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25 Sep 2018 11:21 AM
  • Press Release



MOBO Awards to return in November 2019, bigger and bolder


Organisation appoints global agency Ogilvy UK for their brand positioning whilst expanding beyond music into film and entrepreneurship


TUESDAY 25 SEPTEMBER: MOBO Organisation announced today a brand-new era for MOBO and an exciting new chapter for the MOBO Awards. A powerful force and a staple in the music industry for over two decades, the MOBO Awards has established itself as the number one platform for showcasing and championing the very best in British urban music and culture. MOBO has provided a stage where stars are made, thus making a significant contribution to the UK economy, and has managed to achieve this all while operating as an independent organisation. Now, after 22 years of successfully producing the MOBO Awards, it’s time for big changes. Meanwhile preparations for next year’s show in November are under way..


MOBO Organisation have appointed leading global advertising and marketing agency, Ogilvy UK, part of WPP, to work on the development, overarching strategy and positioning of the brand. Collaboratively, MOBO and Ogilvy UK will focus on new, innovative content as well as talent, creative and partnership strategies – providing exciting and unexpected ways to engage with audiences in today’s ever-changing landscape. With MOBO further expanding its reach, profile and digital engagement across the UK and internationally, it marks the start of an exciting new era ahead.


Kanya King, CEO of the MOBO Organisation, said: We understand that the MOBO Awards will be missed this year, but we will be back in 2019, bigger and bolder. The evolution of the MOBO Awards is always at the forefront of our mind and we want to ensure that we continue to build on the strong foundation of the brand and its heritage for a wider purpose and bigger impact. We will bring the platform to brand new heights and most importantly, continue to amplify the exposure of the large pool of exceptional talent celebrated by MOBO. In this respect we are very pleased to be teaming up with Ogilvy UK”


Michael Frohlich, CEO, Ogilvy UK said: “The team here at Ogilvy UK are incredibly proud to work with MOBO on its brand positioning. We hope to collaborate in ensuring the organisation maintains its place as an influential cultural force in the UK and beyond. Here at Ogivly, we relish the opportunity to build on the MOBO legacy of being an amazing urban music and cultural platform for established and emerging artists, while helping shape the brand’s future across music, media and entrepreneurship in unexpected ways.”


Beyond music


In recent years, the MOBO Awards has grown to include broader cultural arenas and has honoured achievements of trailblazers in the creative sectors not just in music with MOBO Paving The Way Awards presented to Wiley (2015), Sir Lenny Henry (2015), Nicola Adams (2016), Ms Dynamite (2016) and Idris Elba (2017) for their outstanding contribution in their respective fields serving as role models for future generations.


At a time when the creative industries, now worth £92 billion, are growing at twice the rate of the wider economy, it is critical that creative and executive talent can be developed and flourish. Therefore, the next 12 months will see MOBO (co)host various events – the first of which will be held at The British Library on 2nd October to celebrate the success and cultural impact of trailblazers in the creative industries and includes talks from MOBO, the Authors of ‘Slay in Your Lane’, Elizabeth Uviebinené and Yomi Adegok, as well as Femi Oguns, Founder of the Identity School of Acting.


Supporting entrepreneurial talent


Teaming up with partners supporting MOBO’s purpose, the company is to pilot an entrepreneur support programme to be launched early next year and will further help create a nationwide platform for people in typically excluded communities to access support, resources, finance and contacts – it will help cultivate the next generation of start-ups and help elevate them to the next level.


MOBO Movies

In the past few years MOBO has been supporting independent and major film releases that tell stories from all cultures as well as champion diversity both in front and behind the camera. Having previously hosted screenings for anticipated releases such as “Crazy Rich Asians”, “Whitney” and “Moonlight” amongst others, MOBO will launch its MOBO Movies division with a film production company and a series of screenings starting with the big screen adaptation of Angie Thomas’s best-selling book – “The Hate U Give”.


MOBO Help Musicians Fund 


Launched earlier this month by MOBO’s charitable arm MOBO Trust and created in partnership with Help Musicians UK, the MOBO Help Musicians Fund supports musicians, songwriters and producers in their career ambitions. After a successful 2017 pilot, the fund has now doubled to £40,000 and is open to unsigned talent in the UK who are making original music. Read more.




MOBO will shortly announce the finalists of this year’s MOBO UnSung competition which comprises an artist development programme for talent producing their own material across the various MOBO music genres. Supported by PRS Foundation and the Arts Council England, MOBO has designed a comprehensive year-long programme with contributions from multi-MOBO Award winner Craig David and platinum songwriter Carla Marie Williams amongst others. Read more.


Supporting social causes


MOBO will also continue to work with organisations such as NHS Blood & Transplant. In the last few years this partnership has seen the creation of two award winning campaigns to highlight the need for more blood donors especially from young, BAME communities.    The specially formed B Positive Choir, created to spearhead the B Positive campaign, has since gone on to perform at numerous events and reached the finals of this year’s Britain’s Got Talent.



Founder Kanya King adds: “We are thrilled by all these new developments. It has long been our ambition to expand MOBO into new areas of the arts and help more talent succeed so that exceptional talent will not go unnoticed. We want to thank everyone who has supported us so far and we look forward to continuing this journey with you.” 


– END –

Notes to Editors


MOBO Organisation and the MOBO Awards were established in 1996 by Kanya King CBE to motivate, elevate and celebrate the outstanding achievements of artists in under-served musical genres, from soul, RnB and reggae to hip hop, grime, gospel and afrobeats. Now in its 23rd year, MOBO is a pioneer in its field and not just an event, but a movement. Over the years, MOBO has become much more than just an awards ceremony, it is now an iconic, year-round, agenda-setting global brand that successfully champions diversity and inclusion in music and broader cultural arenas. It strives to support emerging and independent talent and has provided an early platform for many of the nation’s most-loved artists, from Craig David to Amy Winehouse, Emeli Sandé and Stormzy to name just a few thus contributing significantly to UK’s economy. (According to UK Music, the music industry added £4.4 billion to the economy in 2016). 

MOBO pursues a drive to deliver social and cultural change as embedded in the organisation’s DNA. In 2016, the charitable foundation MOBO Trust was established to support young people realise their potential in a wide range of disciplines within the creative sector.


Website: www.mobo.com  

Twitter: @MOBOAwards

Facebook: https://en-gb.facebook.com/MOBOofficial/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/mobotvofficial

Instagram: @moboawards


Press Contact

The Outside Organisation:

Jack Delaney: jack.delaney@outside-org.co.uk

David Lim: david.lim@outside-org.co.uk