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Orange nets three-year deal with Manchester City FC

LONDON - Orange is linking up with Manchester City Football Club in a three-year deal that expands its sponsorship of sport, film and music.

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Orange, which has a similar arrangement with Premiership rivals Chelsea FC, says a number of deals are being negotiated with other top football clubs.

Orange will supply Manchester City fans with video match highlights, pre- and post-match analysis, live match commentary, club news alerts, competitions, live chats with players and Kevin Keegan, the manager, plus alerts on the availability of match tickets.

John Allwood, the executive vice-president at Orange, said: "The exciting partnership with Manchester City is designed to give fans unique access and insights into the club, delivered in whatever format they prefer, be it video clips, photo messaging, text, voice message services or browsing Orange World."

The deal extends Orange's ongoing sponsorship strategy, which has already linked it to Bafta, cinema -- through its Orange Wednesdays film promoton -- and the Glastonbury music festival.

The Manchester City deal will be supported by advertising on perimeter boards, TV interview boards, scoreboards and stadium TV screens, leaflets, club mailings and banner ads on club websites.

Alistair Mackintosh, the chief executive of Manchester City, said: "Manchester City's partnership with Orange will bring fans closer to the club. For the first time, our fans will be updated directly to their mobile phones, receiving exclusive information and content using the latest technologies."

Orange recently appointed Bernard Ghillebaert its marketing chief following the surprise exit of the head of brand, Richard Brennan. It has also been rumoured that the telecommunications giant may review its £40m advertising account.

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