Diary: Ice To Eskimos - Amazon wooed and pulled into huge partnership deal

Jason Smith, director of new-media sales at Trinity Mirror, struck an amazing deal with Amazon.

Jason Smith, director of new-media sales at Trinity Mirror, struck

an amazing deal with Amazon.



When Smith worked at Virgin Net, before his recent move to Trinity

Mirror, he was one of the first people in the UK to spot the potential

of Amazon.com.



’I courted Amazon in the US and flew out to see them before they had

broken in the UK, to suggest a partnership with Virgin Net. Of course,

the fact Richard Branson was such a readily identifiable figure helped

to open doors.



’After various negotiations, in 1998 we completed what turned out to be

the biggest ever e-commerce deal in the UK. I’m still not sure whether

it’s been beaten - possibly not.’



Under the deal, Amazon became the exclusive supplier of books to Virgin

Net, with prominent placement for the brand in the form of links and

advertising.



The exact value of the deal was never disclosed - but take it from

Smith, it was big.



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