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Delivering a Centenary worth celebrating.

In a recent opinion piece, international brand consultant Mark Ritson wrote about the opportunity cost for companies embarking on Centenary programmes.

Apart from the significant investment and resourcing required and potential for a protracted celebration to become an over-leveraged event that runs out of legs before its culmination, Ritson notes that with a corporate history that's maturing, centenaries are becoming increasingly commonplace and therefore far from unique. Particularly so at a time when today's customers are far more concerned with tomorrow than yesterday.

The year prior to Ritson’s op-ed, Sydney Airport was well underway with its own Centenary planning. 2019 would mark the 100th anniversary of Sydney Airport's first passenger flight. Creighton Ward was appointed to contribute to the strategic planning phase and development of the programme's framework and key planks.

100 years after that landmark flight, Sydney Airport welcomes 44 million passengers annually and in its Centenary year also celebrated the arrival of its billionth passenger.

Sandwiched between Billy Marshall and the billionth, inevitably lay an extraordinarily rich timeline of landmark events, world firsts, aviation innovation and personal journeys; a cornucopia of storytellling and engagement opportunities to showcase. Compelling historical narratives are expected of centenaries, but Sydney Airport's was next level. Spoilt for choice would be an understatement.

However Sydney Airport wisely chose to do fewer things better. And did so within a shorter, sharper timeframe of just five months, ensuring SYD100's momentum built quickly, its high standards were maintained and the Centenary avoided wearing out its welcome.

Following the contribution to the Centenary's strategic planning phase, Creighton Ward was appointed to project manage the SYD100 rollout; from pre-launch briefings, partnership engagement and concept development to launch deployment and editorial co-ordination through to post-programme analysis and reconciliation.

Highlight: SYD100 Gala Event

Creighton Ward spearheaded the SYD100 Gala, the most ambitious and complex event hosted by Sydney Airport. Attended by the NSW Premier, the Hon Gladys Berejiklian, numerous MPs, Airline CEOs, descendants of SYD’s pioneers and a who’s who of the aviation industry, the black-tie sit-down dinner for 600 was located Airside next to intersecting runways for a unique on-tarmac experience, with sweeping views across the airport precinct to the Sydney CBD skyline beyond.

Images: Belinda Rolland

Highlight: Imagine the Future of Travel Schools Competition

Creighton Ward initiated a primary schools project competition for local Bayside community schools to ‘Imagine the Future of Travel’. Aviation-themed colouring competitions and multimedia class projects resulted garnered over 1,200 entries, with winners presented with awards by the Mayor of Bayside at Rockdale Town Hall.

Images: Lucia Elliott

Highlight: Centenary Media Partnership

Creighton Ward acted as editorial co-ordinator in concert with News Corp's dedicated editorial resource to engage Sydneysiders with Sydney Airport’s pivotal role in the city’s growth and prosperity - from yesterday to tomorrow - across metropolitan, local community and lifestyle news media brands, resulting in significant breadth and depth in editorial coverage every month of the Centenary calendar.

Highlight: Suite of 15 cost-effective video packages

Creighton Ward recommended the development of a suite of video packages; from appointing the production company, Found At Sea, after a three-way pitch, to broadened scope as requested by other business units. Additional edits were created for specific events and bespoke content for the International Terminal’s newly launched 25 metre Departures Wall was incorporated into the brief with significant cost savings resulting.

Videos: Found At Sea.

Creighton Ward was based at Sydney Airport for a number of months pre-launch through to the programme’s conclusion, working very closely with senior leaders, a broad range of business units and project teams to deliver a cost-effective SYD100 Centenary programme with precision, high-end values and trajectory.

Contact us to find out more.


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