South Africa: Sponsoring the Arts More Economical Than Sports Sponsorship?, 8/31/2009
South African columnist Tony Lankester makes the case that companies should sponsor the arts over sports teams or athletes because it provides the best value. "Delve a little deeper into the traditions and customs of South Africans and you'll quickly see that while spectator sport is a diversion and a hobby about which people feel strongly, the arts is more fundamental to the fabric of who we are. Storytelling, dance, poetry, and music is the way we have shared our experiences over the years, and the way millions of youngsters shape their identity and learn their heritage. It's isn't surprising that one of the fastest growing pastimes in South Africa isn't soccer, rugby, or running. It is performance poetry. Edgy, creative, bold, and full of attitude, today's poets are the leading voices of a generation who are taking control of their own destinies. C
reativity equals authenticity. The experience of being part of creative expression—as performer or audience or that joyous middle where the lines blur—provides an entry to the heart of South Africans that too few of our brands recognize. A staggering 43 percent of adult South Africans maintain that they feel more positively toward a company that sponsors the arts, according to [research firm] BMI-TechKnowledge. That's a significant amount of untapped goodwill in the marketplace."