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In these times of corporate cutbacks, one city firm is investing in sponsorship as part of its development strategy. But why are they doing this and how is it working?
When Jonathan Williams , Partner of city solicitors Roythornes was approached to sponsor the Peterborough Male Voice Choir, little did he know that it would develop into one of his firm’s major profile raising activities.
” I had seen the posters last year seeking new members but then the musical director approached me seeking corporate sponsorship. I jokingly replied that if Roythornes said yes I would join his choir. ” he said. “Although it was some years since I had sung, I always enjoyed it and as it was for a good cause it seemed like a good idea.”
That was two years ago, when the new Musical Director, Will Prideaux took over and had great vision for the group. “When I arrived we had a group of very committed and talented people, but I was convinced that a city the size of Peterborough offered a larger opportunity and so decided to recruit more members with a view to performing a concert in the Cathedral in aid of Help for Heroes.”
The concert was a sell out and as a result of the recruitment campaign the choir swelled from 28 people to its current membership of over 80. Their latest performance was at the city’s Broadway Theatre on 16th July where they performed to a packed house (over 1,240 people) with international opera star Lesley Garrett.
Their success has led to the formation of two additional choirs under the Peterborough Male Voice Choir umbrella: Peterborough Voices, a women’s choir with over 140 members, and Peterborough Youth Choir with 30 singers aged 7 – 19.
Jonathan said “The transformation has been incredible and the performance at the Broadway was something for the city to be proud of.”
But why are Roythornes Solicitors sponsoring the choir?
Marketing manager Mark Dodds explained that it was all part of a coordinated strategy for the firm.
“Roythornes came in to Peterborough nearly three years ago and one of our key tasks as a business new to the region is to raise our profile. Whilst we have over 100 people in our Spalding office, we were little known in Peterborough .We were also keen to be part of the community and support a good cause. When Jonathan joined the choir, I met with Will and it became clear that he, like us had ambitious plans and we soon started to talk about long term sponsorship.”
In return for its sponsorship, the firm receives promotional opportunities at all concerts, advertising in programmes and appearances at the choir at client events.
“Roythornes sponsorship has been invaluable and enabled the choir to do so much more than we would have been able to do without it including taking part in the International Male Voice Choir competition in Cornwall where we came third out of 29 choirs, a further accolade for the choir and also Peterborough!
Mark finished by saying that a long term commitment to the choir was important from both sides:
“Roythornes are in Peterborough for the long tem and I know that the Choir are also – we are a good match and whilst it’s not all about pure returns there’s no doubt our association has helped to raise the firms profile in a very short space of time.”