BT and YouTube sponsor Edinburgh International Television Festival

BT and YouTube are the new joint headline sponsors of the event.

Last updated: 27 January 2016 - 9.57am

The Edinburgh International Television Festival welcomes new joint headline sponsors YouTube and BT, reflecting the event’s increasingly digital outlook.

The three-year deal, announced today (Wednesday January 27), begins with immediate effect and will see the companies share prominence across all branding of the 41st TV Festival, including the famous MacTaggart Lecture.

The two companies will also work closely with the festival organisers in their bid to reflect new trends in a rapidly transforming industry, from new ways of distributing content to technical innovations such as Virtual Reality.

Executive Chair, Chris Shaw, said: “We’re delighted to be able to welcome BT as headline sponsor alongside YouTube, which has become an integral part of the TV Festival over the past five years.

“The support of both BT and YouTube marks a new stage in the TV Festival’s history as it embraces new players, platforms and innovative ways of producing world-class content.”

Over the last five years, YouTube has not only co-sponsored the TV Festival but has hosted masterclasses, created vibrant, interactive areas at the event, and hosted all the Edinburgh sessions for catch-up viewing via a dedicated YouTube Channel.

Rich Waterworth, Head of Marketing EMEA YouTube said: “The Edinburgh TV Festival is a highlight in the industry calendar and central to the global discussion about the future of media. YouTube is excited to be a part of it once again.”

BT became a major sponsor for the first time during last year’s 40th Anniversary TV Festival, where it hosted a BT Lounge and sport session with football pundits including Harry Redknapp, Robbie Savage and Owen Hargreaves. BT’s elevation to joint headline sponsorship reflects the broadcaster’s increasing presence and profile within the television industry.

Delia Bushell, managing director of BT TV & BT Sport, said: “The last two years have seen BT building its reputation as a key player within the television industry. We are thrilled to be playing a key part in such a significant international event and look forward to showcasing more of what BT TV is all about to the industry.”

The TV Festival’s title reverts to Edinburgh International Television Festival, brought to you by YouTube and BT, and launches with a new brand identity created by Plum Partnership.

The new branding makes use of a range of emojis and vibrant colours which will be applied throughout the TV Festival and marketing activity.

Festival Director, Lisa Campbell, said: “The TV Festival is known for being informative and authoritative, yet irreverent and entertaining so this is a perfect way to reflect the different emotions we generate.

“Digital is a core area that the 41st TV Festival will reflect within this year’s schedule and the emojis convey this inherently.”

Sue Wells, Design Director, Plum Partnership, said: “Television is a wide industry to reflect in one brand identity and we wanted to create something that was punchy, strong, and fully encapsulated every aspect of the diverse industry.” 

The new joint headline sponsorship replaces the previous relationship with the Guardian and YouTube.

Chris Shaw added: “On behalf of all past chairs, festival directors and committees, I’d like to thank the Guardian for their support over many years of the TV Festival.”

As a Festival and a charity, the Edinburgh International Television Festival is committed to helping young people from all backgrounds gain access to the TV Industry. It runs two talent schemes, Ones to Watch and The Network, which celebrated their 25th Anniversary last year.

Both schemes aim to ensure that the people working in television are as diverse as the audience watching it. 

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