Orange has poached NTL’s marketing director for the internet, Pippa Dunn, to be its group head of sponsorship. She will start at the mobile phone company in March.
Orange lacks a major sponsorship deal since the F1 Arrows team that it sponsored went into liquidation at the start of this year. Its other sponsorships include the Rugby Union’s Heineken Cup, the Orange Prize for Fiction, and the Orange Word event. Most recently, it has partnered charity Index on Censorship in a series of discussion forums.
Dunn joined NTL in 2000 as head of sponsorship, at a time when the cable phone company was trying to increase the use of sponsorship in its marketing strategy. Following her appointment, NTL sponsored the British Lions’ 2001 rugby tour of Australia.
It had already signed up to sponsor ITV’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire? and had existing sports sponsorship agreements with Rangers FC, Celtic FC and Newcastle United FC. It also had stakes in Aston Villa, Leicester City and Middlesbrough FC.
Last September, NTL had to pull out of its sponsorship deal with Newcastle United FC early in an effort to cut its debt (MW September 26, 2002). It has also said it will not be renewing its sponsorship of Glasgow football clubs Rangers and Celtic.