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Pearl producer dives in to opera sponsorship and hits right note

OPERA and pearls – it sounds like a perfect fit and perhaps the essence of a very smart partnership.

And so it proved, with fine jewellery producer Linneys’ association with the West Australian Opera established during the production of the Pearl Fishers.

The production provided the high-profile local company with an invaluable opportunity to showcase its pearls.

The success of the partnership, which included a cash sponsorship, has led to a role as season sponsor for La Boheme, a perfect fit with the theme of love and romance associated with Linneys’ product.

The glamour and romance of pearls belies the hard work that underpins the success of this partnership.

West Australian Opera general manager Carolyn Chard said the company worked extremely hard to secure sponsorship support from local businesses.

Behind the scenes the development manager works tirelessly to identify new sponsorship opportunities.

Although the research results suggesting a big increase in corporate sponsorship are good news, it’s still a tough market out there, according to Ms Chard.

“This is a really difficult market and it’s very difficult to maintain and service sponsorships,” she said.

“It’s very time consuming and very expensive.

“A lot of the sponsorships are small and they’ve still got to be serviced, and that can cost up to 20 per cent or more.

“There still aren’t many people who get multiple year sponsorships.

“With organisations such as Wesfarmers all the major companies can be fairly assured that the sponsorship will roll over, but they’ve got different reasons for sponsoring the arts.

“Wesfarmers genuinely supports the arts and wants to see it flourish here.”

The battle with major sport for sponsorship dollars continues, and while it still commands mass media coverage, most arts events simply can’t compete.

“Most arts events happen inside a small theatre,” Ms Chard said.

“We obviously attract sponsors who want to be able to offer tickets to clients.

“Some sponsors are totally not interested in providing this sort of production.”

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