New sponsorship model helps festival

01:47, Nov 01 2013

Next year's New Zealand Festival, previously known as the New Zealand International Arts Festival, has secured 20 per cent more corporate sponsorship than in 2012 at $3.3 million.

The 24-day festival, held biennially, runs next March with hundreds of performances and events.

Contact Energy and Westpac are sponsors for the first time. Previous sponsors Weta Digital, Wellington International Airport and TV3 have increased their financial support of the festival.

Executive director Sue Paterson said the festival's new sponsorship system had helped attract funding, giving each major sponsor a title of partner for a different sector. Contact, for example, is the "engagement" partner, Weta "innovation" and the airport its "destination" partner.

"A number of our sponsors like the specific exposure the festival delivers in Wellington. We do have some Auckland partners who want that exposure. This new model seems to be working really well for us.

"I think also after the success of the last festival, the corporate partners were keen to come back and re-engage with us. There does seem to be more economic confidence."

Contact sponsors the light show Power Plant where "electric flowers whirr, light insects buzz and propane-powered pyro-phones belch flames into the sky" because the event, held in the Botanic Gardens, will be attended by families in the local community, which the business considers a key market.

"The sponsorship model is competitive and targeted. The way we've approached the sponsors this year has been quite different. We've worked hard on leveraging partnership ideas for a whole approach."

Last year, the festival's economic impact rose from $39m to $56m. It was the most popular festival since 2006, with a survey of attendees showing 94 per cent rated it highly.


The Dominion Post