Media Sponsorship for American Craft Exposition


The American Craft Exposition hosts one hundred and fifty diverse artists for a major sale every year. The show has been a city staple for 25 years and proceeds are donated to breast and ovarian cancer research at NorthShore University HealthSystem’s dedicated Auxiliary. Winger was charged with maximizing a minimal ad buy for this long-standing client.

Our Solution:

  • Winger chose to partner with WGN-AM Radio, one the city’s highest rated stations which would reach our target market of educated, affluent females who are passionate about the arts.
  • Our minimal ad buy resulted in over a dozen pro-bono on-air mentions of the American Craft Exposition. How did we do it?
  • First, Winger met in person with well-loved WGN radio hosts Kathy and Judy to share information about the show and its cause. Together, we strategized on how they could participate.
  • We proposed that they co-host an innovative online auction, selling pieces of craft that Kathy and Judy created with the help of local artists from the show. They proudly promoted their work on-air and the station’s website.
  • Radio stations in particular are looking for creative ways to move online – an online auction was a first for them and they were motivated to support a creative draw to their website.


  • Winger won the 2007 Bronze Bulldog Award for Best Arts and Entertainment Campaign, a prestigious industry award judged exclusively by top journalists, for our innovative campaign.
  • With a 60-second paid ad on the show costing $900, ROI for the pro-bono mentions totaled approximately $12,000 – far more than the original ad buy.
  • The American Craft Exposition’s donation proceeds ultimately raised $400,000 for cancer research. Despite six devastating tornadoes during the weekend of the show, gate attendance held steady.
  • Booth artists earned over $1.5 million. Our greatest success was bringing a fresh and creative online opportunity to the table to help our client grow.

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