Emeril Lagasse Foundation establishes annual fundraiser in New Orleans

Emeril Lagasse Foundation

Since 2003, Emeril Lagasse Foundation has hosted its primary fundraiser Carnivale du Vin. To increase awareness in the New Orleans community, Emeril Lagasse Foundation launched a second fundraiser in 2011 called Boudin & Beer, a casual, indoor/outdoor food festival. Bond rose to the challenge to increase attendance and funds raised at the 2012 Emeril’s Boudin & Beer by securing more coverage and developing strategic community partners.

Client Goal

Emeril Lagasse Foundation (ELF) was established by Emeril Lagasse and wife Alden to support children’s education in culinary, nutrition, garden, arts and life skills programs. Since 2003, ELF has hosted its primary fundraiser Carnivale du Vin.

While Carnivale has seen continued success year after year, ELF was challenged with lack of awareness in the New Orleans community. In 2011, ELF launched Boudin & Beer, a casual, indoor/outdoor food festival, allowing accessibility to the Foundation and creating more awareness of its programming in the community.

Our primary goals were to:

  • Increase attendance of Boudin & Beer 2012 to 3,000 people
  • Increase funds raised
  • Secure coverage in New Orleans print, broadcast and print media
  • Develop strategic community partnerships
  • Raise the profile of ELF and its programming among the New Orleans community

Campaign Approach

We conducted an aggressive local media relations campaign targeting print, broadcast and Internet media in New Orleans, as well as select national and regional media to drive ticket sales. We also managed on-site media management at the event on November 2, 2012. We assisted the ELF team in coordinating media planning and buying in New Orleans, including print, online and radio advertising to drive awareness of the event among a mass audience. We also identified and developed strategic community partnerships to further extend reach in the community to drive awareness and ticket sales.

Results & Impact

The 2012 Emeril’s Boudin & Beer saw a 100 percent increase in attendance, drawing 3,000 people to the event compared to 1,500 people in 2011. The event doubled the amount of funds raised compared to the previous year. Bond secured approximately 120 media hits in local, regional and national media.

Bond assisted in the development of a partnership with the New Orleans Tourism & Marketing Corporation to develop an online sweepstakes to draw in tourists across the United States to the event. The sweepstakes drew over 17,000 entries. From this, 3,800 entrants “opted-in” to receive information about Boudin & Beer and ELF, growing ELF’s email distribution list to 5,000.

Paid online ads on local media web sites drew 460,181 impressions and 1,431 click-throughs collectively. Radio advertising reached 208,700 listeners across four stations. The Boudin & Beer web site drew traffic from 22,000 unique visitors during the period of August 1– November 5, 2012.