How worthwhile is sponsoring the arts?

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What's in it for business by sponsoring the arts? I'm sure if you asked any of our local community organisations they would say plenty but often our arts and cultural organisations miss out on valuable sponsorship dollars. The money largely goes to sporting codes, clubs and associations where large fan bases mobilise large and loud behind their favourite sporting teams.

The fact is, the arts provide significant opportunities for business to leverage from their sponsorship association when done well. And there's plenty of big brand names across Australia and New Zealand who recognise the strategic importance of sponsoring the arts. Contrary to popular belief, they're partnering for more than just brand awareness. These savvy brand names recognise the importance of providing valuable resources to the arts to help grow our country's culture and identity.

Very often it's the cash injection from savvy sponsors that help finance everything from new cultural complexes to special seasons and their investment delivers a return. Aside from brand awareness, hospitality and ticketing opportunities, brands are building trust and credibility in the hearts and minds of consumers. It's also a great way to access new customers and grow your database.

The Sydney Opera House and Samsung Electronics Australia have a Principal Partnership agreement in place which spans five years to ensure technology and innovation are at the heart of every patron's experience. It's partnerships like these that provide a win-win-win where everyone benefits – the Sydney Opera House has the technical support to ensure they are at the forefront of curating exceptional experiences; Samsung have a platform to promote their technology and innovations while the patrons share an experience that is truly unforgettable.

Vodaphone sponsor the Royal New Zealand Ballet and benefit from the alignment in several ways, not least promotionally. As national sponsor Vodafone use their partnership to run promotions throughout the year offering things like two for one tickets to "The Vodafone Season of a Midsummer Night's Dream." It's giving patrons advantages and experiences that endear them to the ballet patrons.

According to the Gemba Group, it's art galleries, the theatre and cultural festivals that are attracting higher attendance levels in New Zealand than any sport outside of Rugby Union. This is a fascinating statistic. In the last four years, it's New Zealander's interest in arts and culture that has increased 23 per cent while interest in sport has only grown 10 per cent. This is a fair indication of how powerful arts and cultural sponsorships can be. After all, brands need to go where their audiences are. Find out what your target market is passionate about and demonstrate you care.

Sponsorship can be the most powerful and emotional form of marketing there is – when done well. Consumers trust brand names that do good in the community. Look beyond sport and think outside the square by aligning with your arts and cultural communities. Engage in conversations and understand how your values may align and what you can do to capitalise on them in the best interests of everyone involved.

Looking to broaden your sponsorship portfolio in 2017? Email us today at info@eventsponsors.com.au or phone 1300 366 306 to discuss your needs. Remember, it's now what you do, it's how well you do it!

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