Ninety-nine inner-city kids, one major league baseball star, and more than 1,400 exotic animals … that’s the formula behind a home-run event hosted at the Los Angeles Zoo last August. The Zoo teamed with its longtime partner 99 Cents Only Stores and the Dodgers Foundation to offer a fun-filled day for young Dodgers RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) players from underserved communities in Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley. The kids were VIPs, enjoying special behind-the-scenes tours, a healthy lunch, and a meet-and-greet with pitcher Rich Hill. They also learned about the importance of proper nutrition for animals and humans.

An unqualified success, the event serves as just one example of how the Zoo partners with area organizations for mutual benefit and interaction with Zoo guests. Another recent standout was “DC Presents: Reading with Zoo-per Heroes at the L.A. Zoo,” an event that combined comic book authors and illustrators, costumed superheroes, and animal encounters to inspire reading and environmental awareness.

“It was a great example of two organizations you wouldn’t normally think of coming together uniting to deliver a dynamic event for our shared audience,” said Oscar Dizon, Senior Manager of Corporate Partnerships for the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA). “We celebrated our animals and their books and characters, drawing thematic connections between them in a way that kids and parents truly enjoyed.”

The Zoo’s corporate sponsorship program is relatively young but growing steadily—and it has never been more important. Over 6,400 species are classified as critically endangered, more than ever before in human history. Sponsorship revenue supports the Zoo’s mission and its global conservation and sustainability efforts.

Corporate opportunities include event presenting sponsorships, official sponsor and service designations, landmark and exhibit entitlements, unique hospitality settings, admission tickets for retail promotions, and customized on-premise activations. Some sponsors have a regular on-site presence. The Southern California office of New York Life offers free Child Safety ID kits to Zoo visitors who stop by their booth. Welk Resorts provides incentives to visit its world-class resorts. The child-advocacy organization First 5 LA sponsors the Zoo’s universally accessible Play Park.

The Business Partners program is another great way for companies to connect with the L.A. Zoo. Among other perks, Business Partners receive free guest passes and can take advantage of the Zoo’s unique setting to entertain clients or staff. They are invited to special gatherings for networking and relationship building with other companies. Corporate teams may also participate in hands-on volunteer activities—helping the Zoo while also increasing employee engagement.

“For companies looking to strengthen community bonds, the L.A. Zoo is a natural fit,” said Kevin O’Brien, GLAZA’s Director of Corporate Partnerships. “It allows them to connect with our diverse, family-oriented audience, bring added value to our guests, and align with our mission and objectives. It illustrates their deep commitment to both the people and animals that call L.A. home.

Learn more at lazoo.org

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