By Barry Janoff
June 9, 2016: Led by Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and Target, sponsorship spend on performing arts is projected to hit a record $970 million in 2016, up more than $30 million from 2015 when the total reached $939 million.
Some 22% of performing arts organizations report a partnership with Bank of America, while 20% report a sponsorship with Wells Fargo, according to the 2016 Performing Arts Sponsorship Report from research and consulting firm IEG, Chicago.
Given its steady growth, sponsorship spend on performing arts could hit or top $1 billion in 2017.
Led by Bank of America and others, financial firms are by far the most active category.
Banks are 11.4 times more likely to be a sponsor than the average of all sponsors in the category, which includes symphony orchestras, theater companies, cultural organizations and visual performing arts venues and groups according to IEG.
Bank of America said that it supports "thousands of organizations, from local, community-based cultural centers to prominent arts institutions," such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York's Metropolitan Opera, the Bank of America Arts Showcase at the Providence (RI) Performing Arts Center, and the Bank of America Performing Arts Center in California.
The Bank of America Museums on Us program, now in its 19th year, which offers cardholders free admission to 150 cultural institutions across 101 cities in 33 states on the first full weekend of every month.
According to Rena De Sisto, Bank of America global arts and culture executive, “These cultural institutions help local economies thrive. We’re thrilled to make these unique cultural experiences accessible to our customers for the 19th year.”
Sponsorship spend on performing arts has risen in each of the past five years, from $923 million in 2014, $914 million in 2013 and $891 million in 2012.
By comparison, NFL sponsorship spend was $1.2 billion last season, MLB reached $778 million and the NBA hit $739 million last season, per IEG.
The most active companies behind Bank of America and Wells Fargo are KMPG (11%), U.S. Bank (11%), JPMorgan Chase (11%), PWC (10%), PNC (10%), Target (10%), Northern Trust (9%) and BMO (8%).
Legal services is the second most active category (6.1 times more likely to sponsor the performing arts than the average of all sponsors) followed by consulting services (4.2), insurance (3.5), utilities (3.0), brokerage (2.9), hotels & resorts (2.5), finical services (2.4) and airlines (2).
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