Following five successful years as naming right sponsor of the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (KKNK), Absa announced on Friday 19 March that it had renewed its investment contract with the festival for a further five years up to the year 2015. The announcement marks one the one of the biggest sponsorships ever in the history of the arts industry.
The parties stated a joint commitment to encourage the affirmation and celebration of a unique, developing South African culture that reflects the identity of a growing nation.
Louis von Zeuner, Absa Deputy Chief Executive says: “We are delighted to make this announcement regarding the renewed sponsorship of the Absa KKNK, South Africa’s largest arts festival. As bankers we’re always on the lookout for investments that yield long-term sustainable results.
“The Absa KKNK is such an example. This Festival will continue to spearhead the crucial role of the arts industry in the celebration and appreciation of a developing South African culture.
“Our long-term commitment to the KKNK not only confirms our investment in the growth of arts and culture, but also demonstrates our support, as a responsible corporate citizen, to the economic growth of the broader community and the region,’ said Von Zeuner
Recent research indicates that, for the year 2009, the total economic impact of Absa KKNK is estimated at R112 million. “Our overall investment in the arts makes a remarkable difference in the lives of South Africans.
“The renewed level of partnership allows Absa the continuation of the naming rights to the festival. This iconic South African arts festival will, once again, continue, for the duration of the contract, to be known as the Absa KKNK,’ he said.
Brett Pyper, CEO of the KKNK, said: “In a year that has brought its share of challenges to those who work to keep our arts and culture sector well resourced, this is tremendously good news, not only for the Absa Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees, but for the arts in our country as a whole.
“This significant vote of confidence places us in a very favourable position to reach new heights not only in our annual festival programme, but also in the work we do in our neighbouring communities in the Klein Karoo.’
“Our goal is to make our national mandate to promote excellence in the South African arts tangible and accessible even to those who live in rural communities, far from urban cultural facilities,’ he said
According to professor Russel Botman, Chairperson of the Absa KKNK, the organisation’s vision is to develop the Afrikaans arts industry in a way that recognises the identity of its core audience while reaching out to a wider South African community.
As the naming rights sponsor with umbrella marketing rights on the festival grounds, Absa gains the marketing rights of performance venues at the Civic Centre, Banquet Hall and Bongolethu Nevada Hall, as well as the Arts and Craft Market.
Absa will continue to include a corporate arts exhibition in its sponsorship leverage activities. Absa has the largest corporate art collection in the country, containing 20 000 pieces of local works. The extended partnership will also see Absa sponsor numerous categories of the Kane Awards, which recognise excellence at the KKNK.
The 2010 Absa KKNK takes place in Oudtshoorn from 1 – 8 April, during the school holidays, and showcases 35 debut theatre productions, a full spectrum of music in a new festival district, visual arts, dance, a festival parade and much more. For the full programme, visit www.absakknk.co.za.