CB2's "Accept and Be" posters.
CB2's "Accept and Be" posters. - 
Listen To The Story

Jeremy Hobson: A number of cities around the country will hold their gay pride events this weekend. And along with the events come lucrative corporate sponsorship opportunities.

But as Sally Herships reports, this year sponsors aren't just donating to gay pride, they're selling it.

Sally Herships: Crate and Barrel's CB2 division has already sold out of the $20 poster it made for Gay Pride month. Marta Calle is brand director of CB2.

Marta Calle: Really it's not driving any sales for us. We're selling 1,000 posters. That's not a lot of money based on the kind of volume that we usually drive.

Calle says a lot of CB2's customers and workers are gay, and the company wanted to go beyond the typical sponsorship. So did Old Navy. The retailer is selling a new line of colorful T-shirts bearing the slogan "Love Proudly."

Tim Calkins teaches marketing at Northwestern. He says retailers want to attract gay and lesbian customers.

Calkins: It's an influential base; it's a group that spends. It's a wonderful group to reach out to.

And for brands, it's all about reaching out.

Calkins: Because it does say you're inclusive and appreciative of diversity and willing to be open and welcoming.

But Calkins says as more brands align themselves with the gay community, it gets harder to stand out. And it takes new approaches, like selling t-shirts and posters.

In New York, I'm Sally Herships for Marketplace.

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.