Winning the Commercial Partnership Award at the 2016 NZ Sport & Recreation Awards, for its partnership with Audi NZ, provided excellent recognition for the Games, according to CEO Arthur Klap.
The Games are billed as one of the top five winter sports events in the world and in 2015 attracted 600 elite snowsports athletes from around the world to Queenstown, Wanaka and Naseby to compete in alpine skiing, adaptive skiing, cross country skiing, curling, freeskiing and snowboarding, including several World Cup events.
The biennial event is consistently on the podium at the annual Sport New Zealand awards winning the prestigious Event Excellence Award for the best event in New Zealand in 2009, the Best Commercial Partnership Award for its partnering with Tourism New Zealand in 2011 as the 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games, and the coveted Event Excellence Award again for the 2013 event.
Klap said the Games entered a successful partnership with Audi New Zealand in 2013 creatingÂ the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ. Following the 2013 event the partners jointly approached Audi AG (the home of Audi in Germany) to gain additional support for the naming sponsorship for 2015 and 2017.
The ensuing sponsorship was seen as a major coup in terms of taking a local sponsorship to a global level, based on a sound case developed to prove the benefit to Audi and the capability of Winter Games NZ to deliver a quality, high profile event.
Klap said winning this year’s Best Commercial Partnership Award acknowledged the development and the strength of the relationship between Winter Games NZ and Audi NZ.
“Through the involvement of Audi AG in 2015 both the Games and Audi NZ were able to concentrate more on the activation of leveraging the event.”
He said one of the leveraging highlights in 2015 was the “pop up” glass restaurant, set up by Audi NZ at the Snow Farm in the Cardrona Valley, at the site where it runs the renowned Audi ice experience driving programme during winter.
“The food was delivered by Audi quattros to the restaurant where guests were treated to a sumptuous three course banquet prepared by celebrity chef and Audi Ambassador Simon Gault. It was a huge success and underlined the importance of our partnership enabling Audi NZ to showcase its innovative quattro technology in an outstanding winter sports location.”
Dean Sheed, General Manager, Audi New Zealand considered the award is recognition of the strength, cohesiveness and mutual respect in the partnership between Audi New Zealand and the Winter Games NZ organising committee, as well as the incredibly hard-working event crew who make the Games happen.
“Audi invented the legendary quattro four wheel drive system in the snowy conditions of wintertime Europe. The sporty quattro technology is in our DNA and its capabilities in challenging alpine conditions are a natural fit for the Games,” he said. “We are a brand that focuses on world class performance and we are proud to be the partner of the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ, recognising the world class performance of both Kiwi and global athletes right here in New Zealand.”
Klap said Audi will continue as naming sponsor for the 2017 Winter Games NZ and the company is a vital part of discussions for a potential annual event through to 2021.
“We welcome that involvement and look forward to a positive outcome.”