The fourth annual event, Aug. 28 to Sept. 1 at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Miami, is expected to draw more than 1,200 upscale attendees.
"This event grows on sponsors. The first couple of years, they treat it like general ethnic marketing, then they see big untapped marketing opportunities," said Johnny Graves, senior VP-Black Enterprise Unlimited, the conference and event arm of Black Enterprise.
Case in point: Tiffany & Co., a returning sponsor, previously had only a token role as trophy supplier, but this year is adding a "shopping spree" event for attendees at its nearby Bal Harbour, Fla., store.
Pepsi-Cola Co. is also creating its first custom Pepsi can decorated with the event's logo, to be distributed during the event.
In addition, Pepsi recently replaced Coca-Cola Co. as the spa's official soft drink as a result of its event sponsorship.
"We reach a lot of influential decision makers here who are African-American and whose contacts cut across a lot of categories," said Maurice Cox, Pepsi-Cola Co.'s VP-corporate development and diversity.
Returning sponsor Absolut, marketed by Seagram Americas, will debut its new traveling art gallery of 16 images at the event, backed by a 16-page special ad section in Black Enterprise in September.
New sponsors this year include Texaco and Carson Products' Dark n' Lovely haircare formula.
For the second year, golf ball manufacturer Titleist & Foot-Joy Worldwide is hosting a popular beginner's golf clinic, which will feature professional women golfers for the first time. Tennis clinics also will be offered by pros.
Its success with this event has led the magazine to plan the first-ever Black Enterprise Ski Challenge, slated for January 1999 at Keystone, Colo. American