THE 2018 Tunarama has a new naming rights sponsor, which has secured the festival’s short-term future.
The Port Lincoln Community Bendigo Bank branch will have naming rights and will also sponsor the tuna toss.
Tunarama committee president Sharon Humenick said the bank’s sponsorship had essentially “rescued” the festival.
“You know, the bank has come to the party when no one else would,” Mrs Humenick said.
“It means the plans we have been working on can now go ahead.”
Mrs Humenick said the committee had been open and honest with the community about the festival’s financial situation and that would continue.
She said it was logical to partner with the bank and the committee hoped the 2018 festival would be the first year of a long partnership.
“The festival would have been in trouble without this sponsorship, it’s no secret that we really needed funding.
“It’s a pleasure to be able to work with Bendigo Bank, they have made putting the festival on achievable and it is just a really good fit,” Mrs Humenick said.
She said the sponsorship from the bank had taken the pressure off the committee to find lots of small amounts of sponsorship.
Port Lincoln Community Bendigo Bank Branch manager Phil Channon said the bank was happy to be able to help Tunarama.
He said it was an iconic event and significant to the community as one of only a few local events that brought the city close to full capacity.
“When Tunarama looked in danger we started having a think about what we could do to help,” Mr Channon said.
Mr Channon said it was an easy decision to support Tunarama as the festival had established itself as a “true icon” of Port Lincoln and it was a valuable event to the whole community.
Mr Channon said with the sponsorship of Tunarama the bank had now put more than $2 million back into the Port Lincoln community over nine years.