O2 UK turns 15 as CEO praises ‘groundbreaking approach’

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Brand went live in 2002, with CEO Mark Evans emphasising operator’s customer-centric strategy

O2 celebrated its 15th birthday as a UK brand on February 2, with CEO Mark Evans (pictured) claiming it has been “groundbreaking in its approach to do more”.

He stood on stage at the operator’s Slough HQ to address its staff, reflecting on its past and celebrating its achievements over the years.

The brand launched here in 2002, with a TV advert that used actor Sean Bean as the voice over introducing the tag line: “See what you can do. O2.”

Customer-centric

“What all this says to me, is that O2 has always offered more than a mobile phone and a minutes and text bundle. Yes, mobile is what we do and do best – our investment of £2 million each day in our mobile network is testament to that. However, what we sell is much more than that – a love for our customers.

“O2 has always done its very best to put its customers at the heart of everything it does and to go above and beyond in its delivery. I genuinely believe O2 has been ground-breaking in its approach to do more, something that is thankfully more commonly seen from British businesses today.

Brand power

The first evidence of O2 logos started to appear on sports kits across the country. Its sponsorship with Arsenal Football Club ran until 2006, while its sponsorship with England Rugby continues and was extended last year to run until 2021.

In 2007, the mobile operator took over sponsorship of the Millennium Dome in Greenwich, London, with the venue renamed The O2 and in the same year, won exclusive rights to sell the Apple iPhone in the UK, which lasted until 2009.

Loyalty scheme ‘Priority’ has issued millions of its customers with exclusive offers and experiences from dozens of brands, as well as access to tickets, drinks vouchers and VIP gig treatment. O2 WiFi also provides free internet connectivity via thousands of hotspots throughout the UK.

In 2010, it launched the Think Big social change programme, offering grants of up to £2,500 to young people with business ideas and since then has funded over 8,000 projects.

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