Fund snapshot

Our Major Event Sponsorship fund is designed to support event organisers who are delivering events that attract a significant number of visitors to Hamilton and have high profile coverage.

This fund provides sponsorship over $5,000 to help fund the effective organisation and marketing of events that:

  • ensure best value from our investment
  • develop new long-term business opportunities for Hamilton businesses
  • help establish event tourism strategies and new community opportunities.

Sponsorship funding is not intended to fund operating shortfalls.


We will look for the following when we consider your application:

  1. emerging events that are new and warrant a kickstart sponsorship investment as they are seen to have significant long-term growth potential for the city
  2. cornerstone longstanding events that have proven performance in delivering a high profile for Hamilton, which add to the city's value proposition and will help drive incremental visitation and expansion opportunity
  3. significant one-off events that present an opportunity to deliver substantial benefits to Hamilton by way of profile, increased visitation, and new business opportunities.

The principal criteria and guidance for sponsorship assessment include:

  • an alignment with the Hamilton City vision, profile, and broader strategies
  • quantified/proven exposure benefits and distinctiveness for Hamilton nationally (and internationally) and across business at large
  • evidence of target audience attendance at regional/national/international levels
  • the generation of overnight visitation to the city
  • a significant number of anticipated participants and future growth potential
  • the use of facilities and assets in the city
  • strong leverage opportunities and community support
  • any existing interests and relationships that may give rise to a potential conflict of interest.

Fund criteria

You can apply for the Major Event Sponsorship if at least one of the benefits listed under each of the three criteria below applies:

Exposure and promotion for the city

The event lifts the status, awareness or profile of Hamilton through the media exposure it receives (international, national, and local) and helps position Hamilton as New Zealand's premier events destination.

Economic benefits for the city

The event will increase the number of people who would normally come into the city at that time, thereby providing potential benefit to local businesses.

Promote pride and sense of place for Hamilton residents

The event gives local residents and those living outside Hamilton more recreational opportunities and helps create a more vibrant and interesting local lifestyle.

The application

1. Application processes, guidelines and help

The application will be assessed on the event concept, quality of information provided, and its potential to satisfy Hamilton's objectives and meet the criteria of our Event Sponsorship Policy. Note that we are treated as any commercial sponsor would be in terms of recognition and benefits, and this is negotiated on an individual basis with approved applicants. 

Event Sponsorship Policy

2. When and how you can expect to hear back from us

When you submit your application, you will receive a confirmation email with a copy of your submitted application attached. This will be sent to the email you used to register for SmartyGrants.


The Major Event Sponsorship Fund has been fully allocated for the 2023/24 Financial Year.

Events supported by the Major Event Sponsorship Fund for the prior 1 July 2023 – 30 June 2024 include:

  • Matariki ki Tainui – July 2023
  • Cambridge to Hamilton Paddle Race - September 2023
  • Ford NZ Hockey National Championships - September 2023
  • Cheer and Dance Factor – October 2023
  • Round The Bridges – November 2023
  • Porritt Classic – February 2024
  • Hamilton Arts Festival Toi Ora ki Kirikiriroa - February/March 2024
  • Balloons over Waikato - March 2024
  • New Zealand Marching Championships - March 2024
  • Matariki ki Waikato – June 2024


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Last updated 14 June 2023