Establishing a New Year's Eve Tradition in Nigeria Lagos Countdown Services: SPONSORSHIP CONSULTING, ASSET DEVELOPMENT, ACTIVATION, BRAND DESIGN, MARKETING. In 2010, with a growing population of 15.2 million people and a GDP of 32 billion dollars, the Lagos State government commissioned us to harness the potential of its growing economy to create a vehicle that would attract and engage tourists, residents and visitors in its largely untapped tourism sector. At the time, we found that the entertainment sector was the fastest growing sector in the state and conceived of a unique platform to drive engagement and entertainment. We created the “Lagos Countdown”, a New Year’s Eve tradition to enhance the positioning of the state as the foremost destination for entertainment, art and engagement. The state government also gave us the mandate to utilise the platform to create jobs and stimulate commerce around the year-end activities. What We Did We designed the concept for a year-end Festival comprising numerous activities taking place simultaneously across the state and ending with a grand finale at a destination in a central part of the city. Early on, the state government indicated their unwillingness to fund the activities and so we designed a competitive sponsorship model enhanced by a strong brand that helped us approach private sector sponsors to fund the programmes. Working with several logistics partners that we coordinated, we designed the lighting and infrastructure for the events on an abandoned development around the commercial hub of Lagos. We designed the branding, communications and undertook the sponsorship operations, from strategy and planning, through implementation, raising over $5 million in sponsorship funds over three years. Results The “Lagos Countdown” became the first state-government owned entertainment property that was FULLY FUNDED by the private sector, freeing up government resources for other purposes. We established a 30-Day program consisting of various entertainment genres that culminates in a New Year’s Eve concert each year. In the first year, close to 60 of Nigeria’s top artistes performed at the grand finale. During the period, we also established a fun part with facilities including a children’s fun area, a garden, mini-football pitch etc. Every year the program operates, Small-scale businesses are created, and in the first three years we ran the program, a total of 4,565 jobs were created. The program continues to this day (rebranded as The Lagos Countdown Fiesta), and has spawned replicas in several states across Nigeria, including Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Delta, amongst others.