6/23/2009 6:43:00 PM
Sony Ericsson axes sponsorship deals in move towards 'Entertainment Unlimited'
Sony Ericsson has dropped its sponsorship of Ibiza Rocks and cut out its channel partnership with Virgin Mobile for V Festival.
The manufacturer claimed the change of focus was a result of its ‘Entertainment Unlimited’ brand.
The move, which is set to save Sony Ericsson a substantial sum, was dismissed by some marketing sources as a cost cutting measure, although they admitted there was ‘strategic thinking around it’.
Sony Ericsson said it had dropped the sponsorships in a bid to make its brand ‘more ownable’, following the launch of ‘Entertainment Unlimited’.
The manufacturer was the founding sponsor of Ibiza music club Ibiza Rocks four years ago, and had been the handset partner for Virgin Mobile’s V Festival since 2007.
Sony Ericsson has not yet decided if it will renew its two year deal to sponsor half marathon Run to the Beat when it finishes next year.
‘Entertainment Unlimited’ was introduced at Mobile World Congress in February 2009, as the manufacturer moved its focus away from Sony’s Cyber-shot and Walkman brands.
These two Sony brands will still be used on some mid-range phones, but the newly released flagship model, the Satio (previously known as the ‘IDOU’, pictured), will come under the new brand.
Sony Ericsson’s advertising will now reflect Entertainment Unlimited, concentrating on music, film and ‘everyday experiences’. New initiatives have included a ‘Pitch Black’ gig for competition winners with band Friendly Fires, and an internet television channel called ‘Pocket TV’.
A Sony Ericsson spokesman said the manufacturer is aiming to ‘utilise [its] brand in the music space’ by putting on gigs, and is ‘looking at what is entertaining for our core audience’. It will launch further initiatives later this year.