The three year partnership will see Lion’s Little Creatures and Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) partner with Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras until 2024, including the 2023 WorldPride event – which is expected to be the largest event in Sydney since the 2000 Olympics.
Attendees of the 2022, 2023 and 2024 Sydney Pride festivals will be able to enjoy wines from Treasury’s Premium Brands division, including the likes of Squealing Pig. They’ll also have their pick of Little Creatures beers – described by Lion in a statement to press as the company’s “fruitiest beer”.
For both companies, this showpiece partnership illustrates their commitment to inclusivity. 2022 will mark 30 years since Lion’s Hahn Ice first sponsored Mardi Gras, taking part in the parade with a large pink beer can float.
As Lion’s Chief Marketing Officer, Anubha Sahasrabuddhe said, the company wants to help support Sydney’s queer venues, which have been hit hard by the last two years of lockdowns.
“COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on all hospitality operators, but many venues and events that are so vital to Sydney’s queer community have been among the hardest hit,” she said.
“A big reason we wanted to be involved is to support our vibrant and resilient pub, bar and hospo industry as they plan another incredible festival for everyone to enjoy in 2022.”
Sahasrabuddhe continues: “As a company striving to do more for inclusion, we are excited to be back as an official sponsor Sydney’s world-famous Pride celebration.”
“And going into it knowing that we’ll be a part of WorldPride in Sydney in 2023 makes this announcement even more special.”
This is a sentiment shared by TWE’s CEO, Tim Ford.
“At Treasury Wine Estates we believe that it’s the diversity of our people that makes us unique and helps us connect more closely with our partners, customers, and consumers. Our strength comes from our vast and varied backgrounds, ideas, cultures, genders and voices,” Ford said.
“Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is an iconic event and we’re thrilled to be a partner and bring our premium wine brands to the festivities.”
“We’re excited by the opportunity to continue to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community and spread the message of inclusivity and connection to the world.”
TWE itself has a Pride network, which helps to create an inclusive corporate environment for the LGBTQIA+ community and allies, as TWE Pride Lead for ANZ, Leon Butler, explains
“Members of TWE Pride are passionate about fostering an inclusive culture where everyone feels comfortable bringing their whole selves to work.”
For Butler, TWE’s partnership of Mardi Gras forms part of a larger culture at the company: “This includes helping the business build relationships with communities and entities that align with TWE’s global Inclusion, Equity and Diversity strategy as well as hosting events and training sessions to build further awareness for team members.”
Similarly, Lion have an in-house Pride@Lion group of employees, which advances and celebrates LBGTIQ+ inclusion and visibility within the company.
The excitement of the sponsors is matched by that of the organisers of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, with CEO Albert Kruger saying: “We’re delighted to have Treasury Wine Estates join us as the official wine supplier for Mardi Gras for the next three years.”
And Kruger has similar levels of anticipation for Little Creatures too: “They have shown great dedication to equality, both within their organization and for the wider LGBTQIA+ community.”
Brands and organisers are also looking ahead to WorldPride 2023, which is set to be the largest Pride event in the Southern Hemisphere.
Sydney WorldPride CEO Kate Wickett said: “Little Creatures is a fantastic Aussie Beer and I’m sure some wonderful fun will be had and memories will be made over a couple of cold ones at Sydney WorldPride next year.”
And of TWE, Wickett added: “Treasury Wine Estates is a company that makes their own rules, and has plenty of fun in the process. However they are serious about Inclusion, Equality and Diversity, and given this strong alignment of values, we are thrilled to have TWE on-board as our official wine supplier.”
“Sydney WorldPride will showcase the arts and culture of our Australian LGBTIQA+ community, and we are so pleased that we will also get to showcase our great Aussie and New Zealand wines.”
Lion announced that it will mark this partnership with Mardi Gras by tripling its funding commitment to the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation, Australia’s longest running HIV charity. The company will donate $60,000, plus an additional $10,000 of in-kind contributions.