ICANN hopes to sign millions of dollars in sponsorship deals for its San Francisco meeting in March.
The organization has revamped its sponsorship options, adding new “Diamond” and “Platinum Elite” tiers (together worth up to $1.5 million) and doubling the price of its existing opportunities.
ICANN is looking for two companies to act as Diamond sponsors, paying $500,000 each, and two more to sign up for the Platinum Elite deal, each paying $250,000.
For the money, these companies will get the best booths, exclusive branding on bags and T-shirts, along with a bunch of other benefits not available to lesser sponsors.
Diamond sponsors will be given a “90-minute industry/technology related presentation delivered by your company at a scheduled session”, which I believe might be a first for ICANN.
They’ll also get “exclusive press access”, according to the ICANN site.
(In Cartagena, “the press” was pretty much just me and the guy from Managing Internet IP. I can’t speak for him, but access to me can be had in SF for the price of a couple of pints of Anchor Steam).
Prices for the Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze deals it has offered at previous meetings have also been doubled, to $100,000, $50,000, $20,000 and $10,000 respectively.
ICANN is also looking for another $160,000 to sponsor its three evening events, $125,000 to sponsor the twice-daily coffee breaks and $210,000 to sponsor the lunches.
According to my back-of-the-envelope calculations, ICANN took in less than half a million dollars in sponsorship money for its meeting in Brussels last summer, which was its last big “first-world” gig.
For the March meeting, the organization is clearly hoping to benefit from the concentration of technology companies in the San Francisco bay area, which of course includes Silicon Valley.
I suspect that tapping this pool of sponsor cash may be the main reason the conference is amusingly being referred to officially as the “Silicon Valley in San Francisco” meeting.
How many sponsorship slots get filled by the domain name industry will depend to a degree on how likely it appears that ICANN will approve the new top-level domains program at the SF meeting.
I expect there would be a reluctance from registry service providers to drop half a million bucks on a conference from which the main headline at the end of the week is “ICANN delays gTLDs again”.
The current ICANN budget, incidentally, forecasts just $500,000 in sponsorship revenue for fiscal 2011, which ends in June. Its meetings typically cost $1 million each to run.
UPDATED: In the two hours since this post was first published, .com registry VeriSign has appeared on the ICANN web site as the first $500,000 “Diamond” sponsor of the meeting.