The Importance of Relationships
How Show Jumping Waitemata treat their sponsors makes all the difference ...
Photo by Cheleken Photography
The Importance of Relationships
Just like it takes a village to raise a child, there is also plenty involved in putting on a top-flight show.
The Continental Cars Audi World Cup Festival is one that epitomises that.
Those behind the celebrated show say it simply wouldn’t happen without the support of a group of very special sponsors. But it’s more than just a business relationship, if you ask Show Jumping Waitemata president and vice.
Emma Buckingham and Tony Bult say they are more like family. That’s not a new concept – top New Zealand sports teams have their ‘family’ of sponsors, but in the world of equestrian it makes them stand out.
“Our sponsors are all long-term partnerships,” says Buckingham, who works tirelessly with a small but very dedicated committee.
Bult is hugely committed to the event, with his company T&M Nurseries responsible for all the colourful ring plants and decoration, and he the driver behind the custom-made fences.
For Continental Cars Audi, their match with the World Cup Festival ticks all the boxes.
Marketing manager Nikki Dorrington says there is plenty of attraction for their premier brand to be involved with the premier event.
“We share the same values,” says Dorrington. “We are focused on community based events. This is the fourth year we have been involved with this event and it has been very successful.”
As naming right sponsors of the festival Continental Cars Audi brings a team to the event, along with their much-admired Q2, Q5 and Q7 vehicles.
“For us at Audi, this is a Quattro sport,” says Dorrington. “We see a lot of equestrians driving Audi. It is a premier vehicle to pull a horse float.”
They’re a team who is very proud of what they represent.
“It’s also about fun for us too, despite being in a very competitive industry. We have very solid relationships with the team here, and that is something that is important to us,” she says. “Here at the World Cup Festival it is more than just a sponsorship.”
Relationships are key for Continental Cars Audi.
Dorrington says it takes a couple of years to build a brand with an event, and at four years in, she is comfortable with where both teams are at.
As well as Audi, the company also support Volkswagen, BMW, Porsche and Ferrari – https://www.continentalcars.co.nz/audi/ .
Dealer principal David Sutton is also onsite for the dealership’s biggest sponsorship.
“Each year this has progressed in terms of our commitment and the event itself has grown significantly.”
And Amber-Leigh Erasmus, the only female in the Audi sales team has a closer association than most too, as a competitor at the show.
“It’s really great to have a staff member involved in it too,” says Dorrington. “It certainly personalises it a lot more for us.”
The ethos at Show Jumping Waitemata makes the world of difference to Thoroughbred Floats owner Alanna Aarts, who donates a $16,000 float to the show.
“This is a show that understands giving back to their sponsors,” says Aarts. “They understand what we need, and perhaps more importantly, what we need out of the sponsorship. We are so well looked after every step of the way; it makes a world of difference.”
Contact between her company and show organisers starts months in advance.
“As a horsey family, we understand what it takes to put on a show and without sponsors it is incredibly difficult.”
Over the years, Thoroughbred Floats has been involved in a lot of sponsorship across equestrian disciplines, but Aarts says she has pulled back a lot now saying it is a wider picture that governs their involvement.
“This is the only show we now sponsor.”
Thoroughbred Floats – www.thoroughbredfloats.co.nz – is a small family company operating from its Tuakau base. They produce a range of floats from the entry-level two horse straight load float on offer at the show through to full accommodation luxury.
“Everything we produce is 100% New Zealand made at our factory – nothing is outsourced.”
The company was established in 1977 and sole in 2007 by the original founders. Aarts and husband Mark bought it in 2011. He comes from a design engineer and market garden background, and she was an international produce trader.
“It was an opportunity for us to work together.”
Now they have a team of 14 who custom build floats to order.
“We talk to our clients about what they need and design it to suit.”
Thoroughbred Floats is about to tackle the Australian market. They have been involved with the World Cup Show since 2017.
“I would like to see Waitemata grow but that can’t happen without good levels of support from riders and sponsors,” says Aarts. “They are an exceptional group to work with, with an attention to detail that you just don’t get anywhere else.”
Virbac New Zealand has been involved with the World Cup Festival for three years now. For business manager Peter Norgrove the attraction is two-fold.
“It’s a chance for us to give back to the industry and we really do enjoy the innovation we see at this show,” he says. “I commend (Show Jumping Waitemata president) Emma (Buckingham) and (vice president) Tony (Bult) for putting such a great event together.
“They are very inclusive of sponsors, and being here allows us to share our innovations and new products.”
He’s adamant the company wouldn’t be at the show without Tony and Emma.
“You look at the jumps and how innovative they are – the atmosphere here is unique and it is an event we want to be part of.”
Norgrove has been with the international company for nearly 20 years.
“It’s a company that is 100% dedicated to animal health.”
Being at grass roots level with the competitors is key for Virbac.
“They use our products and we really enjoy watching the fruits of their hard work. This show is good brand and product exposure and we can showcase our products to the riders.”
Virbac has a strong companion animal range, which includes equine – www.virbac.co.nz .
The company’s Strategy-T is attracting plenty of attention.
“It’s a unique broad spectrum horse wormer and one of the newest to the market to help fight worm resistance.”
Norgrove recommends it be included in a strategic worming programme that has ideally been put together with your vet.
Krista Treneary, managing director of PK Global, the company behind Maxlife Batteries, is entrenched in equestrian. Her daughter Charlotte is a keen competitor and Treneary is also on the Show Jumping Waitemata committee. She rode as a youngster and thoroughly enjoys pleasure riding with her in the forest.
This is the third year her company has been involved with the World Cup Final show.
“For us, a lot of this is putting back as well,” she says. “I feel this is a good fit for us too.”
Daughter Emily is also involved with the show as hostess of Sunday’s VIP High Tea, partner Fraser Honey has also been roped in to help, and her sales manager is helping feed all the volunteers and officials behind the scenes.
“This is a show that does strive to always do better,” said Treneary, “and that makes it a fun one to be involved with. We are only a small company so have to think carefully about where our money goes.”
The company was founded in 2001, initially as a general importer for the likes of Progressive, Mitre 10, Dick Smith and other large companies.
MaxLife – http://www.max-life.co.nz – was created when the entrepreneurs realised there was a massive hole in the market.
“People were paying far too much for their batteries.”
The couple, who work out of an old converted packing shed, introduced MaxLife to the market – a low to mid-price level product that tests extremely well against other well established brands.