Name sparks intrigue

DANIELLE STREET
Last updated 05:00 26/02/2014
Spark Centre
Danielle Street
BRIGHT IDEA: Spark Centre director Suzanne Vesty is surprised and intrigued that Telecom has chosen to rebrand using the name Spark. She says even the logos of the two very different institutions are similar.

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An arts centre for people with disabilities is hoping Telecom's impending rebrand will lead to a new relationship between the two organisations.

Last week the telecommunications giant announced it was changing its name to Spark later this year, at a cost of $20 million.

Telecom chief executive Simon Moutter says the new name better reflects the direction the company is heading in.

"Spark is a word that has life and energy, and links to the creativity of New Zealanders, the modern tech economy and our desire to enable our customers to thrive," he says.

Suzanne Vesty agrees the new name embodies creativity and life - that's why the arts therapy centre she operates chose it back in 2006.

Ms Vesty says she heard about Telecom's announcement on Friday morning and was "truly surprised and intrigued".

"I mean, how extraordinary that such a big company would choose a name that is the same as ours," she says.

"As a charity, a tiny organisation, there's absolutely no way that we can protect our name in terms of branding rights."

The two organisations will not only share a name, but their logos bear a likeness too.

The Spark Centre uses a white star-shaped logo on a blue background, while Telecom uses a bold white asterisk. It will keep the asterisk when it changes to Spark.

Ms Vesty hopes the naming might lead to a positive alignment with Telecom.

"The area of disability is largely invisible in the community, and so we hope we can make a connection with Telecom about the beauty of our shared name and the ethos of that."

The Spark Centre is located in Fowlds Park, Mt Albert, and caters to about 125 artists, which include people with cerebral palsy, brain injuries, stroke and autism.

Ms Vesty says the centre offers arts therapy programmes to give people a sense of achievement.

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