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Classic Aero-TV: A True Show Stopper - Patty Wagstaff on Air Show Sponsorship

From 2009: Wagstaff Explains the Importance of Sponsorship for the Air Show Industry

At the 2009 International Council of Air Shows Convention, ICAS President John Cudahy expressed optimism going into 2010. Despite the struggling economy, air show attendance increased throughout the 2009 season. 

Yet as the industry shows signs of thriving, performer sponsorship remains a vital aspect to the continuation of the air show community. Patty Wagstaff sat down with Aero-TV to explain the criticality of sponsorship and the difficulties many performers face within the industry.

Given the relatively small niche that air show performers represent, many larger corporations shy away from investments. Wagstaff believes the lack in television presence deters many sponsors, opting instead for such industries as NASCAR that maintain a much higher visual presence in the general public.

Yet, for what the air show industry lacks in accessibility to a wider audience, it makes up for in personal connection with attendees. As air show popularity grows, Wagstaff believes greater sponsorship will remain a crucial element to success.

In 1985, only five years after gaining her pilot’s license, Patty Wagstaff earned a spot on the U.S. Aerobatic Team. Today, she is a six-time recipient of the “First Lady of Aerobatics” Betty Skelton Award. In addition, she is an inducted member of the EAA/IAC Hall of Fame, as well as the National Aviation Hall of Fame.

Wagstaff is also a recipient of the Air Show Industry’s most prestigious award, the “Sword of Excellence.” Renown for her aggressive, yet graceful precision aerobatic routines, Wagstaff continues to entertain aviation enthusiasts around the world.




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