History was made yesterday Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at the plush Citizen Kofi at Osu in Accra, when it was officially announced that RED branded telecommunication company Vodafone has ‘wrestled’ their way through to take over the full title sponsorship deal of the most prestigious music award scheme in Ghana, the Ghana Music Awards from YELLO branded MTN.
This came as a shock to media men and the industry stakeholders present at the press briefing as everyone wondered why a giant company like MTN will surrender their biggest entertainment sponsorship deal in Ghana to a close competitor like Vodafone after sponsoring the event for the past 12 years.
A press statement issued to this effect states; "Telecommunications giant Vodafone Ghana has taken another giant step in the music and entertainment industry in Ghana. Vodafone Ghana is now the official title sponsors of the much celebrated Ghana Music Awards, the flagship product of Charter House Ghana. The new contract gives Vodafone Ghana the exclusive rights to the hugely popular event and all activities associated with it".
Though both Vodafone and Charter House Officials refused to disclose the number years for the new sponsorship deal Peacefmonline.com investigations revealed that the deal is not a one year renewable contract but it spreads between 5 to 10 years.
In her speech at the press conference, Chief Marketing Officer of Vodafone Ghana, Uche Ofodile who described this as a new era said “as one of the most powerful means of communication, we believe we have a lot to contribute to the music and entertainment industry in Ghana. We are excited by the new ideas and concepts Charterhouse have in mind for the Ghana Music Awards – it’s a massive event in the calendar of the music industry and we are pleased to be able to support it. The changes you will see in the GMA next year will create a more vibrant festival with a transparent and fair judging process”.
With this giant move Vodafone is gradually warming its way into the growing entertainment industry in Ghana. As a telecom operator that is arguably setting the pace in the entertainment industry in Ghana. The company recently signed a mouthwatering deal with 4syte TV in a three year contract that saw Vodafone Ghana taking over the rights to the popular 4SYTE TV Show on TV3 and e-TV, the 4SYTE Video Music Awards and all events associated with the event.
Vodafone’s passion for music led the company to headline the ground breaking Reality Show ‘Vodafone Icons: Divas Edition ’ which saw the sensational female trio RnM emerging as winners of the maiden edition. Vodafone also introduced the much talked about annual ‘020 Live’ musical concert meant to mark Vodafone’s anniversary which has become an iconic show that features international and local stars.
On her part Executive Director of Charter House Ghana, Theresa Ayaode said, “We have all been witnesses to the growth of the GMAs and its positive impact on the Ghanaian Music Industry for the past 12years. Along the path of its growth, we have gone through several reviews of the nominations and voting processes as well as the event content. The last major review was about 5years ago, and as we all know, society is not static as things are always changing.
Therefore, there have been a lot of changes and advancements in the industry and in technology, such that processes which were successful then may not be delivering the same results now. As such, we purposed at the end of the last GMA event, that it was time to do a total overhaul of the event to bring it up to speed with current trends as well as take another look at the content”.
Theresa added that All existing GMA committees ie. The Categorization, Nomination, Selection and Planning Committees are dissolved pending a review. A Technical committee comprising of objective and knowledgeable practioners in the industry will be constituted to undertake Review of The GMA Categories, Review the entire process of nominations and voting and Review and Revamp the Festival Content.
She officially announced Vodafone’s take over saying “Henceforth, our beloved event will be called: THE VODAFONE GHANA MUSIC AWARDS FESTIVAL and must be referred to as such in all communication on the event”. This also implies that the Ghana Music Award logo will change from yellow to red and the famous GMAs yellow carpet will change to red carpet.
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