Barclaycard to sponsor Mercury Prize

Barclaycard has signed up to sponsor the Mercury Prize in a four-year deal, taking over from the music award’s previous backers Nationwide with immediate effect.

The Mercury Prize recognises the UK Albums of the Year. Last year the award went to Elbow (pictured), for their album The Seldom Seen Kid. Previous winners include Arctic Monkeys and Dizzee Rascal.

The prize has expanded in recent years and now has its own website running regular news and updates from the world of music. Barclaycard says that its sponsorship will lead to the introduction of more initiatives including the Barclaycard Mercury Prize Sessions – monthly live music events to be held at The Hospital Club in Covent Garden.

Mercury Prize director of marketing Dan Ford says the sponsorship is a good fit as both brands share “innovative and cutting edge values”.

The Mercury Prize was first established in 1992 as an alternative to the Brit awards. The latter is sponsored by Mastercard.

The Mercury Prize took its name from the original sponsors – the now-defunct telecoms company Mercury. From 1998 it was sponsored by Technics, followed by Panasonic from 2002 and in 2004 Nationwide took over.

The shortlist for this year’s award will be announced in July and the winner will be named in September.

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