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Manchester Arena renamed the AO Arena

Manchester Arena (cap. 21,000) has been renamed the AO Arena, after announcing a five-year sponsorship deal with the Bolton-based online electricals retailer.

The announcement comes as operators ASM Global submit a planning application for the arena’s redevelopment which will aim to improve visitor experience, transport access and sustainability.

James Allen, general manager of the AO Arena commented on the news: “We are thrilled to have secured this partnership and we look forward to a dynamic relationship with this exciting brand.

“Marking our 25th anniversary with redevelopment plans and our new partnership with AO highlights our commitment to the future of this venue”

“Marking our 25th anniversary with redevelopment plans and our new partnership with AO highlights our commitment to the future of this venue in the heart of Manchester. And after such a long period of pause, we look forward to being able to press play and welcome fans back to the AO Arena.”

AO founder and CEO, John Roberts commented on the announcement; “The Arena holds a special place in the hearts of so many people in Manchester so we’re hugely proud to add the AO smile, especially after such an emotional and difficult period. Our home is firmly in the North West, something we’ve never forgotten while building the business into a global destination for electricals.”

The newly rebranded arena was revealed yesterday (2 September), marking the arena’s first naming rights sponsor since 2014.

 


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Tampere Deck signs naming-rights deal ahead of 2021 open

Finnish technology company Uros has acquired the naming rights of the under-construction Tampere Deck Arena, which is scheduled to open in 2021.

Under the ten-year deal, the 15,000-capacity arena in the Finnish city of Tampere will be known as the Uros Live arena.

The arena, which already has a ten-year ticketing deal with CTS Eventim-owned Lippupiste, will host 1 million visitors annually, and host a combination of musical and sporting events.

The venue will serve as the home rink of Tampere-based ice hockey teams Tappara and Ilves and as the main venue for the International Ice Hockey Federation’s 2022 world championship.

“The best partners are those who can add value to our visitors. In addition to the naming-rights deal, we are looking forward to working with Uros on a digital platform that will bring together all the services related to the arena experience,” says the arena’s chief executive, Marko Hurme.

“We are working with Uros on a digital platform that will bring together all the services related to the arena experience”

“There is demand for a versatile arena in our modern world; a world in which people are choosing experiences and services over possessions. Through the value created by teaming up with Uros, our arena partners will be able to build a more intense and deeply-rooted connection with arena visitors, and bring fan engagement to a new level.”

“With this announcement we are excited to share the news of our branching out into the digital experience space, an extension of our commitment to strategically develop smart city solutions,” adds Uros Group CEO Jerry Raatikainen.

Officials behind the arena maintained in February that the project remains on track after construction company SRV significantly reduced its stake in the venture.

SRV has said it will sell three quarters of its stake in Uros Live to other investor partners in the project, namely OP, Ilmarinen and Lähi-Tapiola.

 


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Arena Birmingham to become Utilita Arena Birmingham

Arena Birmingham is set to be renamed Utilita Arena Birmingham as a part of a naming-rights deal with UK energy supplier Utilita.

The 15,800-capacity city-centre venue, operated by NEC Group, was formerly known as Barclaycard Arena and has been called Arena Birmingham since 1 September 2017. It is one of two UK arenas managed by NEC Group, along with sister venue Resorts World Arena (formerly Genting Arena), located on the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) site.

Utilita customers will have access to exclusive presales for the arena’s shows, which have recently included Ariana Grande, Take That and Jack Whitehall, while the energy provider also becomes a partner to Resorts World Arena.

Utilita has a growing presence in the UK live business, having sponsored with a number of major music festivals in recent years, including Parklife, Trsnmt, Creamfields, V Festival, Bestival and Camp Bestival, as well as ASM Global’s Utilita Arena Newcastle.

“We’re looking forward to working with Utilita to get our audiences thinking about their environmental footprint”

“Within our venues we’re working hard to have optimum energy usage, and we consider the new Utilita partnership to be an extension of the NEC Group’s award-winning environmental and sustainability commitments,” says NEC Group CEO Paul Thandi CBE.

“The best partners are those who can add value to our visitors, and we’re looking forward to working with Utilita to get our audiences thinking about their environmental footprint.”

The venue will take up its new name on 15 April 2020.

NEC Group, based in Birmingham, UK, recently joined Oak View Group’s International Venue Alliance as its second member.

 


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Buenos Aires Arena renamed to Movistar Arena

Telecommunications giant Movistar has signed a naming-rights deal with ASM Global-operated Buenos Aires Arena (15,000-cap.).

The arena is the third South American venue to take Movistar’s name, following similar partnerships with arenas in Santiago, Chile and Bogotá, Colombia.

Argentine singer Tini Stoessel marked the opening of the new arena on 1 November, which was free-to-enter for all Movistar customers that registered for tickets via Club Movistar.

Other acts to have performed at the arena include Spanish musicians Serrat and Sabina and Puerto Rican singer Chayanne, with upcoming shows by Abel Pintos, Keane, Ricardo Montaner, Andrés Calamaro, Shawn Mendes and J Balvin.

“This alliance is a milestone for our company”

Originally slated to be operated by AEG Facilities, the arena later came under ASM Global’s management, which was formed as the result of a merger between AEG Facilities and SMG. The venue is owned by Buenos Aires Arena SA, an entity controlled by La Nación, Argentina’s biggest media company.

“We are proud to be able to partner with this new concept of shows in Argentina,” comments Federico Rava, executive president of Movistar owner Telefónica Argentina. According to Rava, the new partnership “combines the best live entertainment with a unique experience for those present, exclusive benefits for Movistar clients and access to the latest technology and connectivity during the shows.”

“This alliance is a milestone for our company. We are very excited to welcome Movistar as our main sponsor, which will enhance the experience of spectators attending shows at Movistar Arena,” adds the arena’s president Natalia Mouhapé.

 


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Dubai Arena signs naming-rights deal with Coca-Cola

Dubai Arena, AEG Ogden’s new 17,000-capacity venue in the UAE’s largest city, will be named Coca-Cola Arena when it opens this June.

The new name follows the signing of a ten-year naming-rights agreement by AEG Ogden, AEG’s Asian/Australasian venues arm, with soft drinks giant Coca-Cola, reports Arabian Business.

The project has been three years in the making, originally announced in late 2016. The capacity has since been reduced from a projected 20,000, though the completed Coca-Cola Arena will still be the largest indoor in arena in the Middle East, with no less than 42 hospitality and corporate suites and capability to host concerts, sporting events, exhibitions and conferences.

“This is a milestone deal for the Coca-Cola Company”

Comedian Russell Peters, promoted by Live Nation Middle East, will open the new arena on 6 June, with its first concert following eight days later, on Friday 14 June: Maroon 5, promoted by Done Events.

“This is a milestone deal for the Coca-Cola Company as the Coca-Cola Arena will bring more than 40 events every year to the hugely anticipated destination, putting us at the centre stage of entertainment,” comments Murat Ozgel, general manager of Coca-Cola Middle East and deputy business unit president of Coca-Cola Middle East and North Africa.

“The Coca-Cola Arena will firmly position itself as a leading destination helping Dubai claim its place among the main global metropoles like New York, Tokyo, Paris and London,” says Ozgel.

 


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Newcastle Arena becomes Utilita Arena

Arena operator SMG Europe has announced that its 11,000-capacity arena in Newcastle, UK, has entered into a naming rights partnership with energy supplier Utilita Energy. The former Metro Radio Arena will now be known as the Utilita Arena.

Utilita Energy currently supports sporting venues, including the football stadiums Villa Park (Aston Villa), Ibrox Stadium (Rangers) and Selhurst Park (Crystal Palace). The company hopes that the partnership with Newcastle Arena will facilitate expansion in the entertainment industry.

“We know just how important this venue is to the north east, so to have our name above the door is an absolute honour,” comments Nic Rhodes, head of brand marketing at Utilita Energy.

“As Utilita continues to grow, our Utilita Extra customer rewards programme becomes increasingly important to us – and the Utilita Arena will play a major role in this. The venue has a brilliant reputation across the UK so we are absolutely delighted be on board.”

The energy supplier takes over from regional radio station Metro Radio as Newcastle Arena’s naming partner. The radio station sponsored the arena for 15 years and will continue to be the official media partner for Utilita Arena.

“We know just how important this venue is to the north east, so to have our name above the door is an absolute honour”

Ailsa Oliver, who became general manager of Newcastle Arena in January 2017, says: “We are thrilled to begin this new phase in the arena’s timeline. I look forward to an extremely dynamic relationship with Utilita Energy and our continued exciting work with Bauer Group Media Metro Radio going from strength to strength.”

Executive vice-president of venue operator SMG Europe, John Sharkey, says he is “delighted” by the appointment of the new naming right partner.

SMG Europe’s arena portfolio includes the Manchester Arena (21,000-cap.), the First Direct Arena in Leeds (13,500-cap.), the SSE Arena, Belfast (11,000-cap.) and the Event Complex Aberdeen (12,500-cap.), due to open this summer.

“The north east has an exceptional community spirit and loyal connection with the Arena. We are excited for all involved to reap the benefits Utilita will now offer not only to guests of the venue but the industry as a whole,” comments Sharkey.

This year, Utilita Arena will welcome artists including Boyzone, George Ezra, Westlife, Rod Stewart, Little Mix and Kiss. The arena is the largest concert and exhibition venue in the north east of England.

 


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Liverpool’s Echo Arena to become M&S Bank Arena

Liverpool Arena, known as Echo Arena since it opened in 2008, is to become M&S Bank Arena from early next year.

The 11,000-capacity venue, part of the ACC Liverpool complex on the King’s Dock, has agreed a new naming-rights deal with the HBSC-owned retail bank, after a ten-year association with local paper the Liverpool Echo.

Bob Prattey, CEO of the ACC Liverpool Group, comments: “We’re incredibly excited to announce the launch of the M&S Bank Arena. It’s a fantastic way to conclude a phenomenal year that has seen us mark ten years since the arena first opened its doors.

“M&S Bank is one of the UK’s leading challenger banks, with a long-established history in the region. The business shares our passion for the city of Liverpool, making it the perfect naming partner for the arena, complementing the great partnership we already have in place with the Liverpool Echo, which will continue as a key business partner.”

Sue Fox, CEO of M&S Bank, adds: “M&S Bank has been based in the north-west since the business was formed in 1985. It has continued to evolve over this time to the full-service bank it is today, and our past, present and future are firmly rooted in the region.

“We’re extremely delighted to be a part of something incredibly special”

“We’re very much committed to supporting our local community, and over the last ten years we’ve seen the arena bring a phenomenal breadth of entertainment and cultural events to the city of Liverpool, delivering fantastic economic benefits to the city and the wider region. We’re extremely delighted to be a part of something incredibly special and look forward to the launch of the M&S Bank Arena early in 2019.”

Liverpool Arena has welcomed 5.6m visitors to more than 1,200 performances since 2008, with entertainment highlights including Sir Paul McCartney, the MTV EMAs featuring Beyoncé, the MOBO Awards and BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

It unveiled a new 7,000-cap. live venue, dubbed Space, last summer.

“We are proud to have helped create something that all of Liverpool has taken to its heart,” says Echo editor Ali Machray. “The last ten years have seen the arena become an iconic venue. In that time the city has enjoyed spectacular growth and the Echo has powered ahead in digital media to underline its position among the best-known and most powerful regional media brands in the world.

“We will work closely with ACC Liverpool and M&S Bank to ensure the next ten years are as thrilling and successful as the last.”

 


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Genting Arena to become Resorts World Arena

The UK’s NEC Group has announced the rebranding of Genting Arena to Resorts World Arena, aligning its branding with the shopping and entertainment centre opposite the venue.

Genting UK, a subsidiary of Kuala Lumpur-based Genting Group, has held the title sponsorship of the 15,700-capacity venue since January 2015, and will continue to do so under the new name. Resorts World Birmingham opened three years ago.

The new name is effective from 3 December 2018.

Phil Mead, managing director of NEC Group Arenas, comments: “The alignment of the Resorts World brand to our world-class arena will serve both parties well in maximising branding opportunities. Resorts World Birmingham was the first piece of the group’s leisure strategy to transform the NEC campus into a 24-hour leisure and entertainment destination, and has helped us to increase campus footfall, reaching 7.5 million in 2018.

“It makes sense to align the two venues under one brand”

“As a top destination on many touring routes, the arena has recently played host to global artists such as Iron Maiden, Paul Weller, Britney Spears and Kylie Minogue and has invested in excess of £3m in its facilities since partnering with Genting UK, enhancing the customer experience both front and back of house. This, teamed with the outstanding outlet shopping, leisure and a wide range of bars and restaurants for our visitors over the road at Resorts World Birmingham makes this an extremely cohesive partnership that’s helping to make our ambitious campus plans reality.”

“Resorts World Birmingham will celebrate its third birthday this October, and since we opened we have established ourselves as a major destination for leisure and entertainment experiences,” adds Ian Bennett, operations director for Resorts World Birmingham.

“Visitors to the arena are increasingly using Resorts World to add to their visit whether as a pre-event venue or to extend their experience post-show. Therefore, it makes sense to align the two venues under one brand. We are delighted to continue our relationship with the arena and the NEC Group with this exciting new brand development.”

Attendance at Birmingham-based NEC Group’s two arenas – Genting Arena and the 15,800-cap. Arena Birmingham – grew 17%, to over 1.6m, in 2017–18, bolstered by performers and shows including Drake, Ed Sheeran, Lady Gaga, Mickey Flanagan, John Bishop, Disney on Ice and Strictly Come Dancing.

 

 


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Insurance co Verti secures Music Hall naming rights

AEG has agreed a naming-rights deal with insurance firm Verti for the Music Hall venue at Mercedes Platz, the company’s new mixed-use entertainment district centred on the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin.

The newly christened Verti Music Hall at Mercedes Platz, owned and operated by AEG, will from autumn 2018 host concerts, shows and corporate events with a capacity of up to 4,500 people.

“The partnership with AEG will be of great benefit to our brand”, says Verti CEO José Ramón Alegre. “Verti represents an insurance culture that conveys optimism and positivity. At the Verti Music Hall this brand ethos will play a part in every visitor experience.”

“It’s an exciting time to be opening a new mid-size venue”

Michael Hapka, vice-president and managing director of Berlin-based AEG Operations GmbH, adds: “We’re glad to have a strong partner like Verti joining our project – their dynamic brand fits perfectly with what we want to achieve in the Music Hall. It’s an exciting time to be opening a new mid-size venue, meaning we are able to offer more variation to entertainment in the area.”

Despite its mid-size capacity, Music Hall is equipped with a rigging capacity in excess of 200 tonnes, says AEG, which more than many arenas. The company expects to host more than 100 events there annually.

 


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Barclaycard Arena to become Arena Birmingham

The Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham, UK, will as of 1 September be known as Arena Birmingham, following the previously reported end of its naming partnership with Barclaycard.

At the time, bosses at the 15,500-capacity venue (pictured) – originally opened in 1991 as the National Indoor Arena (NIA) – suggested they were seeking a new naming partner for the arena; the new, sponsor-free name is, however, hailed as a “brand that reflects the venue’s location”.

Phil Mead, managing director of operator NEC Group Arenas, comments: “The Barclaycard Arena has been a resounding success since it launched with Michael Bublé in 2014 following a £26 million redevelopment. The award-winning venue has attracted world-class entertainment from Drake to Iron Maiden and Céline Dion, and has secured high profile international sports events from the Davis Cup in 2016 to the IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships in 2018.

“We are now entering another exciting era with Arena Birmingham as it’s transformed into a destination in its own right within the city”

“Much of what we have achieved is down to the support of Barclaycard, who have been an excellent partner since 2012, but we are now entering another exciting era with Arena Birmingham as it’s transformed into a destination in its own right within the city. The construction of the Legoland Discovery Centre Birmingham is already underway, we are a principle venue of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 bid and will be hosting a roster of great events throughout the rest of 2017 and 2018.”

Along with its sister venue, Genting Arena (15,683-cap.), Arena Birmingham is one of Europe’s most-visited arenas; between them, NEC Group arenas attract more than 1.5m visitors annually. Upcoming events at Arena Birmingham include the Nooran Sisters (9 September), John Legend (20 September) and the Australian Pink Floyd Show (30 September).

 


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