The annual marketing expense for the year ending 30 June 2020 was NZ$4.36 million – a significant reduction on the previous year. This reflected the impact of COVID-19 across most aspects of ATEED’s work supporting priority industries, which normally involves a lot of marketing focus. ATEED suspended marketing activities accordingly.



ATEED’s role in marketing Auckland as a destination

Prior to becoming part of the new CCO Auckland Unlimited in December 2020, ATEED led the region’s business and industry sector development; it undertook activities to attract investment, multi-national businesses, international students, and high-value visitors (including business event delegates); it also facilitated the region’s major events portfolio. The organisation was the guardian of the Auckland regional brand, responsible for marketing Auckland as a destination internationally and domestically.

The organisation carried out extensive communications, marketing and strategy to support its activities, on behalf of Auckland Council, and working in partnership with central government and private sector partners. Specific areas of ATEED activity that required commitment to marketing and communications included, but were not limited to:

Attracting business and investment

• ATEED ensured Auckland had a proactive presence in key international markets as well as identifying and attracting business and foreign direct investment into our key sectors, infrastructure projects and key initiatives, including the screen sector.

• During 2019/20, ATEED specialists assisted property and technology deals involving $235m new investment in Auckland, and $454m in screen production deals for Auckland.

• ATEED played a significant role in attracting major international and domestic productions to Auckland, and worked to market Auckland studios in partnership with the NZ Film Commission and industry.


Supporting innovation and businesses

•    ATEED regarded innovation as the most crucial driver of economic growth and the area where it could make the greatest contribution to achieving Auckland’s goals.
•    ATEED invested, on behalf of Council, in infrastructure that supported innovation, and the growth of high-tech, export-ready business. This included the ongoing development of the GridAKL innovation precinct in Wynyard Quarter which now has more than 140 tenants in the three precinct buildings.
•    ATEED supported the development of the new Te Haa o Manukau co-working space where people can gather to work on creative tech projects while sharing ideas, equipment, and knowledge.
•    ATEED facilitated innovation in Auckland companies by delivering the Government’s Regional Business Partner Network (RBP) programme across the region. This included helping more than 5000 businesses to access the Government's COVID-19 Business Advisory Fund and Tourism Transition Fund - issuing $14.2m in capability vouchers. ATEED also helped small businesses apply for $$5.27 million in Callaghan Innovation research and development grants.
•    In 2019/20, ATEED continued its major role in supporting the preparations for Auckland’s hosting of the 36th America’s Cup by Prada and activations and events activity taking place. Despite COVID-19 meaning Auckland was not going to be able to host the large numbers of international visitors originally expected to come to our region for summer 2021, ATEED developed strategies to leverage this opportunity to put a global spotlight on our region and bring economic opportunities that will help Auckland’s recovery from COVID-19.

Growing and attracting skilled talent

•    ATEED’s Study Auckland team marketed Auckland to international fee-paying students who prior to COVID-19 were worth nearly $3 billion to the regional economy. This included a range of projects to improve the Auckland experience for the nearly 80,000 international students located in the city prior to COVID-19, and connect them with Auckland employers looking for talented workers post-graduation.
•    We played a key role in the Auckland Pacific Skills Shift pilot skills development and job pathways programme in partnership with industry and the Sustainable Business Council.  
•    ATEED supported the City Centre, North and Manukau jobs and skills hubs, which aim to connect employers in various priority sectors with potential workers, and help those workers make use of opportunities to upskill.
•    ATEED partnered Immigration NZ to attract and retain skilled migrants into growth sectors where Auckland has talent shortages, and promotes Auckland through its multi-year ‘A Smart Move’ campaign. We developed the 'Make this your place, make this your future' campaign which ran from July 2019 to attract high-skilled offshore construction and technology talent. The campaign resulted in more than 8000 leads.

Building Auckland’s brand and identity

•    ATEED promoted the Auckland brand and story across all business, tourism and major event activity in domestic and international markets in a way that leveraged the region’s distinct advantages. A range of activity was progressed as part of our targeted Māori tourism and iwi development programme.
•    With industry partners we delivered a major new platform, Go with Tourism, to help young people into the tourism workforce. This was rolled out nationally, with support from the Government, in 2019/20. Following the impact of COVID-19, this programme switched to focus on supporting displaced tourism workers into other industries. 

•    In 2019/20 we developed and released He Aratohu Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland Playbook, which allows all Auckland businesses and organisations to access to a wide range of open-source video and photographic assets and tools – so that everyone can talk about Auckland in a way that will grow our region’s reputation

•    Our Tourism team worked on an innovative Auckland visitor experience app for the influential China-based social media platform WeChat. The app was officially launched in China in late 2019. ATEED delivered a range of programmes to drive premium visitation including a series of digital marketing campaigns encouraging Australians to fly to Auckland for a 2-5-day break in winter or spring. 

Growing the visitor economy

•    ATEED was charged with sustainable growth of the visitor economy, which prior to the impact of COVID-19 had reached more than $8 billion economic value annually. ATEED worked with industry to develop and release the innovative Destination AKL 2025 strategy with a new focus on destination management. 
•    ATEED continued to enhance Auckland's visitor proposition by working with our partners and networks – including the work of our Auckland Convention Bureau team, superyacht attraction, and cruise ship facilitation.
•    The ACB helped partner organisations win 73 business events during 2019/20 which will make an estimated $20+ million contribution to Auckland’s regional economy and bring more than 50,000 new visitor nights when they take place.
•    ATEED worked with a range of partners to further develop its golf, equine, screen and marine-focused programme to bring premium Chinese visitors – Auckland’s main tourism market.

Major events

•    ATEED attracted and invested on behalf of Auckland Council in a world-class portfolio of major events as a contributor to economic growth.
•   Despite the impact of COVID-19,  Auckland’s 2019/20 portfolio of major events injected more than $33 million into the regional economy and generated more than 244,000 visitor nights.