SLJAF…….Beyond The News Sound bite.
THE 2016 Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival saw an expansion of the existing sponsor network with five new partners signing on. Alongside Platinum Sponsor RBC Royal, Calabash TV, Capita Financial Services, Sixt and Subway have signed on to their maiden voyage as festival partners.
They each bring a unique dimension to enhance the festival marketing and the artiste experience. While RBC Royal Bank has had prior association with the event, until 2015, this association had been primarily with the Fringe programme, specifically Jazz on the Square and Pigeon Island Side Stage.
Understanding why companies are willing to inject considerable financial and in-kind resources to facilitate the staging of the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival calls for an understanding of what companies are looking for by way of corporate social responsibility, and how the festival delivers on these objectives. In her remarks at the Sponsor’s Breakfast on February 25, Country Manager of Platinum Sponsor RBC Royal Bank Sandra Fontenelle makes that link.
“Our elevation to Platinum Sponsor is an indication that we have seen how important this event is to the Saint Lucian Community. We understand the importance of taking bold steps to help our clients thrive and our communities prosper.”
Sponsorship gives companies the ability to raise their profile as a partner in social and economic development. At the social level, the Festival provides an inclusive space within which to both celebrate local culture and expose the artists and artisans whose unique creative abilities and expressions continue to give the vibrancy and diversity to Saint Lucia’s cultural product. This cultural product is the salt of the visitor. It is also a revenue earner for creativity. To be inclusive, the Festival must keep deepening its partnerships with other organisations that represent cultural and creative communities to ensure that at any given time, a variety of artisans are getting their moment to shine and make new contacts for their own for professional expansion.
At the economic level, the linkages created between the Festival and various sub-sectors such as hotels, creative industries, rural tourism and services have a multiplier effect, as everyone generates increased sales at festival time. Also, in preparing to take advantage of these guaranteed opportunities, suppliers tend to make necessary investments to improve their quality standards. The result is that, as Saint Lucia’s name and fame grows, the quality of our destination experience becomes consistent from resort to guest house and from spa to river lime.
SLJAF sponsorship can achieve results for sponsors in ways that cannot be achieved from other forms of marketing. For instance sponsoring gives the opportunity to organisations such as RBC Royal Bank to demonstrate this socially sensitive side of their business. Their sponsorship privileges also allow corporate partners to treat their valued customers and social beneficiaries, and fete them like royalty through venue access and hospitality. Internally, sponsors can expect greater staff involvement and even a boost in staff morale as they engage with customers in a less formal setting. Working, for instance, on the marketing involvement of sponsorship, is a great way of using skills in a new way and reinvigorating key staff.
Enhancing the sponsor roster means that the Saint Lucia Tourist Board has more resources to market both the event, raise the destination profile internationally and increase visitor arrivals in and out of festival season. Sponsorship of a successful and quality undertaking like the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival enhances the brand image of the sponsor to that of a high quality brand; one that gives back so that everyone wins; a brand to be trusted.
The demonstration of even more backing for the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival in its silver jubilee year is a clear indication that Saint Lucia’s corporate sector has confidence in the Festival and remains committed to working to secure more milestones ahead.