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Former retail marketing guru Harold S. Levine landed sponsors for the 1994 Gay Games in New York. Later, he helped line up American Express Co., United Airlines and Banana Republic, among others, as sponsors of last year's AIDS Memorial Quilt appearance before 2 million in Washington.

Age: 40.

Title: Principal, Harold S. Levine Consulting, New York, and sponsorship coordinator, Names Project, San Francisco.

Fact: Events create more talk than advertising, and talk is the world's most powerful form of advertising.

Tip: The best sponsorships are designed closely around the sponsor's business goals, not images or perceptions. Get the sponsor's annual report.

Insight: The only truly successful sponsorships are the ones that get renewed. That's the tough part.

Growing: Grass-roots marketing in secondary markets. There's huge potential outside major cities.

Hot: The search for a sponsorship opportunity as big as the Tanqueray American AIDS Rides.

Dirty secret: Sponsors must spend as much marketing their sponsorships as they

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