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Package deal plays out

SHIPPING containers aren’t a regular feature of sponsorship contracts, however a Deckchair Theatre production provided a unique sponsorship opportunity.

The Mediterranean Shipping Company gets a steady stream of requests for sponsorship but usually it’s just inquiries to ship goods across the globe.

Deckchair Theatre proposed a slightly different venture following a trip to East Timor to research the production of Mavis Goes to Timor.

In the course of her travels, Deckchair Theatre artistic director Angela Chaplin discovered that sea containers were utilised for a whole range of purposes in East Timor.

Deckchair subsequently approached MSC to provide sea containers, which were used to construct the set for the production.

Mediterranean Shipping Company assistant State manager WA & NT Kevin Cooper said although the company had been involved in a lot of sponsorship agreements around Australia, the local office had never worked with a local arts organisation.

“We get lots of people coming to us looking for sponsorship to send things like a load of books to South Africa,” Mr Cooper said

“Deckchair happened to ring us and this was an opportunity to do something quite different.

“It was unique and it was different so it stayed in people’s minds. Often people don’t think about what goes inside a container.”

The production also provided the company with an unusual corporate entertaining opportunity for both clients and staff.

“At the end of the day it wasn’t that much, it was only about $1,000,” Mr Cooper said.

“And we’d probably look at it again.

“They asked for a long-term partnership, but I said no. I’d much rather do it on a case-by-case basis.”

Deckchair Theatre has developed a dedicated position to develop its partnerships with private enterprise.

Deckchair Theatre general manager David Gerrand said this role had supported the development of the company’s strategic partnerships.

“Because the shows have been amazingly good that has also helped,” he said.

“Our major problem is that we don’t have a glamorous theatre.

“Until we get a theatre we’re stymied.”

To survive the company had to be smart and target businesses that could derive real value from the partnership, Mr Gerrand said.

“You have to make the networking yourself; your job has to be your lifestyle,” he said.

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