Arts students take centre stage

SAP launches arts and IT programme in collaboration with the Donmar Warehouse

LondonLondon students will gain valuable business experience, thanks to an arts and IT marketing scheme launched by SAP UK and the Donmar Warehouse. The initiative is designed to give undergraduates a real-life insight into marketing in both the arts and business worlds. It will also help them use these skills to develop new audiences for the theatre.

Each year, 30 London-based students will be recruited as ‘arts ambassadors’ to publicise shows and events at the Donmar to their peers. Together, the ‘ambassadors’ will be responsible for selling tickets to 150 of their fellow students for six designated performances at the Donmar. The tickets will be sold at heavily discounted rates. Social events will surround the student outings to the theatre and will include pre-show drinks and post-performance Q&A sessions with the cast and creative team.

To support their efforts, student arts marketers will be given a unique insight into the world of marketing for business and the arts through special briefings and presentations from the Donmar Warehouse and SAP UK.

“The partnership between SAP and the Donmar Warehouse brings together two areas of business – IT and the arts – that are not traditionally seen as bedfellows,” said Peter Robertshaw, marketing director at SAP UK. “The students involved will not only benefit from being exposed to the marketing world, but may also be offered work experience placements and opportunities to make invaluable contacts for the future. In addition to this, SAP’s technology will be used to allow the Donmar to attract a new student audience through e-marketing via mobile phones.”

“The ideal way to develop an audience is from within,” said Sarah Hunt, marketing director at the Donmar Warehouse. “This student arts marketers initiative enables us to reach a young, and in most cases first-time, audience for the Donmar. It also allows us to invest in possible future arts administrators by giving them an introduction to the behind-the-scenes workings of a West
End theatre.”

“It’s great to see two such different companies working together so successfully,” said Charity Green, head of business development, Arts & Business London.

“We’ve watched the relationship between SAP and the Donmar develop from being a straightforward sponsorship of a single show to a collaboration that allows both companies to learn and grow together. This is just one of many joint activities undertaken by SAP and the Donmar as part of their three-year partnership – for example, there has already been a playwriting workshop for SAP’s senior management team aimed at improving presentation skills. All sorts of exciting possibilities present themselves when you get two such creative organisations working together, and for this reason we helped the relationship reach its full potential with extra cash from Arts & Business New Partners.”