EY & The Arts wins campaign of the month

Paul Klee
The EY Exhibition : Paul Klee poster

EY’s three-year partnership with the Tate highlights the brand’s strong support of the visual arts while driving external and internal engagement.

We are thrilled to announce that B2B Marketing awarded us with the campaign of the month!

You can read the article below or on the B2B Marketing website here.

EY’s three-year partnership with the Tate highlights the brand’s strong support of the visual arts while driving external and internal engagement.

As the business market grows increasingly competitive, brands are looking for new and interesting ways to stand out from the crowd in a bid to increase customer engagement, draw in new prospects and attract and retain the best talent. However, standing out in a nation where business is booming and unemployment has fallen to a seven-year low is a massive challenge for B2B brands and their marketing departments.

Ernst and Young (EY) is one organisation going about this task in a different way – by making art integral to everything it does. The brand has supported the art world for over 20 years and, with its leadership team and staff on side, it entered into a partnership with the Tate. In July 2013 EY signed the three-year sponsorship deal with the aim of highlighting its commitment to and support of the visual arts in the UK.

 “We support the arts because it marks us out as different and interesting. We are also consistent supporters and we can be relied on to continue investing in the right things. The nice thing with Tate is that it makes us one of their largest corporate supporters, which sets us out from the rest.”- Catherine Masters, Senior Marketing Manager, National Sponsorships, EY

The ‘EY Tate Arts Partnership’ aims to build a better working world for the professional services organisation’s employees, in addition to Tate visitors, clients and communities the business works within.


To date the company has sponsored three exhibitions at Tate Modern and Tate Britain. The shows aim to test common assumptions and question preconceived views of art by drawing attention to people or periods that have previously gone unnoticed. The company wanted to touch on a broad range of artists and themes. Its latest sponsored exhibition, launched in April this year, showcases the work of Parisian avant-garde artist, Sonia Delaunay.

However, the brand’s obsession with art goes far beyond sponsoring London exhibitions. The organisation holds corporate memberships at Tate Liverpool, Tate St Ives and Tate partner galleries across the UK.

EY is ensuring its target audience is aware of the partnership through a series of multichannel marketing activities. This has included holding over 50 private client events at the galleries, such as early-morning tours, receptions and dinners. The EY name and logo also appears on all materials for the exhibitions giving the brand huge exposure. The marketing reach for the second sponsored exhibition on the late work of English artist J.M.W. Turner was over 24 million.

Company culture

Art is ingrained in EY’s company culture. The deal gives employees free access to Tate galleries, discounts on events and access to private views, while the company runs a busy arts programme.

The programme includes art guide training for staff. Those taking part in the training can act as guides at key client events; the insights acquired allow them to engage with customers around the arts. The company runs an arts club with over 2000 members. The group organises social events and trips to places of significant interest. In addition, the company’s love for art has resulted in EY building up a large art collection of its own – now consisting of 350 pieces of work. The collection was established to encourage innovation in the business and support artists at the start of their careers.

EY has already seen great success from this partnership. Over 7000 employees have used their complimentary Tate pass, and the team took home silver for ‘Best arts and culture programme’ at the Corporate Engagement Awards.

With 13 months of the sponsorship remaining, EY will be running its next exhibition at Tate Modern in September. ‘The World Goes Pop’ will showcase pop art from outside the US, illustrating how different cultures responded to the movement.

The ‘EY Tate Arts Partnership’ underscores the important role corporate social responsibility (CSR) plays in attracting clients and building a strong staff community. The campaign proves that CSR doesn’t just mean picking up litter in your local park or holding a charity pub quiz, but embedding a new way of thinking or innovating into your business. This alone has the potential to make the working world a better place.