Heineken UK’s determination to harness ‘the power of humour’ to build a major new marketing platform for Foster’s, its leading lager was underlined today (May 26) with the announcement that the brand is to become the title sponsor of the world-renowned Edinburgh Comedy Awards. The awards, which ran without a commercial sponsor for the first time in their history in 2009, will, in their 30th year, be known as the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards.
Announcing the new sponsorship, awards founder and theatre producer Nica Burns said: “I have been eagerly searching for the right sponsor and I am delighted to welcome Foster’s as our new partner.”
Foster’s recently announced plans to sponsor more than 100 hours of Channel Four’s groundbreaking Original Comedy television programming this year which will complement the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards and reinforce the brand’s support for emerging comic talent.
Mark Given, Brands Director at Heineken UK said:” We have chosen comedy to provide a major marketing platform for Foster’s in 2010 and beyond because we know humour plays a large and important role in the lives of our target market. Foster’s sponsorship of the Edinburgh Comedy Awards underlines our claim that ‘Foster’s is serious about comedy’ and we look forward to working with Nica and her team to develop the awards still further in the coming years.”
Over the past three decades, the awards have helped create a Golden Age of stand-up comedy, Ever since the first Perrier Award was presented in 1981 to the Cambridge Footlights and their glittering line-up of embryonic talent- which included Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Tony Slattery and Emma Thompson – the awards have consistently catapulted comic geniuses into the nation’s consciousness. They boast a list of winners and nominees that reads like a Who’s Who of comic talent including Frank Skinner, Eddie Izzard, Steve Coogan, Peter Kay, Jenny Éclair, the League of Gentlemen, Rich Hall, Al Murray, Brendon Burns and last year’s winner Tim Key.
There will be no changes to the judging process or the awards categories as a result of the new sponsorship. The judging panel consists of seven professionals and three comedy punters representing the public. .
Nica Burns added: “We are delighted that, with the support of Foster’s, the prize money for best comedy will go up to £10,000 with £5,000 each for the Best Newcomer and the Panel Prize winner. We are also able to reinstate touring support to our nominees.”