International celebrities have given Tauranga a social media publicity bonanza, endorsing their summer visits to the city to tens of millions of fans around the world.

Star performers provided the city with exposure in many forms, from a viral clip about superstar Cardi B's Bay Dreams wedgie and news footage of a falling satellite at a Bay Oval cricket international, to Toto singing Africa at Tauranga Airport, Peking Duk headbanging on Mauao and Joey Bada$$ skydiving.

Experts say it was invaluable publicity that could help put Tauranga on the map as a top summer destination for tourism and events.

The biggest social media hit came in the form of three Instagram posts by American rapper Cardi B who, with 39.2 million fans, has one of the world's top 50 biggest Instagram followings.


The 26-year-old star posted three videos of her headline performance at Bay Dreams in Baypark, two of which had captions referencing Tauranga: "Amazing" ... "So much fun" ... "I will never forget you!" she wrote.

The posts generated more than 20.3 million views, but a social media influence expert said they were likely seen by many millions more.

Social media influence expert Georgia McGillivray of The Social Club said the superstar could probably demand rates in the hundreds of thousands of dollars as an influencer.

"For New Zealand and Tauranga, the reach, impressions and engagement of these posts is amazing exposure for the tourism industry, as it has increased the awareness of what New Zealand has to offer as a travel destination."

Tourism Bay of Plenty marketing manager Kath Low said she could not put a dollar figure on the value of the celebrity social media posts, as mass exposure did not necessarily mean target markets had been reached.

"If the posts result in interest from followers and plant a seed which entices a new audience to dream of Tauranga as a potential holiday destination then that is great.

She said the exposure from Cardi B was "exceptional".

Low said social media was an important promotional tool to reach visitors looking for authentic information, and the organisation had hosted social influencers in the past.


Australian duo Peking Duk posted a video from Tauranga's iconic Mauao, featuring headbanging to summer classic Steal My Sunshine, to their 87,000 followers while British DJ Macky Gee posted a picture of The Strand waterfront to his 67,600-strong Instagram fanbase.

American rapper Joey Bada$$ delivered a huge boost for local company Skydive Tauranga - and paid full price for the experience.

He made three posts to his 1.5 million Instagram followers from his two tandem skydives over Mount Maunganui.

Company co-owner Tristan Webb confessed he had never heard of the 23-year-old musician before his tour manager booked out the drop zone for the rapper and seven members of his entourage.

Webb said people with big social media followings often asked for free jumps, but the rapper and friends paid full price - minus the standard 10 per cent group discount.

American rapper Joey Badass skydiving over Mount Maunganui with Tristan Webb of Skydive Tauranga. Photo / Tristan Webb
American rapper Joey Badass skydiving over Mount Maunganui with Tristan Webb of Skydive Tauranga. Photo / Tristan Webb

He said the posts were "invaluable" publicity, especially with overseas visitors, for the business and Tauranga as a whole, showing that the city had more dimensions than its beautiful beaches.

Some of the classic acts who performed at the A Summer's Day Live concert series at Bay Park this week also shared the love on social media, with posts from Toto, Jefferson Starship and Village People.

Toto shared a Bay of Plenty Times story about their spontaneous rendition of their hit Africa at Tauranga Airport with their 1.4 million Facebook fans.

Jefferson Starship's Facebook page posted pictures of the band hanging out with Toto at Tauranga store Vinyl Destination.

2 Rock N’ Roll family’s hanging out in New Zealand! #Toto #JeffersonStarship

Posted by Jefferson Starship on Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Bay Dreams and A Summer's Day promoter Pato Alvarez said none of the acts were paid to post on social media, but he was thrilled they had done so both before and after their performances.

He hoped the positive reviews from both performers and fans would open more doors to bring even more events to Tauranga.

"This is the summer events capital, we can claim that."

Off social media and on to television, Bay Oval manager Kelvin Jones said he expected the international audience for the two Black Caps vs Sri Lanka one-day internationals would have been in the hundreds of millions, thanks to more convenient televised match times afforded by the ground's lights.

The action was interspersed with shots of scenic Tauranga spots, sunsets and, briefly, a falling Russian satellite.

Three big social media hits

Cardi B

Followers: 39.2 million on Instagram

Bay posts: 3 Instagram videos from her performance at Bay Dreams

Reaction: 20.3 million views

Joey Bada$$
Followers: 1.5 million on Instagram
Bay posts: 2 posts with multiple photos and one of a video from his skydives.
Reaction: 120,000 likes, 150,000 video views

Followers: 1.4 million on Facebook
Bay Posts: Shared NZME story about their welcome at Tauranga Airport
Reaction: 2,000 likes


Kiwi fan's viral Cardi B wedgie video

A Cardi B fan who took a viral video of the rapper stopping her Mount Maunganui show to remove her wedgie says he expected nothing less from the superstar.

A "big fan" of the rapper since the release of her number one hit Bodak Yellow in 2017, Shayden Taylor, 20, of Cambridge, said he bought tickets to Mount Maunganui's Bay Dreams festival after hearing she was performing.

The interior design graduate travelled to the Bay with friends for his first Bay Dreams.

At 1.85m, he said he was able to get a pretty good view of the stage and snap a few videos, including one of Cardi B, wearing a green bodysuit, announcing she needed a little break.

"I'ma be right back, I gotta take this wedgie out my ass."

He was shocked when the clip, posted to Instagram, was picked up by Cardi B fan accounts then several international entertainment media sites, including BuzzFeed and E! Online. His original post accumulated more than 800 views.

Shadene said he was just happy to see Cardi B perform and "being her true authentic self".

Shayden Taylor, 20, pictured with friend Charlie-May Clarke, took a viral video of Cardi B at Bay Dreams. Photo / supplied
Shayden Taylor, 20, pictured with friend Charlie-May Clarke, took a viral video of Cardi B at Bay Dreams. Photo / supplied