Spotlight On Sponsors: Major Sponsors Behind All The Glitz & Glamour Of The 2024 Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras

Spotlight On Sponsors: Major Sponsors Behind All The Glitz & Glamour Of The 2024 Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras

The 2024 Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras kicks off in Sydney this weekend with its usual glitz and glamour, but controversy shrouds the usually celebratory event.

Following the tragic death of two proud members of the community, Jesse Baird and Luke Davies, allegedly at the hands of a Police Officer, the NSW Police Force has been asked not to attend the event in uniform. Despite it being a dark time for many members of the LGBTQIA+ community, the festival is set to go off without a hitch as a tribute to those who are not able to celebrate this year.

Supporting the event, which initially started as a protest, is a group of proud sponsors committed to increasing diversity and inclusion within their brands and the world.

In a special edition of Spotlight on Sponsors, B&T has you covered with all the sponsorship news outside of this year’s Mardi Gras festival.

American Express

First signing in 2023, American Express is locked into a three-year partnership with the festival. As part of the partnership last year, the bank curated the “With you & proud initiative” that celebrated champions within the LGBTQIA+ community and their proud supporters.

Matthew Eekelschot and mother, Jodie Eekelschot

 A spokesperson for American Express told B&T that they wanted the focus on the LGBTQIA+ community rather than the sponsors this year.  “American Express is proud to continue to support the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival for our third year as principal partner. We have worked alongside Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras teams to bring to life a festival of events across Greater Sydney that reflects and celebrates our diverse LGBTQI+ communities. American Express’s &Proud marketing campaign continues this year, showcasing community pride through out-of-home and radio advertising and social media. American Express will also feature at the iconic Mardi Gras Parade on Oxford Street, with over 60 dedicated Pride+ colleagues proudly marching together in celebration alongside Atomic Kiss as the headlining act.”

Coles Group

Last year, Coles Group signed on with Mardi Gras in a three-year partnership that would see their support as the festival’s Presenting Partner extend until 2025. During last year’s World Pride festival, the supermarket giant was a proud supporter of Sydney WorldPride’s First Nations Roadshow that, allowed Sydney WorldPride to connect with First Nations communities, share the exciting program of festival events, and help support them to celebrate Sydney WorldPride in 2023. 

This year, Coles is donating 10 cents to Pride Cup, an organisation changing sporting culture to make LGBTI+ people feel safe, welcome and accepted for every purchase of their Rainbow Love Heart Cookies. Since 2023, Coles has raised over $23,000 for Pride Cup through in-store Pride-related products.

“We have a strong Pride network across Coles and are dedicated to making it even stronger. Mardi Gras is a time for our LGBTQIA+ community and allies across Australia to unite and celebrate equal rights and respect for the queer community. We’re excited to be making our mark on the event,” said Coles Group’s chief legal and safety officer and co-chair of its Pride Steering Committee, David Brewster.


Optus has gone above and beyond to support the LQBTQIA+ community over the years. The telco was a proud supporter of the YES vote for marriage equality in 2017. In 2021, Optus formalised the Express Yourself Network to unite people with shared identities and their allies and foster a more diverse and inclusive work environment. Critically, Express Yourself is a critical pillar in Optus’ broader Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging strategy, including Employee Networks for Women, Culture and Heritage, Abilities and Disabilities, and Veterans and Services. 

Launching their commitment to this year’s Mardi Gras, Optus shared a moving video in which staff shared what the future means to them as proud members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

A spokesperson for Optus told B&T that it is proud in its support of the LGBTQIA+ community that it wishes everyone a happy and safe Mardi Gras. “In addition to 80 Optus employees marching in the parade this year, we play an active role in the celebrations throughout the period, including an Optus Arena showcase at Fair Day, while also being the proud presenting partner of Mardi Gras Film Festival”.


Qantas has set the bar high for inclusion with a longstanding history of actively supporting and contributing to equity for LGBTQIA+ communities, demonstrated through its strong internal pride network that includes allies and LGBTQIA+ employees. 

Qantas was a proud supporter of last year’s World Pride festival and continues its commitment in 2024. This year, in partnership with W Hotels, the airline offered grants designed to provide opportunities for LGBTQIA+ individuals who reside in regional Australia to engage with and attend the 2024 Festival and Mardi Gras Parade.

Strategic Sponsor

NSW Government

Government Partner

City Of Sydney

Official Broadcast & Major Media Partner


Major Partners


Little Creatures

Mecca Max

Minter Ellison

Procter and Gamble

W Hotels

Media Partners


oOh! Media

Supporting Partners


Archie Rose




Google Australia

& Juliet



Red Bull


Squealing Pig

Sydney Airport

Festival Partners

DNA Magazine


Torch Media

The University of Sydney

Woollahra Municipal Council

Rock Posters

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