KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The American Royal is more than a two-month Fall Festival.
Primarily, the mission of the American Royal is to promote and benefit youth, education and agrarian values, and the festival setting is just one way to do that. There are two other avenues the American Royal uses to raise funds and awareness for the mission: sponsorships and Governorships.
The most known are the events associated with the Fall Festival: the rodeos, livestock and horse competitions and the barbecue competition. They raise revenue through numerous youth-oriented competitions and school tours for thousands of children while promoting agrarian value.
Sponsorship plays a critical role not only in terms of revenue but also in the American Royal’s connection to the business community, while Governorships might be considered the most personal commitment to the Royal’s mission. It is similar to becoming a member on an annual basis of a club or association. A Governor pays membership fee based on whether they want to join as an individual or family, and there are a number of benefits that come with being a Governor
“One of the first things I did when I came to town is become an American Royal governor,” said Brant Laue, this year’s chairman. “You get some of the benefits, including an admission pass to most, if not all, events. Not only that, but you are able to be part of the special events.”
The benefits go well beyond admission. Governors will be involved in VIP receptions and be able to receive special seating and parking privileges, among others.
“The governorship program is a special event and a great way for networking and meeting a lot of folks,” Laue said. “Our former chairman, Neal Patterson, said you meet normal people that normally you wouldn’t cross paths with. It exposes you to a new group of interesting people who share something in common with you, and that’s your interest in the American Royal.”
Typically that means understanding the core values of the charitable organization.
A governor’s support helps the Royal accomplish its purpose targeted toward youth, education and scholarship. A 501 (c) 3 non-profit, the American Royal reaches more than 55,000 children annually through educational programs. Governors are part of the organization that hosts more than 270,000 people and provides a $60 million economic impact to the Kansas City region annually.
“When someone chooses to support a charity, they consider its value and relevance to themselves, their family and the community they live in or come from,” said Bryden Becker, the American Royal’s director of festival events and promotions. “American Royal Governors are people and families who believe in the value and relevance of the Royal’s mission and purpose.
“Governors are also our best ambassadors.”