With just a few sponsors on board, the year 1992 saw the Saint Lucia Tourist Board hosting the first ever Saint Lucia Jazz Festival. One of those sponsors was Heineken, brewed here by Windward and Leeward Brewery Ltd. Now, twenty-two years later, Heineken is still gold sponsor and official beer of the rebranded Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival.
“This year we are back as the official beer, gold and original sponsor of the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival,” Gaius Harry, Heineken brand manager said Tuesday during a sponsorship cheque presentation. The activity was held at WLBL’s office in Vide Boutielle, Castries.
“Like the Festival, which is now rebranded and redesigned, Heineken has been rebranded as well since we introduced our new K2 bottle last year, maintaining the same great taste and flavour, very much like this great festival, which we are equally excited about this year,” Harry pointed out. “As gold sponsor and official beer we are indeed always excited about sharing this experience not just with our local consumers but with our fans and consumers across the region and this year is no different.”
This year Heineken’s VIP program will attract some thirty-eight persons from various islands to Saint Lucia as part of regional promotions. These persons will be rewarded with VIP tickets to the signature Heineken Beer Garden during mainstage Jazz. Locally, Heineken has also been engaging consumers via a number of bar promotions, Facebook and its media partners to afford persons the opportunity to enjoy the festival through ticket, product and paraphernalia giveaways.
According to Thomas Leonce marketing manager at WLBL, as gold sponsor and official beer for the festival, Heineken has seen it not just fitting to support the main organizers, the Saint Lucia Tourist Board, but a number of the other activities as well this year.
“As you know at Heineken we do not just hand out a cheque and turn our backs. We lend our support every step of the way in a manner whereby the gains will be maximized and the event becomes a success,” Leonce said Tuesday.
This year Heineken will be throwing its support behind organizers of Jazz in the South, Labowi Promotions as well as Fond D’or Jazz, Jazz on the Bay at Marigot Bay, Soufriere Jazz and Jazz on the Square, which is back after a one year absence.
Heineken is also supporting West Coast Jazz, a new initiative to be held at Plantation Bar on the West Coast overlooking the Roseau Valley. The event will feature Rob Zi, Carl Gustave, DYP and the Secret Band.
The mainstage Jazz events organized by the Saint Lucia Tourist Board featuring acts like The Jacksons, Luther Francois, The O’Jays, Akon and R Kelly are also fully endorsed and sponsored by Heineken.
Accepting the sponsorship cheque on behalf of the SLTB was special events officer Marie Ange Williams, who noted Tuesday that Heineken has helped grow the Festival through collaborative initiatives.
These she said included regional promotions that have provided international recognition towards the brand and the event.
“Their unwavering commitment to the Pigeon Island venue is evident with the sophisticated and contemporary Heineken Beer Garden, which positions Heineken as a trend setter, year after year,” Williams said. “If it was not for original sponsors like Heineken we would not be standing here today one week away from celebrating the rebranded and redesigned Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival, twenty-two years in the making.”
According to Williams, over the years, the SLTB has worked hand in hand with Heineken with its own expertise in the areas of events coordination, marketing and branding, which have added value to the event.
Before making the various cheque presentations on Tuesday, Gaius Harry said it is Heineken’s hope that through its promotions and direct investment in the Festival, persons from all over the island would be able to engage in a piece of the event.
“As we get ready to indulge in what Heineken will be playing a part in making the best Saint Lucia Jazz event yet, we implore you to make the most of Saint Lucia Jazz.”