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    HomeInsightsOrange to use Sony Ericsson Walkman phones for music strategy

    Orange to use Sony Ericsson Walkman phones for music strategy

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    Sign sposorship deal with Christina Aguilera

    Orange has said it will roll out Sony Ericsson’s Walkman phones across its European footprint in 2006. Orange and Sony Ericsson have in addition collaborated on an exclusive nine-month European sponsorship deal with Christina Aguilera. The partnership means both parties will work together for the first time across core business areas, including mobile phones, marketing communications, music services, content, sales and distribution.

    The marketing campaign with Aguilera includes a nine-month marketing drive built around her forthcoming single, album release and European Tour. Orange customers will have access to exclusive mobile music content via the Orange World portal.

    Orange will also customise the W810i and W300i phones to fit with its Signature strategy. The Signature approach offers a consistent user interface across a variety of Orange’s handset manufacturers.

    The agreement covers Belgium, France, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland and the UK

    In these markets, Orange will be first or joint first to market with the roll out of the Sony Ericsson Walkman phones

    “We have established Sony Ericsson Walkman phones as credible digital music players and helped create a new genre of mobile phones,” said Jan Wäreby, Corporate Executive Vice President, Head of Sales & Marketing, Sony Ericsson. “The partnership we are announcing today with Orange incorporates all areas of the marketing mix, bringing great value to both partners whilst at the same time providing an unparalleled music offering for consumers.”

    Frank Boulben, Executive Vice President, Brand Consumer Marketing, Orange comments: “Music is a key strategic priority for Orange in 2006. Through the Walkman range and exclusive sponsorship deal, this venture represents an exciting opportunity to respond to customer needs and to offer a seamless music experience to our broad customer base across Europe.” 

    It’s surprising perhaps to see and operator make such an explicit link between and handset range and a service. Fair enough, the Walkman phones are designed just for the purpose, but the deal hints that Orange feels it needs an easily  recognisable music player in its portfolio, but one that still fits in its overall Signature range.

    For Sony Ericsson of course its guaranteed distribution of its handsets, and a good endorsement of their Walkman phone strategy. Whether Orange will offer similar tie-ups to other music player phones from Motorola and Nokia remains to be seen.