Telegraph takes over from Guardian as Hay sponsor

The Guardian’s nine-year association with the Hay Literary Festival has been brought to a close as Telegraph Media Group has been named as the event’s new headline sponsor.

The three-year sponsorship deal cut between TMG and the organisers of the Hay Festival will cover both its national and international events.

The UKl event is held annually over a ten day period in Hay-on-Wye, in Powys, Wales, while Hay’s international events include seven spin-off festivals across the globe, the Telegraph reported this morning.

The Guardian had been the main sponsor of the event since 2002, four years after it first launched as a small literary festival.

Peter Florence, director of the Hay Festival, told thebookseller.com: “The new contract will be in effect from January 2011.The contract with the Guardian ended in July…

“The editorial commitment from both the daily [Telegraph] and Sunday papers and online is phenomenal and will mean massively improved exposure for our writers. We’re exploring a year-round campaign, and a series of thrilling initiatives.”

Over the course of the past two months a number of stories have emerged questioning whether the Guardian would renew its sponsorship of next year’s festival, which will run from 25 May.

A Guardian spokeswoman said: “After nine great years of sponsorship, the Guardian and the Hay Festival will not be continuing their long-standing partnership.

“Although it’s been a privilege being part of such a fantastic cultural festival and helping to build its prominence and reputation in the UK since 2002, we are now looking forward to pursuing a different marketing strategy for 2011.

“It has been a real pleasure working with the Hay team and we are sure the festival will continue to flourish both in the UK and internationally.”

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