and CoverGirl as well as Fox Searchlight, which will promote the Oct. 17 release of "Secret Life of Bees."
Derrin Woodhouse, BETN's director-integrated marketing, said the TV, digital and experiential marketing model will be used for all of BET's future tentpole events going forward, starting with the Hip Hop Awards airing Oct. 23. Nike has already signed on as the award show's first integrated sponsor, for which it will create a custom-designed sneaker with the Hip Hop Awards logo. The sports marketer's brand message even ties into this year's theme: "Game On." -- Andrew Hampp