Sponsorship spending on fairs, festivals and community events is expected to total $904 million in 2017, a 3 percent increase over 2016, per ESP research.

The increase lags sports (4.3 percent), entertainment (3.9 percent), causes (3.6 percent) and the arts (3.3 percent) as well as the projected 4.1 percent increase in overall North American sponsorship spending.

While fairs and festivals remain a popular platform for companies to engage consumers during the summer—a period when many people are difficult to reach due to out-of-home activities—their limited reach and lack of digital inventory continues to dampen corporate interest.

Anheuser-Busch InBev is the most active sponsor of fairs and festivals. Seventy-four percent of state fairs with a sponsor in the malt beverage category report a partnership with one or more AB InBev brands.

Mattress Firm (59 percent), AT&T (56 percent), The Coca-Cola Co. (51 percent) and EchoStar (41 percent) round out the top five most active sponsors of state fairs.

While AB InBev is the most active company sponsoring state fairs, telecommunications is by far the most active category. Telcos are 5.5 times more likely to sponsor state fairs than the average of all sponsors, nearly double the beer (2.9), automotive (2.8) and retail (2.8) categories.