New Booker branding as Crankstart sponsorship begins

New Booker branding as Crankstart sponsorship begins

Crankstart has officially taken over as supporter of the Booker Prize, ending 18 years of sponsorship by The Man Group.

The charitable foundation, run by Silicon Valley venture capitalist Sir Michael Moritz and his wife, Harriet Heyman, was announced in February as the prize’s new sponsor in a five-year deal.

As part of the change, which launched on Saturday 1st June, the prizes are now named The Booker and The International Booker Prize.

The prizes also have a new website domain and social media handle @thebookerprizes. The Booker Prize Foundation has also refreshed the awards’ branding and logo.

Crankstart was set-up by venture capitalist Moritz and his wife Harriet Heyman in 2000 with the aim of supporting “the forgotten, the dispossessed, the unfortunate, the oppressed and causes where some help makes all the difference”.

Speaking about the sponsorship decision in February, Moritz said: “Neither of us can imagine a day where we don’t spend time reading a book. The Booker Prizes are ways of spreading the word about the insights, discoveries, pleasures and joy that spring from great fiction.”

The announcement was met with broad support from the trade, following criticism over Man’s involvement.

This year’s Booker Prize longlist will be announced on 24th July, with the shortlist on 3rd September and the winner announced at London’s Guildhall on 14th October. 

The 2019 judges are the former publisher and editor of Gollancz, Jonathan Cape and Bloomsbury, Liz Calder, Chinese-British novelist and filmmaker Xiaolu Guo, journalist and author Afua Hirsch and composer and pianist Joanna MacGregor. The judges are chaired by Hay Festival founder Peter Florence.

Last year's Man Booker Prize winner was Anna Burns for Milkman (Faber). On 21st May, Author Jokha Alharthi and translator Marilyn Booth jointly won the Man Booker International Prize for Celestial Bodies (Sandstone Press).