Arena sponsor 'here for the long haul'

CECILE MEIER
Last updated 05:00 24/07/2014

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Christchurch residential building and property management company Horncastle Homes has bought the naming rights for Christchurch's biggest indoor venue.

Following the signing of a five-year agreement between Horncastle Homes and venue manager Vbase, the former CBS Canterbury Arena in Addington has been renamed Horncastle Arena.

The new sponsor will work with Vbase, a 100 per cent subsidiary of the Christchurch City Council, to promote the venue.

Managing director Bill Horncastle said the sponsorship was a "huge investment" and sent the message that Horncastle Homes was here for the long haul.

"We've been operating in Canterbury for more than 20 years and want our customers to have confidence that we will be here in another 20 years."

He said many building companies were quick to try to catch a ride on the rebuild wave, and smaller operators were already starting to fall by the wayside. He believed that some of the mid- to large-sized operators did not have staff with the right skills and experience, but "we've taken a slightly different approach because we want to be sure Horncastle is in a position to honour our building guarantees".

The family-owned company employed about 65 staff and more than 300 contractors.

Horncastle would not reveal the company's revenue, but said it had grown by 25 per cent in the last financial year. He said venue sponsorship was a great community investment.

Originally from Westport, Horncastle has worked as a builder since he was 16 and landed his first commercial project aged 20 - a major extension of Karamea Area School. Vbase general manager Darren Burden said Horncastle would be more involved as a sponsor than CBS had been.

"The arena has always been a venue for local sporting, charitable and cultural organisations, too, and our partnership with Horncastle Homes will help foster this."

CBS Canterbury was naming rights sponsor for the arena from June 2010. The company has since merged with Heartland Bank.

More than 250,000 people attend about 100 events at the arena every year.

Vbase also manages events at the Air Force Museum, AMI Stadium and the new ilex Café and Events venue at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.

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