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Stuart Ruderfer was named director of marketing and special events for New York City's Parks & Recreation department in June 1995. A three-person marketing team has landed $4 million in two years from sponsors such as HBO, Kraft Foods, McDonald's Corp. and Sony for an explosion of free park events and entertainment. Next week's third annual free Halloween party in Central Park will draw thousands and is sponsored by Rollerblade, Modell and Newmark Real Estate.

Age: 26.

Opinion: The possibilities for turning municipal properties into sponsored event venues are limitless if it's done tastefully and professionally.

Coup: Last summer's free Garth Brooks concert, one of New York's largest-ever free events, carried live on HBO.

Edge: Support from the City of New York and the approval of local parks advocacy groups. Some of our critics have even congratulated us because we're improving park programming at no extra cost.

Tip: Create systems that simplify sponsors' access to a wide variety of communication channels within your event or venue. Adapt sponsors' unique

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