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First Direct extends naming deal with Leeds Arena

The First Direct Arena will keep its name until at least 2023, following the signing of a new sponsorship agreement with operator SMG Europe

By IQ on 15 Mar 2017

First Direct Arena, Leeds, Tony Preece

image © Tony Preece

British retail bank First Direct has extended its naming-rights agreement with Leeds’s First Direct Arena for a further five years, with the 13,000-cap. venue retaining its current name until at least 2023.

First Direct sponsored the arena (pictured) prior to its opening in July 2013, initially for a five-year term ending in 2018. Operator SMG Europe says the backing of the bank – which offers its customers several benefits, including presales, complimentary tickets, a dedicated entrance and free F&B in the arena – has played an “instrumental role in bringing some of the biggest events to Yorkshire, from the Mobo Awards to an exclusive Jake Bugg concert and the finals of Europe’s Strongest Man.”

John Sharkey, CEO of SMG Europe, comments: “The First Direct Arena is our flagship venue, and we wanted a sponsor that matched our ambitions for it.

“We are delighted to announce this extension and we’re looking to really build on the already strong foundations in place”

“First Direct and SMG Europe share a passion for customer service, innovation and pushing boundaries, and, as such, it’s a perfect fit. We are delighted to announce this extension and we’re looking to really build on the already strong foundations in place.”

First Direct head Joe Gordon adds: “The reaction of our customers to our association with the arena has been outstanding, and we’re delighted to be able to commit to an additional five years and begin planning the exciting years of partnership to come. Other banks have branches, but we have an arena.”

Jen Mitchell was appointed GM of the arena earlier this year.

 


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