Corporate sponsorship of the arts has grown in South Africa, rising from R136m in 2001 to an estimated R524m in 2015. Corporate sponsorship of music, especially, has shown exceptional growth. In 2015 alone, South Africa’s musicians attracted R5m more in sponsorship from business than they had in 2014.
These are among the insights that Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) shares in its 20 Years of Business-Arts Partnership Trends
research report that will be published imminently and will be freely available on the BASA website to BASA members. The research report is informed by BASA’s ArtsTrack research project, that tracks realities and trends of consumer engagement and perception of the arts and its sponsors. ArtsTrack also tracks peer perceptions among arts sponsors.
“The research examines and reports on two decades of BASA’s work with South African business and artists. This work is to forge and nurture constructive, mutually-beneficial relationships between the corporate and creative sectors of the economy,” says Madeleine Selmer-Olsen, BASA Research Manager.
BASA has been tracking trends and growth over 20 years to give both businesses and artists the benefit of compelling data on which to base investment decisions.
“In 20 years we have seen profound deepening of the understanding that has developed between business and the arts. It’s created a culture of symbiosis in South Africa. Now, the publication of this research, gives South Africa a data-driven environment in which to make economic investment decisions,” says Selmer-Olsen.
BASA continues to see upward trends in corporate sector participation with and engagement in the arts. As a result, there’s also an upward trend in the value of Supporting Grants BASA allocates, with the support of the Department of Arts and Culture. Value leveraged from these grants, the research finds, has grown 166% in 20 years: from R6 of investment for every Rand in grants in 1997 to R13 of investment for every Rand in grants last year. More than R34m has been disbursed in BASA grants to 1,487 art projects. The highest percentage of sponsorships go to strategic partnerships and to projects that focus on professional development, youth and education, and underserved communities.
With regard to sectors, BASA’s 20-year research report finds that the financial, food and beverage, and media and entertainment sectors have been the arts’ most consistent sponsors over the period. These sectors also provide some of the highest percentages of all arts sponsorships: 24.25% of all arts sponsorship is by South Africa’s financial sector.
Interestingly, South African consumers pay attention to which businesses invest in and sponsor the arts, and people are inclined to support those business when making purchase decisions. Nearly half (45%) of adult South Africans say they are positively influenced towards companies sponsoring arts and culture. More than half (55%) of adults are positive specifically to businesses that support music.
The BASA 20-year research report is a fascinating bank of insights and findings and is a highly recommended reference tool for all individuals and entities determined to make sound, data-based growth-economy investment decisions. The report is free to BASA members.
For more information, please visit www.basa.co.za