Bospar Principal Curtis Sparrer also honored as PR Leader of the Year by The Drum Awards
SAN FRANCISCO — Dec. 8, 2023 – Bospar, the “politely pushy” PR and marketing firm that puts tech companies on the map, today announced it won The Drum Awards crisis category for public relations, for its work with San Francisco Pride. Bospar helped rescue the annual San Francisco Pride Parade & Celebration from near cancellation and maintain its stance against transphobic rhetoric, while helping San Francisco Pride increase donations to combat a $500,000 shortage before the parade. The Drum Awards also named Bospar Principal Curtis Sparrer PR Leader of the Year.
The winners were announced on Dec. 7 during The Drum Awards Festival, a two-week-long event involving 15 awards ceremonies recognizing creative brilliance across the marketing industry. The more than 750 judges are global chief marketing officers. The 2023 Drum Awards participants produced work for big-name brands such as ASICs, Dorito’s, Dove, eBay, Expedia Group, The Lego Group, Paramount+ and Paramount Pictures.
“We are honored to be among The Drum Awards winners this year, especially for our work in crisis communications and fundraising for San Francisco Pride,” said Sparrer. “These awards mean a lot to me and our staff, clients and prospects; they’re additional proof points demonstrating to clients they’ve made the right decision to partner with Bospar. Thank you to The Drum for recognizing the ‘politely pushy’ PR and marketing agency!”
Bospar navigates a crisis for San Francisco Pride
The Drum Awards crisis category for public relations win recognizes Bospar’s work with the San Francisco Pride LGBTQIA+ advocacy organization. With the nation facing a relentless wave of anti-LGBTQ legislation, the 53rd annual San Francisco Pride Parade & Celebration on June 26, 2023, assumed even greater significance. For example, sponsors were folding under political pressure, and the soft economic climate curbed corporate donations.
Two days before announcing the headliner, Dee Snider of Twisted Sister, controversy erupted after the performer issued transphobic tweets. This Twitter storm inundated the media and was an inflection point for SF Pride. Should Pride move forward with the rallying cry of “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” one of Twisted Sister’s most resonant hits, or part ways to make SF Pride’s zero transphobia position crystal clear?
Bospar counseled SF Pride to stay strong, reframing the narrative to position the organization as emerging as a catalyst for change and champion of equality – highlighting the need for donations to fund SF Pride’s event. The secret sauce was establishing SF Pride as a go-to thought leader for trans-rights and LGBTQ+ progress and economic ambassadors for San Francisco’s beleaguered image – offering a respite from the doom loop coverage. Bospar generated more than 500 pieces of coverage in the lead-up to SF Pride. Outlets included Rolling Stone, NPR, Associated Press
PR Leader of the Year Curtis Sparrer
The PR Leader of the Year award is based on Sparrer’s transformative impact on client organizations and spearheading social justice initiatives.
Under Sparrer’s leadership, Bospar stands up for social justice. In addition to his work with San Francisco Pride, Sparrer made national news with “Bospar Messes With Texas” – the nation’s first program to offer employees full relocation money over abortion restrictions. Fortune named Bospar to its inaugural list of America’s Most Innovative Companies.
Bospar was also the only PR agency to support the San Francisco Press Club’s 45th anniversary. Over 200 Bay Area Journalists attended. He also organized a panel discussion featuring reporters from Bloomberg, Reuters, VentureBeat, and Wired to discuss the impact of AI in the newsroom at Microsoft’s Mountain View Campus.