Google Offers, now available in nine cities, is following other daily deal sites' marketing strategies by sponsoring food festivals that feature local restaurants.
So far, the events have been pretty small. In August, Google Offers sponsored the Austin City Limits Festival pre-party in downtown Austin. Its next event is the Spice of Life Festival, which celebrates North Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto district, where it will launch a full week of deals from restaurants in the Gourmet Ghetto.
"We're sponsoring such local events as the Spice of Life Festival and ACL to directly engage with the local communities where Google Offers is available and to drive awareness for the service in that area," a Google spokesperson tells LAUNCH via email.
In February 2011, Groupon sponsored the massive South Beach Wine & Food Festival at the silver level and beat hometown favorite LivingSocial to sponsor the Taste of DC food festival taking place in October. In June 2011, Groupon sponsored an event by Beer and Blog, a Portland-based meetup for bloggers to help each other.
Groupon's marketing costs hit $263M+ in 2010, up from $4.5M in 2009. Already, Groupon has spent $208M+ in Q1 of 2011, according to a Seeking Alpha report.
This summer, LivingSocial sponsored Washington state's Kla Ha Ya Days -- an arts and crafts, food and family festival. Also in July, LivingSocial partnered with The Washingtonian to host the Best of Washington party, an annual event that features food from top restaurants and chefs.
Google Offers launched in Portland in June [ see our story here ].