We're pleased to share we've been nominated, now a finalist, in the Reading cultural awards for "Reading Arts and Business in Partnership": demonstrating excellence in partnership working between business and arts organisation(s)

The Nomination is for Jacobs the Jewellers, Malmaison, Reading Year of Culture, South Street & Dante or Die theatre Company : I do performance.

As part of Reading’s year of culture, Jacobs and Malmaison were approached by the organising committee and South Street arts to sponsor this immersive theatre show. Malmaison allowed Dante or Die to perform there and with a financial contribution, Jacobs became co-sponsors, Malmaison contributed their beautiful premises in kind. In shaping the package, Dante or Die allowed Jacobs own signature shopping bags to become props within the play. This raised awareness for the local independent’s brand with the show’s audience. For Jacobs the Jewellers, the associated bridal theme promotion was perfect.

Between parties a constructive partnership was formed with all cross promoting via social media. Jacobs experienced one of the year’s most viewed Tweets/ Post volumes during the promotion. For Jacobs, using the Malmaison, 10 couples attended a VIP drinks reception, enjoyed the show, then ate together afterwards in the Mal brasserie. The creative director of South St met and engaged with all the guests before and after the show to raise the impact of the evening, further impressing the collaboration between arts and business. Long term customer relationships were cemented and commercially subsequently benefitted the business.

Terry o’Donovan, co-artistic director, Dante or Die, said:

“Jacobs the Jewellers’ and Malmaison’s involvement in the performance of our critically-acclaimed and sell-out show, I Do, was a highlight of our 2016 diary. Having such reputable businesses as lead sponsors of the show meant it was possible to return to Reading, where the show was originally created. Without their investment, it wouldn’t have been possible to re-stage the show during the 2016 festivities, which saw hundreds of audience members witness our intimate look into weddings in contemporary Britain. From our point of view, the partnership was extremely fruitful; and a perfect marriage of business and arts. Our shows love to explore how businesses interact with human lives and human stories. Jacobs and Malmaison brought their business beautifully into the world of our bride & groom, grandparents, flower girls and bridesmaids!

John Luther, South Street said:

“South Street was originally involved in the commissioning of Dante or Die’s ‘I Do’, which at the time was by far the biggest undertaking we’d ever been involved in. We created the relationship with the Malmaison Hotel and enjoyed a huge success with sold out, ecstatic audiences. We’d been looking for an opportunity to bring the show back but needed a sponsor to make it possible. Jacobs the Jewellers were the perfect match. Their enthusiasm for the collaboration, the additional marketing and PR that they brought far outweighed in value the generous financial contribution made.”

This project linked not only arts organisations and businesses, but also public and private organisations. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best, and all parties made the process easy and straightforward to manage. It clearly demonstrated that with modest financial or ‘in kind’ investments and practical open dialogue, returns far in excess can be gained for all parties.