The special insert that in this issue of Out & About Newspaper on the IGRA National Convention in and the Oct. 16 issue of Inside Out Nashville is the result of a unique partnership that the Smoky Mountain Rodeo Association (SMRA) has formed with some of Nashville’s GLBT media.

The insert marks the first time that one has been produced and published in both publications. SMRA Convention Committee members sold advertising for the inserts and were able to keep much of the proceeds from those sales to donate to SMRA charities.

“We had tremendous support from the community in purchasing advertising for the insert and the program,” said Bill Tedder, SMRA treasurer and 2006 IGRA Convention chair. “The support from these businesses has been spectacular. We can’t thank them enough.”

In April 2006 SMRA signed an exclusive GLBT media sponsorship with the monthly “Out & About Newspaper” and weekly “Inside Out Nashville.”

The agreement netted the SMRA more than $18,000 in combined advertising, marketing, and support services offered by “O&AN” and “iOut.”

“Out & About Newspaper,” Tennessee’s largest monthly GLBT newspaper, and “iOut,” Middle Tennessee’s oldest and largest weekly GLBT newspaper, teamed up to offer SMRA the exclusive agreement to help the community organization after the group requested a proposal from local GLBT media.

“We solicited proposals from all local GLBT media organizations and the board and SMRA membership voted and agreed the joint proposal from “O&AN” and “iOut” exceeded our expectations,” said Justin James, president of SMRA.

Jerry Jones, publisher of “O&AN,” and Linda Welch, publisher of “iOut,” brokered the agreement for each of their companies.

“The combined power of ‘iOut’ and ‘O&AN’ (print, Internet and TV) reaches an estimated 60,000 weekly and monthly audience throughout Tennessee, Southern Kentucky, and Northern Alabama,” Jones said. “We are glad that we could partner with a great GLBT weekly publication in order to provide SMRA with a well-rounded media package. It’s very exciting to be building this relationship with the membership of SMRA.” 

“iOut’ is very proud to be the exclusive GLBT weekly media partner with SMRA,” Welch said. “I’ve been very impressed with their community involvement, their growth and their ability to reach out to a great different number of people.”

“SMRA is very excited and consider ourselves very lucky that we have such great support in the Nashville community,” James said. “Having ‘iOut’ and ‘O&AN’ as sponsors of SMRA is just one great example of this. We hope other cities are as lucky as we are.”

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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