When the term “partnership” is used in the context of a CSR strategy, it is often equated to a classic sponsoring partnership. Classic in the sense that the focus usually lies on quick, mutual benefits: financial support for one of the parties and advertising exposure for the other. At the Casinos Austria and Austrian Lotteries Group, things are different – as the following examples show.

Casinos Austria Alpha Prize for Literature

Casinos Austria has been presenting the Alpha Prize for Literature through its CSR partnership with Vienna Public Libraries since 2010. The prize is targeted specifically at talented authors with a link to Austria who are just starting out on their literary careers: only writers who have published at least one – and a maximum of three – works of fiction qualify to participate. The prize money of 10,000 euros is intended to help the winner publish further books. And the invitation to give a reading in the Vienna House – the City of Vienna’s Liaison Office to the EU in Brussels – and regular meetings with the “Alpha family” also have a lasting impact.

The 2017 Alpha Prize for Literature was awarded to Marie Luise Lehner for her novel Fliegenpilze aus Kork (“Cork Toadstools”). Marie Luise was the clear favorite with both the preliminary jury – led by the Head of the Vienna Public Libraries Christian Jahl – and the final jury, chaired by the acclaimed Austrian author Paulus Hochgatterer. At just 22 years of age, she is the youngest Alpha winner to date.

Marie Luise Lehner’s chances of establishing herself as a successful author are definitely good. The previous winners of the Alpha Prize for Literature have all gone on to win further awards or achieve considerable success with their book sales.

Casinos Austria Rising Star Award

The Casinos Austria Rising Star Award, or CARSA for short, has been presented since 2013 through a CSR partnership with the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (mdw). Its goal is to help young musicians embark on a professional career in music. The winner of this multi-stage competition receives a prize of 10,000 euros. But these “stars of the future” receive more than just financial support, they also get an exclusive record production, providing them with an acoustic business card that serves not least as their entrance ticket to the world stage. These business cards have opened up tremendous career opportunities for previous winners – opportunities they have successfully grasped.

In 2017, the CARSA was awarded to the four talented musicians in the “Simply Quartet” ensemble. Danfeng Shen, Wenting Zhang, Lu Xiang and Ivan Valentin Hollup Roald won the competition with a fascinating performance. And it was not only Clemens Hellsberg – jury chairman and President of the Vienna Philharmonic from 1997 to 2014 – who was convinced that we will be hearing a lot more from this Chinese-Norwegian string quartet in future.

The Casinos Austria Rising Star Award is part of the Casinos Austria Music Line.

Casinos Austria Music Line

In addition to its wonderful scenery and good food, Austria is known above all for one thing: music! The Casinos Austria Music Line picks up this tradition and provides lasting support for the national music scene. The range of activities covered thereby is broad. Alongside the Casinos Austria Rising Star Award in cooperation with the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, which recognizes highly-talented young musicians each year and provides them with start capital for a career in music, the Casinos Austria Music Line also supports traditional music venues and institutions across the land.

We also help musicians produce recordings that probably would otherwise not have been made. The musicians then take to the stage and present their recordings to a big audience. Needless to say, the Casinos Austria and Austrian Lotteries Group is also happy to lend a helping hand with the press and PR work.

In 2017, two Austrian bands presented their albums through the work of the Casinos Austrian Music Line. The Mojo Blues Band with its charismatic guitarist, mouth organ virtuoso and vocalist Erik Trauner celebrated its 40-year anniversary by recording both a CD and an DVD as well as a concert on 9 November in Studio 44. The double CD 100% approved features recordings from the band’s concerts in recent years. And the DVD Live on stage at Metropol gives fans a chance to watch one of its concerts at the Metropol theater in Vienna.

In early December, the Viennese duo Gfrastsackln presented their latest CD, which was produced with the support of the Casinos Austria Music Line. The album with its ambiguous title Ze Pest For Ze Phest is a Christmas album of a different kind.

Casinos Austria Prix Jardin d´Europe

Over 120,000 visitors to the numerous different dance performances send a very clear message: the annual ImPulsTanz Dance Festival in Vienna with its unique depth and breadth of performances, shows, workshops and projects is one of the most important international festivals of contemporary dance. The Casinos Austria and Austrian Lotteries Group has been supporting this festival for many years.

As part of our CSR partnership with the ImPulsTanz Festival, the Casinos Austria Prix Jardin d’Europe was presented in 2017 for the third time. This year the 10,000-euro award – the biggest cash award for choreography in Europe – went to Samira Elagoz. The Finnish-Egyptian choreographer, who was born in Helsinki in 1989, impressed both jury and public alike with her presentation “Cock, Cock. Who’s There?”.

In addition to the award itself, the Prix Jardin d’Europe provides the winners with further impetus for their careers: they are invited to participate in an artistic residency in Vienna. This multiple-week stay gives them the opportunity to realize new projects and gain countless new contacts for the future.

This CSR partnership also promotes the fine arts. The trophy presented to the winner of the Prix Jardin d’Europe is always a unique sculpture - created each year by a different artist.

DanceAbility Workshops at the ImPulsTanz Festival

The ImPulsTanz Festival is not just about artistic diversity. Social diversity, integration and inclusion – bringing many different people together – are also a clear focus of the event. This applies especially to the festival’s DanceAbility Workshops – a special method of dance training for people with and without disabilities. To date, over 500 people have taken part in the DanceAbility Workshops. And the Casinos Austria and Austrian Lotteries Group has been on board as a long-term partner for many years.

Prof. Dietmar Hoscher, CSR Director, Casinos Austria and Austrian Lotteries Group Prof. Dietmar Hoscher, CSR Director, Casinos Austria and Austrian Lotteries Group

>>Mark Twain once said that some people write two books at once – their first and their last. And even if that book proves to be a success, his words sadly often ring true. Artists rarely manage to gain a real foothold. To counteract this situation, Casinos Austria looks to establish sustainable CSR partnerships. In keeping with our clear commitment to corporate social responsibility, we strive to promote Austria’s cultural diversity, enable artists to establish successful careers and offer long-term support to social projects and people in need.<< Prof. Dietmar Hoscher, CSR Director, Casinos Austria and Austrian Lotteries Group

Integration Football World Cup

The home World Cup for everyone! That was the slogan for the 12th Casinos Austria Integration Football World Cup that was held in 2017. This five-a-side tournament organized by the Sport spricht alle Sprachen (“Sport speaks all Languages”) association rightly earns its reputation as a textbook example of integration and inclusion in practice. With around 1,800 participating athletes – who speak no less than 50 different mother tongues – this sports tournament has become one of the most enduring integration projects in Austria. Even UEFA recognized the initiative and nominated it three years ago as the “Best Popular Sports Project in Europe”. In Austria, the Integration Football World Cup was awarded the Austrian Special Prize for Integration in 2011.

The 2017 Integration Football World Cup was won by the “Kosovo Lower Austria” team, who beat “Serbia Vienna” 4:0 in the final. Alongside the sports aspect, the tournament also places great importance on team spirit and fairness: not a single foul was committed in the whole of the final match.