Australia's Gay Games offers sponsors a database to reach gays and lesbians

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SYDNEY--The names and addresses of 50,000 gays and lesbians living in Sydney will be used as bait to lure more than $3 million worth of corporate sponsorship to help fund the giant 2002 Gay Games and Cultural Festival.

Potential sponsors, including national airline Qantas, Macquarie Bank, entertainment company Ticketek and sports drink group Energy Drinks Australia are among the companies being offered "limited access" to the database.

Danny Vadasz, corporate sponsorship director for the Sydney Gay Games, agrees the nature of the database would raise "huge privacy considerations." However, the database was a vital tool needed to raise money from the corporate sector to help fund the $13 million event to be held in September 2002.

"Sponsors will have access to a demographic which is well known for its high disposable income through the development of the largest gay and lesbian database ever," Mr. Vadasz says.

Names for the database will be drawn from a variety of sources, including booths at major gay events such as the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, an Internet site which invites visitors to fill in their personal details and from subscriptions to a new magazine about to launch and focusing on the gay games and festival.

"There are huge privacy considerations and we won't be giving sponsors direct access to the list," Mr. Vadasz says. "It hasn't been considered what will happen to the database at the end of the games, but [we] presume it will probably be destroyed. I don't think people on the list would have an expectation that the database would be inherited by anyone else."

The games' first sponsor, with an investment estimated to be worth up to $100,000, has been revealed as Melbourne-based food supplement company Aussie Bodies, which manufacturers Colostrum Muscle Gainer.

"We will have access to the database, which definitely represents an attractive commercial opportunity for things such as email marketing," says Aussie Bodies CEO Maria Deveson.

"We see the games as an appropriate event for us to be involved in, especially with the physique and weightlifting competitions."

More than 12,000 athletes from around the world are expected to converge on Sydney for the games, with up to another 30,000 coming to witness the event.

Copyright January 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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