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01 March 2008

DB NZ International Festival of the Arts?


Once every two years in February, Wellingtonians pillage their credit card accounts to pay for tickets to the New Zealand International Festival of the Arts.

The Gold Sponsors this year are New Zealand Post, TV3, Clemenger BBDO and Meridian Energy. But the primo sponsorship goes to Dominion Breweries, or as it's been affectionately known to generations of swappa crate customers, ‘DB'.

It's something of a change for the company to go high brow - it normally sponsors sports and similar events, among them the Rugby World Cup, the national shearing competition, Black Caps Cricket and the national Tennis Open. But even then its sponsorship is normally under its top consumer brands like Export Gold, Tui, Monteiths or Heineken. DB as a brand rarely appears to be promoted, other than on price at bottle stores in the poorer parts of town.


Well don't go to the marketers of DB for the rationale. Their sponsorship has come at a surprise to them too, courtesy of the graphic design used for all festival promotions which renders the year ‘08' in the ‘08 NZ International Festival of the Arts' as ‘DB'.

Festival front-line staff say they've had constant questions about DB's ‘sponsorship' and see it as bit of a laugh. Whether the real sponsors who fronted up with the moolah see it the same way may be another matter. But fortunately perhaps for the organisers whose attention to detail wasn't quite up to scratch, none of the real sponsors are DB's competitors.


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