July 31, 2008
Newly-expanded Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards attract big brand backing
Vodafone and Vector Arena have signed deals to back the biggest night in New Zealand's entertainment calendar. The agreements see the Awards more than double in size and move to the Vector Arena.
Vodafone has signed a three-year naming rights sponsorship agreement, having previously sponsored on a year-by-year basis.
Vector's support sees the event move to Auckland's top live venue, the Vector Arena on Auckland's vibrant waterfront.
RIANZ chief executive Campbell Smith says the moves reflect the high-regard brands have for both New Zealand music and the awards.
"The strength of New Zealand music has been steadily increasing year-on-year. The Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards is the pinnacle of the music calendar, and the business opportunities surrounding the awards reflect this.
"While debate rages over the future of the music industry internationally, New Zealanders are strongly supportive of home-grown acts, and passionate about the New Zealand music scene.
"Companies, especially in this financial climate, are constantly reviewing sponsorship agreements. For us to be able to sign such large backers, and double the size of the event shows the prestige the awards are held in."
Vodafone New Zealand head of sponsorship, Richard Howarth, believes New Zealand music is in a strong business position and highlights the company's strategic alignment with music.
"We have made a three year commitment to be the naming rights sponsor of the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards because we are very passionate about Kiwi music and we know our customers are too,
"The event celebrates the best of the New Zealand music industry and it's a great way for Vodafone to promote Kiwi music being heard even more across the length and breadth of the country."
The awards are now in their 43rd year growing from an industry-focused event into one that attracts thousands of star-watchers and public guests and screens live on television on C4.
Smith says the move to the world-class Vector Arena venue provides even further growth opportunities with a possible 5,000-strong audience - doubling 2007's 2,200-seat capacity.
"By holding the awards in the Vector Arena we can include 3,500 music fans in addition to the 1,500 musicians and industry types. That's just brilliant, and it will further increase the award's significance to music-lovers."
Finalists for the awards are to be announced in Auckland on Wednesday 3 September, with the awards held October 8.
Issued for the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand by Pead PR in association with Vodafone New Zealand
About Rianz: The Recording Industry Association of New Zealand Inc (RIANZ) is a non-profit organisation representing major and independent record producers, distributors and recording artists throughout New Zealand. RIANZ works to protect the rights and promote the interests of creative people involved in the New Zealand recording industry.
About Vodafone: In 2007 Vodafone's music store was New Zealand's number one seller of digital music and the biggest overall seller of digital singles.