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ART OF BUSINESS SPONSORSHIP (article first published : 2002-04-21)

Business and Arts South Africa, in collaboration with Business Day, launched awards for business sponsors of the arts in South Africa in 1997 to recognise and highlight businesses who make effective and innovative use of arts sponsorship and, in so doing, lift the profile of the arts. The fifth series of awards reflects a growing awareness within the business sector of promotional and marketing opportunities afforded through arts sponsorship.

In the category Best Use of a Commission of New Art, which recognises those sponsors who have had the vision to support the creation of new, original work in any arts medium and to use the commission effectively, nominations go to Coca-Cola/Sprite for the Sprite Soul Comedy Jam; Hollard Insurance Company Limited for The Johannesburg Orchestra Company; Mobile Telephone Network for the MTN Art Institute – Commission of Art as part of the In-House Project; Sasol for the Sasol Art Collection at the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival.

Nominated in the First Time Sponsor category are African Bank Foundation for the Market Theatre; Ford Motor Company for their Watershed Tour; J. Melnick and Company for The Red Bull Creativity Contest; Rand Water for the National Eisteddfod Academy : Di Konokono Kidz.

Increasing Access to the Arts focuses on those sponsors who have helped bring the arts to people who might not otherwise have access to them. Nominees are AngloGold Limited for Eastern Cape Eisteddfod : Grahamstown Foundation Project; Springbok Atlas for the Spier Arts Trust; Total South Africa for Sibikwa Community Theatre Project; Transnet for Sowetan Massed Choir Festival.

The International Sponsorship category recognises those businesses sponsoring South African arts abroad or bringing an international arts project into South Africa, giving our public access to work it would not normally see. The nominees are Game Stores for Sithengele Senior Secondary School Drama Group; Guinness UDV SA (Pty) Limited for Smirnoff International Comedy Festival; DaimlerChrysler AG Germany & DaimlerChrysler South Africa for The DaimlerChrysler Award for South African Jazz 2000/2001 and DaimlerChrysler Award for South African Sculpture 2001/2002.

Nominations for Long Term Development - a category designed to recognise companies that have not only committed to but developed sponsorship of an arts organisation or project over three or more years - go to ABSA for the ABSA Gallery; First National Bank for FNB Vita Dance Umbrella; Interactive Africa (Pty) Limited for International Design Indaba; Media 24 for the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees; Transnet for Sowetan Massed Choir Festival.

Nominations for Media Sponsorship, a new category for consistent support given by electronic or print media to the arts go to KAYA fm for SA Music Week – 7 Nights at the State Theatre and other arts events; Media 24 for the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees; Safm for Arts Programmes & Inserts.

The category Single Project focuses on an outstanding sponsorship or a series of projects with one organisation, and the nominees are ABSA for ABSA L’Atelier Art Competition; Corobrik (Pty) Limited for Association of Potters of South Africa; NBS for Space-Kids : Running Riot; Ford Motor Company for the Watershed Tour.

Smaller companies with 1-200 full-time employees and an annual turnover of no more than R10million, who give vital support to arts projects, fall into the category Sponsorship by a Small Business. Nominations go to Bell-Roberts Print and Publishing cc for the Bell-Roberts Gallery; Eastern Cape Gas for Various Gospel Groups; Production Projects for Fantastic Flying Fish Dance Company.

Nominations in the category Sponsorship in Kind, where a company gives non-financial but essential support to the arts, go to ABSA for the ABSA Gallery, Production Projects for Fantastic Flying Fish Dance Company; Tequila Cape Town for Cape Town Festival.

The Strategic Sponsorship category looks at the best use of a sponsorship programme as an integral part of the sponsor’s overall marketing strategy. Nominated are Nedcor Investment Bank for The Black Tie Ensemble; Rand Merchant Bank for Starlight Classics Series; Standard Bank for Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Series.

One of the most popular areas for arts sponsorship is that which involves education and/or young people. In the category Youth Sponsorship the nominees are AngloGold for Eastern Cape Eisteddfod : Grahamstown Foundation Project; De Beers for Johannesburg Youth Orchestra/Orchestral Rave; Old Mutual Properties for Zip Zap Circus School; Sasol Limited for Sasol Schools Festival Series and Standard Bank for Standard Bank Schools’ Festival.

The Chairman’s Premier Award for sustained excellence in sponsorship of the arts will be made at the discretion of the Chairman of Business and Arts South Africa. The awards will be presented on May 6 to those businesses deemed most successful in achieving their objectives and, through this, benefiting the arts in South Africa.




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