On Thursday April 14 Windward and Leeward Brewery Limited hosted a press conference to announce its continued sponsorship of the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival. Heineken Brand Manager Gaius Harry said at the launch that he ‘expects consumer participation and interest from the diaspora and local persons at this year’s event which is celebrating its silver jubilee’. The Windward and Leeward Brewery, through Heineken, has been involved with the Jazz Festival from the inception and has continued to grow and partner with the event.
Thomas Leonce, Marketing Manager of the Brewery said, ”I’d like to think of our association with the Jazz festival as not one of promoter and sponsor, but essentially I liken it to a marriage, one which has lasted for 25 years, and I think a quarter century in a marriage is a significant milestone.” He went on: “if one can have a marriage between a sponsor and a promoter, I think we can, because it means that the objectives of the promoter have aligned perfectly with the sponsor. So if the event continues from one year to the next, one doesn’t have to come back and negotiate with the sponsor for funding.”
According to Leonce, this has essentially been the relationship with Heineken and the Saint Lucia Jazz festival. “It’s an unbroken partnership which we expect to continue,” he said. For Leonce, what the jazz festival aims to do is create an event that attracts visitors to the shores of Saint Lucia, to enjoy this product that is called the Jazz & Arts Festival, which has grown significantly.
The brewery, as proud platinum sponsors, believes the sustained partnership is represented by both their targets, which are ‘in sync’, bringing in international experiences to our local shores. Heineken is also the official beer of the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival.
As a cosmopolitan and international brand, Heineken is sold in 172 countries and is the world’s most international drink. The brand’s recent tagline has been “open your world” and this is what Heineken aims to do, by partnering with organizers of the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival, the Saint Lucia Tourist Board.
Louis Lewis, director of the Saint Lucia Tourist Board, in his remarks on Thursday said, “When the festival was first conceptualized in 1992, the idea was to bring visitors to the destination, using a special event to create that party-type attraction.
“Not only has WLBL sponsored the main events at Pigeon Island, it has allowed us to grow to the communities, otherwise known as the fringe events, that have allowed creativity and entrepreneurship to develop round the island.”
Heineken Brand Manager, Gaius Harry, says this year Heineken will team up with media partners for regional and local Jazz promotions and will engage consumers via supermarket and bar promotions. “These activities will allow consumers the opportunities to win Heineken and Jazz paraphernalia as well as tickets to the events,” Harry says.
Additionally, Heineken will engage and interact with consumers on site at various events with its signature beer gardens as well as the VIP gold pass at Pigeon Island on May 7 and 8.
For this year’s Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival, which runs from April 29 to May 8, Heineken will once again extend its support not just to the SLTB but to the various community and fringe events. These include Jazz on the Square, Soufriere Jazz, Marigot Jazz and Salsa Saint Lucia’s Latin Jazz Party. Organizers of these events were on hand on Thursday to collect their cheques from Heineken.