Opera Australia + Mazda

Mazda’s relationship with Opera Australia spans more than a decade. In more recent years Mazda has elevated their support and become principal sponsor.

2014 MAZDA Opera in the Bowl. photos by Joe Castro/www.foto.com.au

Opera Australia + Mazda

We spoke with Opera Australia’s Director Corporate Partnerships & Events, Helen Hall, and Mazda’s Senior Manager, Communications, Jaylee Osborne, about what makes their corporate partnership successful.

Opera Australia Director Corporate Partnerships & Events, Helen Hall

How important is it for Opera Australia to find the right fit when seeking private sector support?

The right fit is integral to the success of any partnership. Shared vision and mutual respect must form the cornerstones to any corporate sponsorship if it is to be successful. We strive to find organisations with whom we can ensure a relevant and meaningful engagement for both our customers and brand, and their brand and customers.

Your partnership includes the staging of Mazda Opera in the Domain and Mazda Opera in the Bowl. Tell us how they came about.

Opera in the Domain has been an annual event since 1982 when Dame Joan Sutherland sang La Traviata and Opera in the Bowl has been an annual event since 2007.

For the last 12 years, Mazda Australia has been a partner of Opera Australia and we salute them for their visionary commitment to introducing opera to ever growing audiences through these two major free outdoor events. Mazda’s commitment and support allows thousands of people to experience the glorious sounds of Opera Australia soloists and orchestra in a casual, family-friendly setting.

How do you continue to identify new ways to create meaningful brand extensions? Is there a set process, or is it fluid?

As our principle partner we work very closely with the team at Mazda, ensuring our partnership evolves to the mutual benefit of both brands. It is both set, in that it is a process of regular meetings and dialogue, but it is also very fluid, enabling us to focus on meeting key objectives and outcomes.

Twelve years is an impressive track record in any relationship! Any tips on how to keep the partnership healthy, happy and satisfying?

Maintaining a shared vision for the partnership, regularly revisiting that vision to ensure its relevancy and vibrancy. Agreeing on the goals and measures. Respect for and commitment to open and regular communication and encouraging inclusion by all at Mazda within our artform.

What makes the partnership so successful?

I believe there is a true desire within both companies, from the top down, for combined success – it is a matter of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. I also believe Mazda is visionary in their ability to engage in the long game, a highly valued quality for all sponsorship, particularly arts sponsorships, and for this reason they are to be applauded.

Give us three words to describe your partnership with Mazda.

Stylish, insightful and spirited, of course!

Mazda Senior Manager, Communications, Jaylee Osborne

What’s the secret ingredient to a successful partnership?

For us, it’s critical that both parties share the same vision for what they want to achieve from the beginning. When we first partnered with Opera Australia, we worked through specific goals and objectives that were central to our success both in the short- and long-term. This allowed us to share the same direction, but also set us on a clear path that we’re still following today.

What is your team looking for in a partnership?

Mazda’s ‘Stylish, Insightful and Spirted’ brand values are inherent in every car we make and in everything we do. We look for this energy and vibrancy in our sponsorship of the arts and as Australia’s top-selling import brand, we believe that Opera Australia’s style and spirit is the perfect fit for Mazda.

How do you measure the ongoing effectiveness of your activities?

Mazda engage a marketing research company that measures the level of exposure and effectiveness of the sponsorship properties we work with. We also work closely with Opera Australia to make sure we are constantly reinvigorating the Mazda Opera in the Bowl and Opera in the Domain events to bring something new to the audience each year and help attendance continue to increase.


Mazda car sponsor stand

2014 MAZDA Opera in the Bowl. Photo Joe Castro

What was the trigger to elevate your partnership to principal sponsor?

Our decision to strengthen our partnership with Opera Australia was a move that enabled us to support even more great opera initiatives, which we’ve managed to do over the past three years.

At Mazda, we’re determined to play our part in enriching Australia’s cultural scene and ensuring that the wider public has access to the arts. We hope to protect much-loved art forms such as opera and see to it that future generations also get to experience world-class talent, so it seemed like a natural decision for us to step up as principal sponsor.

What are the benefits of supporting cultural initiatives?

Mazda is one of the largest automotive sponsors of the arts in Australia and it’s a role that we take seriously.

We believe it’s important to give something back to the community that has helped make us the second most popular auto manufacturer and leading full-line importer. Our portfolio of arts sponsorships allows us to do just that.

What are the benefits of supporting Opera Australia?

Mazda’s relationship with Opera Australia is our way of enriching Australia’s cultural scene, as well as giving back to the community which has continued to support us and our business.

Opera Australia has a unique but highly involved and loyal audience, and one that shares many similarities with our own customer base. At Mazda, we are lucky to have a large family of loyal customers that we call Kizuna’s, and our partnership allows us to share first-class opera with them as well as a thank-you for years of unwavering support.

Our partnership also means we get to open the dialogue with Opera Australia’s supporters and expose them to the Mazda brand.

Give us three words to describe your partnership with Opera Australia.

Stylish, insightful, spirited (also Mazda’s core brand values)

Opera Australia

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