A New Kind of Partnership

Brand partnerships are everywhere, from product placement in television to sponsorship of major events. And it is certainly not new to the theatre with many large organisations sponsoring Australian productions. But recently a new kind of brand partnership has developed . . . something with a more charitable outcome.

wicked beyond blue

It was announced this week that Wicked had a new sponsor. But not just any ordinary sponsor. This returning production had appointed an official charity.

There is often a presenting partner or a major sponsor, but rarely do you hear of the title official charity associated with musical theatre brand partnerships. Regardless, it has been announced that beyondblue will be the official charity for the return season of Wicked.

As part of their partnership, Wicked will be donating all the proceeds from their first preview performance to the charity with a special round of tickets going on sale this week. And beyondblue will be providing a segment of information to be distributed through the Wicked education packs which are sent to schools around the country.

This is a great partnership set up because there is benefit on both sides. Wicked gets some great publicity announcing their involvement with this important social cause and increases consumers’ tolerance to the high ticket price because the organisation is actually ‘making good’. At the same time, beyondblue gets another avenue for promotion targeting people already sympathetic to the bullying theme in Wicked as well as the revenue from this special performance.

While Wicked and beyondblue have made this official charity partnership look easy, it is not something that is to be taken lightly. There has to be a large degree of continuity between the two organisations.

Luckily in this case this continuity dominates the performance as the lead character Elphaba overcomes bullying to rises as the moral compass in a world influenced by deception. A sentiment which is close the heart of beyondblue as bullying can be a leading factor in the development of depression or anxiety.

But Wicked aren’t the only ones with this clever idea!

The debut season of King Kong had a Global Charity Partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute. See the similarities? You are watching a show about a large primate that is mistreated by society and the production is sponsored by a charity promoting high levels of welfare for primates. As a result, the partnership is more memorable and will ultimately resonate better with the audiences as there experience is of relevance with the selected charity.

Ultimately this creates a stronger link between the two organisations and gives the charity targeted and effective promotion towards a sympathetic audience!