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Wein seeks new support for New York, Newport; Chicago hit, too

CareFusion ends jazz fest sponsorships

Nov 4th, 2010 | By

CareFusion, a global firm selling equipment and services to hospitals, announced the end of its two-year jazz-marketing campaign today, pulling sponsorship from George Wein’s Newport Jazz festival and New York Jazz Festival, and the Chicago Jazz Festival, which is produced by the City of Chicago’s Mayor’s Office of Special Events.

As reported on JJA president Howard Mandel’s blog, CareFusion also announced quarterly financial data for the first quarter of its fiscal year, and the retirement of its chairman and CEO, David L. Schlotterbeck, who presided over the company’s establishment when it was spun off from Cardinal Health, another world-spanning firm, in 2009. CareFusion’s financial statement at the end of the 2009 fiscal year (delivered in August) highlighted large losses and “restructuring” to result in laying off 5% of its work force (about 700 jobs) in pursuit of $100 million in annual savings. CareFusion also recalled 17,000 Alaris PC infusion units, determined by the FDA to be flawed in a way that could result in “a reasonable probability” of causing “serious adverse health consequences or death.

CareFusion began sponsoring jazz festivals in 2009, supporting the Paris Jazz Festival, Sydney Jazz Festival, and one venue of the Monterey Jazz Festival as well as New York, Newport and Chicago. A company spokesperson described CareFusion’s experience supporting jazz enthusiastically, and its withdrawal of support as business-as-usual. ” The way the jazz community and other folks have embraced CareFusion certainly exceeded our expectations,” said Suzanne Hatcher, public relations officer. “Now we’ve moved on.” She also cautioned against connecting CareFusion’s change of marketing direction with its earnings, leadership, “restructuring” or recall problems.

George Wein’s Newport Jazz Festival, first held in 1955, is already scheduled for August 5 – 7, 2011, and Wein’s New Festival Productions is seeking sponsors. There is no information available regarding a New York City jazz festival in 2011. Chicago Jazz Festival, traditionally held over Labor Day weekend and effected by City cutbacks in 2009, may be further challenged by the retirement of Mayor Richard M. Daley after six terms.

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