Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) last night took out top honours in the Not-for-Profit category at the 2016 TVNZ New Zealand Marketing Awards, the country’s most prestigious national industry awards.
The win recognised the success of the Spirit of Gold® Initiative over the past year. PNZ was also named a Judges Choice finalist in the areas of ‘Insight’, ‘Sustainability’, ‘Marketing Leadership’ and for very strong evidence showing that the Spirit of Gold® Initiative had been ‘Transformational’ for PNZ.
Rachel Froggatt, Paralympics New Zealand Commercial & Marketing Director, said: “Next Thursday morning New Zealand time, 31 exceptionally talented Para-Athletes will enter the Maracana Stadium, ready to bring home gold for New Zealand at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. It has been an honour for us to be able to bring their stories to life over the past year through the Spirit of Gold® Initiative.”
She continued: “To win a TVNZ New Zealand Marketing Award less than a year after launching the Spirit of Gold® Initiative is overwhelming and I must commend the enormous effort put in by the entire Paralympics New Zealand team. The exceptional commitment of everyone, spanning from operations to high performance to senior management and the Board has been the key reason for this success.”
On Monday 7 September 2015, PNZ joined more than 170 countries in marking exactly ‘1 year to go’ until the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. On this day, PNZ launched the Spirit of Gold® Initiative, a new long-term strategy to drive awareness and increase community engagement with Para-Sport. It is also designed to raise funds to provide for the New Zealand Team heading to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and beyond and to help fund community Para-Sport programmes seeking to find the Paralympians of tomorrow.
Some highlights within the Spirit of Gold® Initiative have included the extensive nationwide Para-Sport road show in partnership with the New Zealand Chambers of Commerce and PNZ’s other commercial partners, which kicked off at a dinner with Prime Minister, John Key, in November 2015. During the tour, which lasted until July 2016, PNZ visited 85x schools, business and public spaces in all four corners of New Zealand, interacting with 120k+ people live and reaching 14m+ via media and social media. At the heart of the Tour was a beautiful set of 12 Portraits featuring some of New Zealand’s most high-profile Paralympians and Para-Athletes, donated by kiwi artist Amber Stephens.
Over the past 12 months, 15 well-known brands have joined PNZ as commercial partners, becoming involved in the Spirit of Gold® Initiative. Following the addition of Major Partners, ACC, Sanford and Cadbury last September, PNZ has also welcomed a number of new Supporting Partners, including Invacare, Harvey Norman, Visa and Maersk Line, and re-signed with partners, Adecco and Blue Star.
Fiona Allan, Chief Executive, Paralympics New Zealand said: “I am incredibly proud of everything that the Paralympics New Zealand team has been able to achieve. Not only are we supporting Para-Athletes to achieve medal-winning performances, we have also essentially delivered a gold medal in our marketing and commercial programme. I especially want to acknowledge and thank our Paralympic Family of Partners for their support. Without their commitment and passion, we certainly would not be where we are today.”
PNZ is in the final run up to the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, which kick-off next Thursday 8 September NZST. The last of New Zealand’s Para-Athletes and support team leave for Rio this weekend. The Games are the world’s largest multi-sport event for disabled athletes; over 4,350 athletes from 165 countries are expected to compete in 22 sports, across 526 medal events. The 31-strong New Zealand Paralympic Team consists of one Para-Canoeist, three Para-Shooters, three Para-Sailors, eight Para-Swimmers, eight Para-Cyclists and eight Para-Athletics athletes.
The Rio 2016 Paralympic Games will be broadcast in New Zealand. Viewers can catch the action as it happens every day on TVNZ’s fully live streamed TV channel DUKE, together with extensive delayed and highlights coverage. Along with ONE News coverage, a special highlights programme will air every night on TV ONE and will be available online through TVNZ OnDemand and AttitudeLive.com.
There are number of ways that New Zealanders can support our Paralympians in Rio, including:
Spirit of Gold® Mufti Day – over 100 schools and businesses have already signed up to take part in this annual fundraiser for Paralympics New Zealand, which this year takes place on Thursday 8 September 2016 in line with the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony. Participants are encouraged to wear gold and give a gold coin donation and many organisations are also running gold themed morning tea to watch the Opening Ceremony; more information and toolkit can be found here: http://www.paralympics.org.nz/Support-Us/Spirit-of-Gold-Mufti-Day
Rio 2016 Supporters Range – in partnership with Mr Vintage, a range of supporters’ gear has been launched, with proceeds coming to Paralympics New Zealand. This range can be purchased directly from www.mrvintage.co.nz and is a great clothing option for the Spirit of Gold® Mufti Day!
Sanford Paralympic Games Fan Zone – thanks to Paralympics New Zealand Major Partner, Sanford, fans can watch the Opening Ceremony live on a Panasonic Big Screen next Thursday 8 September, and take part in the Spirit of Gold® Breakfast. This fan zone will be open throughout the Games, with fans able to take in live and delayed sports action between 7am and 11am daily.
Send messages of support – kiwis are being encouraged to post pictures and messages of support for our Paralympians throughout the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, using #spiritofgold.