Walker Morris - Damien Hirst exhibition sponsorship and PR

What Acceleris was asked to do...

Yorkshire-based law firm Walker Morris tasked Acceleris with publicising its sponsorship of a brand new exhibition at Leeds Art Gallery to bring works by world renowned artist Damien Hirst back to his roots in the city for the first time.

A further objective for the team was to promote the firm's long running commitment to sponsoring the arts, from a grass roots level in primary schools to internationally acclaimed events. Walker Morris' sponsorship of the arts now tops £1 million over the last decade.

What we did...

Acceleris worked with Walker Morris' in-house team and the Leeds City Council press office as well as representatives from the Gallery and Damien Hirst's management company to draft and issue a series of press releases covering the installation and launch of the exhibition as well as hosting a press preview at the Gallery which was attended by both regional and national media including press and broadcast.

Additionally, Acceleris produced a video news release featuring representatives from Leeds Art Gallery and Walker Morris in order to expand on the information in the launch press release. This video was featured on online news websites as well as being made available on the Walker Morris website.

Acceleris has worked with Walker Morris over the last decade publicising a number of art projects for the Saatchi Gallery including the opening exhibition at its new location in Chelsea, to the Yorkshire artist Ashley Jackson's exhibition 'Power & the Passion' in London and Leeds. Acceleris also worked with Walker Morris to promote the firm's support of the Royal Academy.

The results...

The video news release was featured on several regional business news sites and overall Walker Morris was featured in 26 pieces of national, regional and online coverage including a feature in the Yorkshire Post on the importance of corporate sponsorship against the current backdrop of budget cuts and government spending reviews.

Held at the Gallery the day before the exhibition opened, the press preview was attended by key regional media including BBC Look North, ITV Calendar, BBC Radio Leeds, Press Association, Yorkshire Evening Post and BusinessDesk.com. The exhibition received a record breaking 11,000 visitors in its first week.

Caroline Black, Head of Marketing at Walker Morris, said: "Acceleris has developed a number of successful campaigns to support Walker Morris' arts sponsorship activity over the past decade. In this latest initiative, for example, the video news release was a fantastic way of engaging with a wider audience and promoting Walker Morris' involvement to the regional online press."

*TOP IMAGE - Damien Hirst: Mantra (2008) Butterflies and household gloss on canvas - 60 in (1524 mm) Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2011

*BOTTOM IMAGE - Damien Hirst: The Anatomy of an Angel (2008) Carrara Marble - 73.62 x 38.58 x 30.91 in (1870 x 980 x 785 mm) Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2011