MOBO fails to strike awards sponsor deal

The Music of Black Origin (MOBO) Awards will run this year without a title sponsor after failing to find a suitable replacement for former partner MasterCard.

The awards, which will be broadcast on October 6, held talks with a number of potential sponsors for the deal (MW April 1). The BBC poached the broadcast rights from Channel 4 in a three-year deal at the beginning of the summer, which was thought to be a boost to the sponsorship value of the competition.

A spokeswoman says the organisation was not able to reach a deal that would complement the MOBO brand. She adds: “We’re looking at this as a way to reclaim the MOBO brand from MasterCard so we can start fresh next year.”

MasterCard has sponsored the MOBO awards since 2000 in a deal worth more than £1m a year. The awards ceremony has become one of the most important events on the UK music scene, and the organisation plans to launch in the Netherlands and France next year.

The awards will have a number of “official suppliers”, including Nicorette, Pomeroy and TNT. The awards will be hosted by Pharrell Williams this year, with performances by Brandy and Jamelia. Leading nominees include Kanye West and Jamelia.

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