Apr 13, 2012 at 12:22 PM
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Cigar Maker Ups Commitment to Art

Davidoff, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, will become a major sponsor of Art Basel's two international art shows as it looks to strengthen its ties to the arts. The significant relationship elevates Davidoff into the top tier of Art Basel sponsors, which include UBS, AxaArt and Netjets.

Under the agreement, Davidoff will be an Associate Sponsor to Art Basel, at both its shows in Basel, Switzerland, and Miami Beach, Florida, where it will operate a 1,000 square meter VIP hospitality space within the Art Collectors Lounge. This Davidoff Lounge will feature a walk-in humidor and a master cigar roller from the Dominican Republic who will demonstrate the art of blending and rolling of a Davidoff cigar. In addition, two outdoor Cigar Lounges will be situated adjacent to the Art Collectors Lounge and next to the shows' public area, to offer fair visitors a relaxed venue for discussion, reflection and enjoyment of a fine cigar.

Davidoff says it will collaborate with Art Basel over the long term as it expands the orbit of its influential art shows beyond Europe and North America to Asia.

"Davidoff and Art Basel is a perfect fit, building on a well-established relationship between two organizations with joint roots in Basel," Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard, President and CEO of Oettinger Davidoff Group said. "With historic ties to European markets, both companies have expanded rapidly in the US in recent years, while actively developing new markets around the globe, especially in Asia. Our customers share many common interests with Art Basel's patrons. As we forge closer ties with the world of art, Art Basel is the ideal partner, and we look forward to a long-term collaboration as our brands evolve worldwide."

"We are delighted for Davidoff to become an Associate Sponsor at our shows in Basel and Miami Beach and look forward to developing this relationship further," Art Basel Co-Director Marc Spiegler. "As Art Basel is expanding, we seek partners like Davidoff who are intensifying their engagement with the arts."

Davidoff officials say the Art Basel deal is the first step to shifting its sponsorship in the direction of contemporary art. The company will announce a new international initiative linking it more closely to the world of contemporary artists and collectors later this year.