Bishop T.D. Jakes Lands PepsiCo as First Title Sponsor for MegaFest, Pushes For More Corporate Backing

Getting major sponsors to financially back a faith-based event can be a difficult thing to do, butBishop T.D. Jakes has done it.
PepsiCo, the nation’s second-largest soft drink maker, announced Friday that it had signed on tobe the first title sponsor for the Dallas-based pastor’s MegaFest, coming to Dallas June 28 to July1— something about which Jakes said he is “pleased.”
“We have always had sponsorship, but it is starting to grow and we’re pleased with that,” Jakes remarked about the new deal in an interview following the kick-off news conference reported DallasNews.com.
While the 59-year-old Potter’s House of Dallas leader is celebrating PepsiCo’s support of his international festival of faith, film and family, Jakes is still pushing for involvement from other major corporations.
“We welcome other corporate sponsors not to be afraid and to be more inclusive in their thinking, particularly when you understand the African-American community and that the church plays a very different role in the African-American community than it does in other constituencies,” he said. “It is often the gateway to the community and if you really want to serve underserved communities you can’t leave the church completely out of the conversation.”
The church’s biblical views are not in lockstep with the world’s, which can sometimes create a conflict of interest among faith leaders and corporate leaders. Those who head up global brands often fear negative feedback and the possibility of alienating non-religious consumers.
But Jakes’ influence, which has grown tremendously over the years, makes the prospect of partnering with him far more appealing than that of your average leader.
MegaFest, to be held at Dallas’ convention center and the city-owned Omni Dallas Hotel, is expected to draw an estimated 100,000 visitors this summer.
The 2015 event is said to have brought 91,000 visitors to Dallas with direct spending of $32.5 million.
Numbers like that are hard to ignore.
When it comes to major deals with PepsiCo and the like, as lucrative as such sponsorships may be, Jakes says he is not only seeing green. “It is not just about dollars alone, but it is also an opportunity to continue to fuel and fund the entertainment and the empowerment sessions,” he said.
“We are trying to make MegaFest holistic in terms of dealing with the total needs of the family.And where we have common objectives we can unite around those objectives,” Jakes explained.
This year, MegaFest will be adding finance, technology and business-building to the list of topics covered.
Participants can expect sessions on entrepreneurship, as well as an entrepreneurial contest for attendees ages 11 through 19 in conjunction with the University of North Texas at Dallas. This will be done in the hopes of encouraging more students to pursue business ownership.

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