Vodafone has decided to axe its flagship &£3m-a-year television sponsorship of Channel 4’s T4 youth-related programming strand at the end of its contract.
The mobile phone giant signed up to sponsor T4 with its Vodafone Live! service at the beginning of last year. It paid &£1.4m for a six-month deal and has renewed it three times since.
Vodafone used the tie-up to raise awareness of the Live! brand among teenagers, while promoting the depth of mobile services offered.
The deal was Vodafone’s first TV sponsorship and the first sponsorship for the T4 strand, which takes up much of Channel 4’s weekend daytime schedule, although there had been sponsors for individual programmes such as Hollyoaks and Friends.
On-air competitions and sponsorship of the T4 website were also included in the package.
Vodafone Live! was unveiled in 2002 as the phone operator looked to steal a march on its rivals, rolling out a wave of next-generation products under the banner. Last year Vodafone unveiled its 3G offering under the Live! banner, which was also supported via the T4 platform.
Vodafone confirmed the sponsorship will end, but has declined to reveal any plans.
The mobile phone operator invests heavily in sports sponsorship, including the Ferrari Formula One team, Manchester United Football Club and the England Cricket Team.