Guelph Jazz Festival

Organization size: Medium
Discipline: Music, Festival
Location: Guelph, ON (2011-12)

Like-Minded Organizations present a world-class jazz festival

Guelph Jazz Festival and Meridian Credit Union Partnership Summary

The Guelph Jazz Festival is internationally renowned as one of the world’s most forward-looking jazz events and an original agent of cultural change in Canada, presenting world-class innovative music in a community setting. In 2011, the Guelph Jazz Festival partnered with Meridian Credit Union, Ontario’s largest credit union which offers a full range of products and services such as telephone, mobile and online banking. Meridian’s corporate social responsibility outlook is to operate in a way that is responsible and supportive of the communities they serve.

Both partners shared common goals and outlook on sponsorship benefits. With the partnership, the Guelph Jazz Festival received large cash support for their festival, event operations and volunteer program, while Meridian Credit Union strengthened its presence in the community and solidified its reputation as a socially responsible, community-minded business.


“Business for the Arts had given the stamp of approval, which added a layer of credibility, and artsVest gave us leverage so we were able to approach Meridian with the lead sponsorship.”

Erin Bustin, Former Director of Development, Guelph Jazz Festival


Guelph Jazz Festival
guelphjazzfestival.com

The Guelph Jazz Festival is nationally and internationally renowned as one of the world’s most forward-looking jazz festivals and an original agent of cultural change in Canada, presenting world-class innovative music in a community setting. Reaching more than 15,000 listeners and attendees through a concert series, three-day public academic colloquium, all-night Nuit Blanche and community outreach programs, the festival encourages meaningful interaction and engagement among artists and the community.

The festival has grown exponentially in profile, audience and artistic capacity since 1994, and regularly commissions new works, maintains a series of 30-40 events featuring 150 artists from around the world and impacts the community year round with education workshops, concerts and other outreach programs.

Meridian Credit Union
meridiancu.ca

Meridian Credit Union, Ontario’s largest credit union which offers a full range of products and services such as telephone, mobile and online banking, strives to operate in a way that is responsible and supportive of the communities in which Meridian members live and work. Since 2008, Meridian has invested millions in donations and sponsorships and re-invested their surplus earnings to make communities stronger and more vibrant.

 

 

 

 


About the Partnership

The Guelph Jazz Festival worked hard at bringing in new high-profile sponsors like Meridian through the artsVest program. The festival had a few connections with members of Meridian Credit Union and used these ‘ins’ to develop a relationship.

Meridian places an emphasis on supporting organizations that contribute to local economic development and that strengthen the social fabric of the communities in which Meridian operates. For the Guelph Jazz Festival, whose mission and goals were very similar, this was a perfect partnership opportunity.

Meridian’s business practices reflect cooperative values, a corporate commitment to social responsibility and a desire to make an economic contribution to local communities. Likewise, the jazz festival is renowned for both its artistic vibrancy and its social responsibilities.

Both partners shared common goals and outlook on the benefits of the sponsorship. Through the partnership, the Guelph Jazz Festival received large cash and in-kind support for the festival, event operations and volunteer program, while Meridian Credit Union strengthened its presence in the community and solidified its reputation as a socially responsible, community-minded business.

By offering Meridian Credit Union high-profile visibility at the Guelph Jazz Festival – carefully customized to meet their marketing and community-building objectives – the Guelph Jazz Festival helped maximize the opportunity for Meridian, resulting in a strong, mutually beneficial and potentially long-lasting relationship.

“We had a very targeted process, trying to get as much face-to-face time as possible.”

Erin Bustin, Former Director of Development,
Guelph Jazz Festival


Benefits for Meridian Credit Union

This partnership offered Meridian Credit Union an opportunity for meaningful interaction with a like-minded, committed audience base. The sponsorship gave Meridian access to the festival’s broad marketing reach locally, regionally and internationally (the Guelph Jazz Festival enjoys approximately 2 million annual media and promotional impressions).

Short term

  • Event sponsorship:
    • Premium on-site logo visibility and brand presence – logo presence and signage onsite at festival events, including downtown jazz tent in Guelph’s Market Square
    • Indoor signage at festival venues and outdoor banners
    • Promotional materials and logo recognition – logo placement on festival T-shirts that are sold as well as worn by 250 volunteers, Meridian logo placement on festival posters (1,000) displayed in high-traffic public areas throughout Guelph and the GTA
  • Facility sponsorship:
    • Prime space for Meridian to set up an interactive marketing installation tent
  • Title sponsorship:
    • Sponsor of a Feature Festival performance and verbal recognition at other festival concerts and events
    • Meridian’s representative welcomed the audience at the Feature Festival performance, further connecting and broadening their brand with the audience
    • Website and social media — prominent logo recognition on the festival website that received up to 2,500 visits a day, cross-promotional opportunities on the festival website and through active social media campaigns to broaden marketing
  • Employee engagement:
    • Employee benefits in the form of up to 10 VIP festival passes and 10 pairs of individual festival event tickets
    • Invitation to sponsor recognition events and the Artistic Director’s breakfast with featured artists
    • Framed 2012 Guelph Jazz Festival poster featuring local arts in recognition of Meridian’s support
    • Employee volunteering opportunities

Long Term

Guelph is recognized as having a lively arts community and many local companies appreciate the opportunity to promote their company through a partnership with an organization that is partially responsible for Guelph’s cultural vibrancy.

  • Logo visibility at festival launch events and off-season events throughout the year
  • Opportunity to include a targeted promotional offer in the Guelph Jazz Festival post-event electronic newsletter to thousands of subscribers
  • Opportunity to create meaningful interactions with committed audience base that will continue to foster the relationship between Meridian and the community
  • Uphold their position as a community supporter that gets involved with vital social enterprises such as the Guelph Jazz Festival
  • Continue to have a strong and growing presence in the Guelph community while reaching the GTA as well
  • Contribute to local economic development that will then feed back into their business

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Benefits for the Guelph Jazz Festival

Meridian Credit Union worked with the Guelph Jazz Festival to create high-visibility marketing initiatives that leveraged both the festival’s audience and outreach and Meridian’s sponsorship. By displaying festival promotional materials in select regional Meridian branches, Guelph Jazz engaged new festival audiences while also publicizing Meridian’s community sponsorship role.

Short term

  • Guelph Jazz Festival posters and brochures distributed at local (Guelph) and regional (Hamilton, Toronto) branches
  • Local Meridian staff wore Guelph Jazz Festival T-shirts for 10 days prior to and throughout the festival
  • Guelph Jazz Festival advertisement shown on in-branch TV monitors at local and regional branches
  • Guelph Jazz Festival promotion included in Meridian’s local and regional e-newsletters in August lead-up to the festival
  • Guelph Jazz Festival promotion included in Meridian’s local account statement mailout

Long Term

  • Seal of approval from a large corporate business like Meridian will aid future efforts in securing sponsorships with other corporations
  • Cash and in-kind services support the running of events and programing throughout the off-season as well as the festival dates
  • Cash support provides more benefits and opportunities for volunteers at the Guelph Jazz Festival
  • Guelph Jazz Festival can continue to leverage their economic impact in the region during the time of the festival as many local businesses, hotels and organizations gain economic benefits from the festival’s large audience turnout
  • Funds going towards the development of the volunteer program that operates year-round with increased benefits for volunteers

 


Benefits to the Community

The festival builds community in Guelph and supports the local economy. Thousands of festival supporters from across the province of Ontario and around the world come together in a celebration of new and exciting music. The festival’s partnerships with businesses like Meridian Credit Union and other major festivals in the region help leverage that economic impact. The economic benefits from this festival are many – prominent city merchants have consistently declared that the Jazz Festival weekend is their busiest time of the year, and local hotels are booked solid with festival artists and audiences.


Stewardship

The Guelph Jazz Festival worked with Meridian throughout the festival to measure the success of the sponsorship objectives and welcomed Meridian’s local branch managers and their members to the festival and associated events. They continue to steward this relationship with custom recognition opportunities and benefits, regular communication, reports, surveys and follow-up, and a mutual commitment to the shared objectives and beliefs. By keeping in close contact with the regional branch managers, as well as keeping their community goals and objectives inline, both parties continue to assess the relationship based on whether they have reached their objectives each year.