Name sparks in­trigue

Central Leader - - NEWS - By DANIELLE STREET

AN arts cen­tre for people with dis­abil­i­ties is hop­ing Tele­com’s im­pend­ing re­brand will lead to a new re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two or­gan­i­sa­tions.

Last week the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions gi­ant an­nounced it was chang­ing its name to Spark later this year, at a cost of $20 mil­lion.

Tele­com chief ex­ec­u­tive Si­mon Mout­ter says the new name bet­ter re­flects the di­rec­tion the com­pany is head­ing in.

‘‘Spark is a word that has life and en­ergy, and links to the cre­ativ­ity of New Zealan­ders, the mod­ern tech econ­omy and our de­sire to en­able our cus­tomers to thrive,’’ he says.

Suzanne Vesty agrees the new name em­bod­ies cre­ativ­ity and life — that’s why the arts ther­apy cen­tre she op­er­ates chose it back in 2006.

Ms Vesty says she heard about Tele­com’s an­nounce­ment on Fri­day morn­ing and was ‘‘truly sur­prised and in­trigued’’.

‘‘I mean, how ex­tra­or­di­nary that such a big com­pany would choose a name that is the same as ours,’’ she says.

‘‘As a char­ity, a tiny or­gan­i­sa­tion, there’s ab­so­lutely no way that we can pro­tect our name in terms of brand­ing rights.’’

The two or­gan­i­sa­tions will not only share a name, but their lo­gos bear a like­ness too.

The Spark Cen­tre uses a white star-shaped logo on a blue back­ground, while Tele­com uses a bold white as­ter­isk. It will keep the as­ter­isk when it changes to Spark.

Ms Vesty hopes the nam­ing might lead to a pos­i­tive align­ment with Tele­com.

‘‘The area of disability is largely in­vis­i­ble in the com­mu­nity, and so we hope we can make a con­nec­tion with Tele­com about the beauty of our shared name and the ethos of that.’’

The Spark Cen­tre is lo­cated in Fowlds Park, Mt Al­bert, and caters to about 125 artists. Mem­bers in­clude people with cere­bral palsy, brain in­juries, stroke and autism.

Ms Vesty says the cen­tre of­fers in­no­va­tive arts ther­apy pro­grammes that give a sense of achieve­ment.

Photo: DANIELLE STREET

Bright idea: Spark Cen­tre di­rec­tor Suzanne Vesty is sur­prised and in­trigued that Tele­com has cho­sen to re­brand us­ing the name Spark. She says even the lo­gos of the two very dif­fer­ent in­sti­tu­tions are sim­i­lar.

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