The Uncertain Future of Credit Suisse’s Sponsorship Activities in Sports and Art

“We are currently assuming that CS will maintain its partnership,” said the festival spokesperson, but “the loss of a main partner would certainly be felt”. (Photo/PA/JEROME FAVRE Geo-Information: China/HONG KONG) KEYSTONE/EPA/JEROME FAVRE sda-ats

This content was published on April 17, 2023 – 12:15


Indispensable in the world of sport, art and entertainment, the future of Credit Suisse’s sponsorship activities is uncertain. Current contracts are maintained, but the beneficiaries of these subsidies may have to find new sponsors.

The figures are incomplete to estimate the extent of sponsorship in the Confederation, Credit Suisse and the recipients of aid do not reveal the amounts involved. But according to estimates by Swissfoundations, the main umbrella of donor foundations, the commitment of cultural foundations in the country is estimated at around 500 million francs per year.

On the public aid side, the Confederation, the cantons, the cities and the municipalities distributed a total of more than 3 billion francs to support the arts and entertainment in 2019, detailed the Federal Office of Culture. The film production sector alone thus received 129.1 million.

For the Zurich Film Festival, which is organizing its 19th edition this year, the bank with two veils, in the process of being absorbed by its rival UBS, is a “main partner”. “This is our highest category of partners”, explains Kaja Eggenschwiler to the AWP agency, without revealing the exact amount of financial support. Credit Suisse has supported the Zurich film festival since its inception in 2005, with ongoing contracts for this year and next.

“We are currently assuming that CS will maintain its partnership,” said the festival spokesperson, but “the loss of a main partner would certainly be felt”.

Same observation on the side of the Zurich opera, which evokes “a substantial commitment from Credit Suisse”, a partner for many years of the Opernhaus. “We are convinced that Credit Suisse will maintain its existing contractual commitments with the Zurich Opera until the summer of 2024”, details spokesperson Bettina Auge, who does not wish to comment further.

Essential in the city of Zwingli, the financial assistance of Credit Suisse radiates far beyond in Switzerland and abroad. To the long list of beneficiaries from the world of culture are added the Museum of Fine Arts in Bern, the Hermitage Foundation in Lausanne and the Orchester de la Suisse Romande, as well as the National Gallery in London and the ‘Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

The world of sport is not to be outdone, with the emblematic Roger Federer. Credit Suisse has been supporting the tennis player’s foundation with $1 million a year for ten years. The Roger Federer Foundation (RFF) is particularly committed to access to education for children.

What about the Credit Suisse Arena?

Apart from golf and horse shows, Credit Suisse has become over the years an essential sponsor of Swiss football. The bank with two sails, saved at the end of March from near bankruptcy by the Federal Council, has been the main partner of the Swiss Football Association (ASF) for 30 years. The establishment lent its name to the Credit Suisse Super League, the Swiss Football Championship, and to the future Zurich stadium which was to be called Credit Suisse Arena.

The affixing of the bank’s name to the stadium on the banks of the Limmat would have brought in some 1.5 million francs for the two local clubs, FCZ and GCZ, according to estimates by the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung.

“Credit Suisse has provided significant support for the development, promotion and professionalization of Swiss football for 30 years,” recalls Adrian Arnold. According to the ASF spokesperson, the banking group “has largely contributed to the development of Swiss men’s and women’s football both regionally and internationally”.

The contract between Credit Suisse and the ASF runs until the end of June 2024, with Mr Arnold hoping that this partnership “will continue in the future, regardless of what form”.

Contacted by AWP, the bank assured “to continue unchanged its current commitments”, without further details. At UBS, also involved in sponsorship through the UBS Foundation, it is believed that it is still too early to address this issue, priority being first given to the takeover of Credit Suisse.

2023-04-17 20:11:51

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