Arts and business, once parallel worlds in Europe, are
merging as never before. More companies than ever back the visual
arts: Patronage has more than doubled in the past 15 years in the
U.K. and more than tripled in France. The difference is that, where once companies funded the arts
selflessly and on a whim — the chairman’s, or his wife’s — they
now seek bang for their buck: their name in the show’s title, free
museum access for staff and client parties, the right to advertise
their sponsorship, and the right to run spinoff educational and
social programs. And when all is said and done, they conduct
studies to make sure it was worth it.
European nations find themselves so upset by U.S. influence, in part, because they are being drawn inexorably toward our economic model; read more here. And by the way:
Surveys show that only 4 to 7 percent
of consumers see sponsorship as a betrayal of the art, according
to Angela Diakopoulou, managing director of Marketlink Research,
which conducts sponsorship evaluation studies on behalf of
customers such as UBS, Unilever and the National Gallery.