When I first saw the announcement at Book2Book that the Orange Prize would now be known as the Orange Broadband Prize, I thought it was a joke. What kind of name change is that? But, even though it’s buried deep in their official website, Orange has indeed, made this announcement today. The new title reflects the evolution of Orangeâ€™s business following the introduction of the Orange home broadband service in 2006. Pippa Dunn, Director of Brand Marketing at Orange, commented, “2007 marks the twelfth year of Orange’s sponsorship of the Prize and this is an exciting new platform for what is a continuously evolving relationship. Everyone at Orange is very proud of what the Prize has achieved since its launch in 1996,” she continues, “and we are committed to exploring new and innovative ways of using technology to promote books and reading to our customers. This renewed approach to the sponsorship will enable the Prize to fully benefit from the opportunities created by mobile and broadband technology, and better reflect the changing nature of literature and the web.”
By “renewed approach” Dunn means there will now be a “reader’s vote.” Following on from The Orange Rising Star Award at the Orange BAFTAs, people will be able to vote via text message or on the prize website for their favourite author from the six authors shortlisted for the Orange Broadband Prize, and the three authors shortlisted for the Orange Broadband Award for New Writers. The winner of the Orange Broadband Readers’ Award will be announced at the annual ceremony to be held in The Ballroom at the Royal Festival Hall on June 6th, prior to the venue’s Opening Weekend from June 8-10.