Magazine article Marketing

Orange Backs F1 Team to Boost Global Profile

Magazine article Marketing

Orange Backs F1 Team to Boost Global Profile

Article excerpt

Orange is investing [pounds]70m in sponsoring the Arrows Formula One team in an attempt to transform itself into a global brand.

The UK-based mobile phone network, which currently has about five million UK customers and operates in nine international markets, is to extend its service into 50 countries by 2003.

The three-year deal is Orange's first major entry into the sports sponsorship arena. The team's name changes to Orange Arrows, and the car's livery will be bright orange. Orange will also act as official communications provider to the team.

The news emerged the week after Orange called a review of its [pounds]32m UK ad account out of WCRS. The company says the two moves are unconnected and ad budgets will not be affected.

Orange has also entered into the Arrows deal despite uncertainty over orange's future ownership. It was acquired for [pounds]19bn by German telecommunications firm Mannesmann last year, but is likely to be sold off following rival operator Vodafone's recent acquisition of Mannesmann.

The mobile phone firm's chief executive, Hans Snook, said. "There is no better way of promoting Orange to our existing markets, as well as to new markets, than through Formula One, Which has a global audience of 50 billion. …

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