Financing the Project
Section 3.3.
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Commercial Sponsors for Artemis Project Merchandising

Simon Rowland and Richard Alonzo Fyfe

Editor's Note: This essay was written in 1996. In the time since then, Lunar Traders has opened for business in Escondido, California, offering mail-order retail sales world wide. The Artemis Project still needs wholesale distributors, retail sales outlets, and franchisees for fixed retail Lunar Traders stores.

If you are in any of these businesses and want to participate in the merchandising industry's part of the Artemis Project, contact The Lunar Resources Company directly.

Artemis Society International does not particpate in any form of commercial business. However, from time to time, discussion groups within the Society have lead to the formation of independent commercial companies.

To leverage mass-mailings of Artemis Society International material, calendar production, and many other things in the production queue like the Artemis Data Book CD-ROM, it makes sense to solicit sponsors and advertisers who would pay for inserts. This would greatly reduce the threshold for entry into a market, and raise profits (which go into the Lunar Base Development Fund) at the same time for basically no penalty.

So, if anyone wants to go hunting for advertisers for the aforementioned material, some points to keep in mind:

It makes sense to look for companies that are not rooted in one place, that would receive revenues from someone near Toronto, even if the company is based in Orlando. This rules out convenience stores and such that have a local "footprint." So we need to find companies that specialize and look for revenues from distant customers. The only store in the world that sells lunar regolith simulants (as an example) might be a good candidate, or if there are only a few stores in the country, so the footprint would be huge. Even an antique store that sells old doorknobs would be an example.

Another class of company to solicit advertising money from is one that ships its products all over the country or globe. Coca-Cola, mail-order companies, electronics manufacturers, etc. Obviously, it makes sense to target small-to-medium-sized businesses rather than giants which spend millions on advertising campaigns, like Coca-Cola.

Internet and computer companies are a real group to target. This organization is heavily Internet-based, so nearly all the recipients of the mailings would be potential customers. Web site design firms, computer software, etc. would all be good candidates. We are also a science/technology/science fiction target market. Companies like Analog, SF Book Club, Lunar Sourcebook publishers, telescopes, Edmund's scientific, etc. would be good places to look.

Finally, we represent a group with an interest in space. A company like Lunacorp that manufactures space CDs might want an insert in a calendar if it's going to people that their CD is targeting. A group like the NSS or the Planetary Society might want to solicit memberships from the customers of a CD-ROM or calendar. On the other hand, a sponsorship from a political group like the SSF or NSS might have to be weighed against its disadvantages, such as distracting from the Artemis Society, and possible conflicts with the "No Social Causes" policy.

Of course, the Artemis Project will stick fliers and fact sheets in at every opportunity, as it is, in effect, the principle sponsor of all merchandise.

Many projects under way are designed to promote this method of funding; a section of the trifold has been set aside for promotional considerations. However, for some of the material at least, it is not necessary to look at the international market. For example, assume that a local chapter wants to distribute the trifold at a local college. It is possible (and much easier) to get a local sponsor. It is possible to put their material ("Eat at Joe's") in the promotions corner and return a master in 2 days that can be photocopied for distribution. We would have to weigh the increased cost of smaller production runs with the increased benefit of obtaining funding from small, local businesses. Sometimes it will pay off (particularly in these early years).

Financing the Project

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