Merger proposal prompts Wellington orchestra rebrand

MICHAEL FORBES
Last updated 05:00 05/12/2012

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Wellington's orchestra has dropped naming-rights sponsor Vector in a move it hopes will evoke more local pride.

The orchestra formerly known as Vector Wellington Orchestra will now be known simply as Orchestra Wellington.

General manager Adan Tijerina said the move would not necessarily mean less funding, as the door was now open to sponsors who may not have wanted to sit behind Vector in the sponsorship hierarchy.

One of the motivating factors behind the rebranding was a Culture and Heritage Ministry review that had proposed a merger with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, he said.

"The sector review really put us in a position where we needed to look closely at what we do, but that was across the board. I'm sure other orchestras are doing the same.

"It's very uncommon for any orchestra around the world to have a naming-rights sponsor.

"The important thing is for them to be engaging with their audiences."

Vector spokeswoman Sandy Hodge said there were no other plans for the company to be involved with the orchestra.

"I don't think we can if we're not involved in a [naming rights] sponsorship way. We don't sponsor violins . . . there's not really a cosy other relationship that we can have."

Neither party would reveal what the naming-rights deal was worth, although Mr Tijerina said it was not enough for the orchestra to feel compelled to have a naming rights sponsor.

Those within the Orchestra Wellington organisation were excited about the move, he said.

"At the end of the day, it comes down to Wellington. That's where we are, that's where our audiences are, and we want to create an independent brand that reflects that for the long term."

A Culture and Heritage Ministry spokeswoman said the last of the public submissions on its nationwide orchestra sector review were being studied.

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- The Dominion Post

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