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London’s SSE Arena renamed OVO Arena Wembley

London’s legendary Wembley Arena has been renamed OVO Arena Wembley.

The 12,500-cap, ASM Global-managed venue has been known as The SSE Arena, Wembley since 2014, but now follows in the footsteps of Glasgow’s Hydro (cap. 13,000) in linking with OVO Energy, the UK’s third-biggest energy supplier, which acquired SSE in 2020.

OVO Arena Wembley is expected to welcome around one million visitors in 2022, with upcoming shows including 50 Cent, Armin Van Buuren, Sigrid, KSI, The Cure and Anne-Marie.

“ASM Global is delighted to support OVO Energy on the renaming of OVO Arena Wembley,” says John Drury, VP & general manager. “The live entertainment industry has endured a challenging couple of years, but ASM Global is now looking forward to a bumper schedule of events across 2022.”

OVO will also support ASM Global’s goal to achieve ‘Greener Arena Certification’, set to be implemented across all ASM Global venues. A Greener Festival’s independent certification process provides external verification that carbon reduction and transition strategies are at the heart of all venue operations, from catering to materials used and circularity.

“As we look to welcome more fans than ever before, we’re working hard to manage the environmental footprint of our operation – one show at a time,” adds Drury. “This partnership between OVO Energy and ASM Global means that our brilliant events will be aligned with our shared desire for a carbon-free future.”

“At OVO, we’re committed to establishing purposeful partnerships which reflect our commitment to make zero carbon living a reality – not just in the home, but in the things we love doing too, whether that be going to a gig or comedy show,” adds OVO’s head of sponsorship & partnerships, Colin Banks. “That’s why we share in the OVO Arena Wembley’s ambition to help live entertainment in becoming more sustainable.

“Together, we want to identify meaningful ways through which to make lower-impact live events a headline act in their own right”

“It’ll take time, but together, we want to identify meaningful ways through which to make lower-impact live events a headline act in their own right and working with A Greener Festival represents a very positive step on that journey. But we know that’s just the beginning, and we want to continue to support the venue in identifying practical ways in which we can help to further reduce its environmental impact, without detracting from OVO Arena Wembley’s first-class visitor experience. We look forward to releasing more detail around some of the initiatives already being considered, in the very near future.”

The development and implementation of the sustainable strategies will be bolstered by social responsibility platform ASM Global Acts, which pledges the venue operator’s commitment to protecting the environment.

“ASM Global is committed to providing sustainable solutions and initiatives across our portfolio of venues around the world,” says Chris Bray, EVP Europe, ASM Global. “Our social responsibility platform, ASM Global Acts pledges our longstanding commitment to protecting the environment as we work towards ‘Greener Arena Certification’ in all ASM Global venues. We are pleased, therefore, to continue our relationship with OVO Energy, a brand which shares our vision for greener strategies in the live events industry.

Alongside the OVO Energy team at Wembley, we are excited to see how we can continue to work together to develop and collaborate on our ongoing sustainability strategies. Together, we aim to continue to ensure this iconic London concert and events venue remains a world class experience whilst developing it into one of the most sustainable arenas in the world.”

Georgina Iceton, VP Activations at AEG Global Partnerships adds: “We’re thrilled to support our partner, OVO Energy, on their renaming of such a legendary venue in London. As part of the rebrand, it was important for AEG, ASM Global and OVO, that we had a zero waste to landfill policy, so our priority from the offset, was to source from new suppliers who would deliver the most sustainable materials on the market.”

“The initiatives, through all aspects of this progressive project, were underpinned by AEG’s drive for meaningful partnerships that support goals of both the venue and partner. Through the work we establish with A Greener Festival, we will be able to implement new solutions for this legendary building which will see even greater energy efficiencies across the venue.”

 


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OVG unveils Palm Springs arena naming rights deal

Oak View Group (OVG) has announced a 10-year naming rights deal with financial services firm Acrisure for its new arena in Palm Springs, California.

Located in the heart of Coachella Valley, the 11,500-seater Acrisure Arena is projected to open in the last quarter of 2022 and will host more than 150 major events annually.

The partnerships also includes permanent exterior signage, entitlement to the arena’s largest premium private hospitality space, and prominent Acrisure logo placement on the roof and throughout the venue. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“Acrisure Arena will be the crown jewel of the entire Coachella Valley and a major destination for the biggest artists”

“We are proud to announce our naming rights agreement with Acrisure,” says OVG chief Tim Leiweke, leader of the arena project. “Acrisure Arena will be the crown jewel of the entire Coachella Valley and a major destination for the biggest artists, concerts, and sporting events in the world. Acrisure and Oak View Group are dedicated to using this platform to improve the lives of everyone in the Coachella Valley.”

OVG has pledged the venue, which will be home to the Coachella Valley Firebirds ice hockey team, will focus on “prioritising technology, sustainability and green initiatives”.

In addition to sports and entertainment, the arena will accommodate conventions, large meetings, international events as well as award shows and exhibitions.

 


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Sage takes naming rights for ASM’s Gateshead arena

ASM Global has unveiled tech giant Sage as the naming partner for its Newcastle Gateshead Quays arena and conference centre development in the UK.

Opening in 2024, the 12,500-capacity arena is the centrepiece of a £260 million regeneration scheme which will include a conference and exhibition centre, restaurants, a hotel and large areas of ‘outdoor realm’ and performance space on the same site.

The development will be the North East’s largest business and entertainment district, welcoming more than one million visitors annually and providing an estimated £70m annual boost for the local economy, as well as creating 2,000 jobs.

“This ambitious and transformational development will create a genuinely unique events campus with an iconic waterfront location, so it is fantastic to be teaming up with an equally iconic North East brand in the form of Sage,” says Tom Lynch, SVP, Europe for ASM Global.

“ASM Global has enjoyed over 25 years of success in the North East and we look forward to joining forces with Sage to take live entertainment, conventions and exhibitions to new heights, and cement the region’s reputation as a sought-after business, leisure and cultural destination.”

“We had a vision to welcome a partner that not only has a strong affiliation with the region, but one that shares our values in sustainability and commitment to the local community”

Billed as a “community-focused international venue”, The Sage will sit between the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and the international music centre, Sage Gateshead. ASM Global also operates the 11,000-capacity Utilita Arena in Newcastle, Gateshead’s twin city, where Sage Group is headquartered. Sage is also a patron of the existing 1,640-capacity Sage Gateshead.

“For this new entertainment and business district in the North East, we had a vision to welcome a partner that not only has a strong affiliation with the region, but one that shares our values in sustainability and commitment to the local community,” says Paul Samuels, EVP of AEG Global Partnerships.

“The Sage has a vision that will provide new opportunities to their customers and also support businesses in the region so we are really proud to be working together with Sage on such an exciting development. As AEG Global Partnerships, we ensure we target the right brands for the right opportunities and we couldn’t have a more perfect fit with Sage.”

ASM Global’s UK portfolio also includes the AO Arena in Manchester, the First Direct Arena in Leeds and The SSE Arena, Wembley.

 


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Friday round-up: world news in brief

Welcome to IQ‘s brand-new weekly round-up of news from around the world. Here, in bite-sized chunks, we present a selection of international stories you may have missed from the last seven days…

UNITED KINGDOM:

Vince Power Music Group (VPMG) has announced AXS as its official ticketing partner for all its London venues after inking a new five-year deal. VPMG venues include: the former Dingwalls, PowerHaus (cap. 500), The Fiddler (cap. 120), Nells (cap. 350) and Subterania (cap. 600). AXS is the official ticketing partner for several UK venues including The O2, The SSE Arena, Wembley, Dreamland Margate, British Summertime Hyde Park, All Points East and AEG Presents’ touring business.

NETHERLANDS:

European showcase festival and conference Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) in Groningen has moved entirely online from 19–22 January 2022 in response to the government’s the latest Covid-19 measures. The digital edition will include a conference programme as well as the festival programmes of Noorderslag, Eurosonic and the Music Moves Europe Awards award ceremony.

UNITED STATES: 

Foo Fighters say they have axed a 2022 tour date due to the venue’s “refusal to agree to the band’s Covid safety measures”. The band were due to play Huntington Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on 3 August, but are now looking for a replacement venue. A spokesperson for the University of Minnesota, which operates the venue, said its current measures relating to vaccines and mask-wearing were in line with state and federal guidelines, and declined to change its existing protocols for large events.

GERMANY:

CTS Eventim is acquiring regional ticketing providers in the Rhineland region, Kölnticket and Bonnticket. The companies previously belonged to media houses Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger Medien in Cologne and Rheinische Post Mediengruppe in Düsseldorf, and had previously partnered with CTS on ticketing software and platform technology. The deal will give CTS Eventim a significant presence in the region as well as numerous contacts in the local entertainment scene.

UK/US:

The British Music Embassy has announced its live return to South By Southwest (SXSW) with its biggest presence yet. The intimate 250-person UK music showcase will return in 2022 with a capacity of 700 at Cedar Street Courtyard, an open-air SXSW venue, from 14-20 March. It will be the first in-person British Music Embassy since 2019 as the 2020 edition of SXSW was one of the first major festivals to be cancelled due to Covid-19.

GERMANY:

The ASM Global-managed, Arena Oberhausen in Germany is to be renamed after 20 years as the Konig Pilsener Arena. From next year, the 12,650-capacity venue will be known as Rudolf Weber Arena, in the largest naming rights deal in the Oberhausen-based venue’s 25-year history.

BELGIUM:

Five more names have been confirmed for Rock Werchter 2022. The War On Drugs will play the Festivalpark on Thursday 30 June. Lewis Capaldi and Greta Van Fleet join the line-up for Friday 1 July, Yungblud is scheduled for Saturday July 2 and Royal Blood will put in an appearance on Sunday 3 July. Headlined by Pearl Jam, Metallica, Imagine Dragons and Red Hot Chili Pepper, the festival runs from 30 June to 2 July.

UNITED KINGDOM:

Two internet ticket touts sentenced to a combined six-and-a-half years in prison following a landmark court case have failed in their appeals against their conviction for fraudulent trading. Peter Hunter and David Smith, who operated as the company BZZ Limited, were jailed for four years and 30 months, respectively, in February 2020 following an investigation by the National Trading Standards eCrime Team, and trail at Leeds Crown Court. The pair committed offences between May 2010 and December 2017, making a net profit of £3.5 million in the last two years of fraud alone, buying and reselling tickets to concerts by artists including Ed Sheeran, McBusted, Taylor Swift and Coldplay. On the appeal Smith and Hunter raised a large number of legal and procedural grounds. They appealed the verdict, alleging the judge wrongly directed the jury on the law and “acted unfairly and prejudicially in his conduct of the trial”, arguing the restrictions attaching to the sale of the tickets were “void and invalid”. However, the Court of Appeal rejects their appeals, upholding the conclusion of the judge at trial that the restrictions imposed by event organisers were valid, adding the judge “acted properly in all relevant respects and that the convictions are safe and lawful”.

IRELAND:

Irish-headquartered Tixserve has partnered with UK ticket agency Gigantic to provide a “secure and interactive digital ticket fulfilment service” for its live entertainment ticketing. The partnership will see Irish-Headquartered Tixserve provide Gigantic with a white label digital ticketing app – delivering via a full API technical integration, a sophisticated and seamless fulfilment service for Gigantic clients and customers.

UNITED KINGDOM:

International booking agency Midnight Mango has announced four new agents – Nigel Morton, Addison Paterson, Sam Bryant and Hanna Bright – after initiating an Agent Freelancer Platform in the early days of the pandemic. After delivering training and guidance to four agents back in the spring, the firm took on a further four new agents in September. The new appointments work with acts such as Gretchen Peters, Bicurious, Dom Martin and The Kakatsitsi Master Drummers, expanding the agency’s roster to more than 150 artists, represented by a 15-strong workforce.

 


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ASM Global taps Jason Oberlander

ASM Global has named Jason Oberlander as chief commercial officer as it looks to dramatically expand its partnerships.

Formerly SVP, national sales at Learfield IMG College, Oberlander will take responsibility for overseeing ASM’s plans to grow its position in naming rights and marketing partnerships for its venues.

“We have the scale, consumer touchpoints and ability to integrate brands in – to music, sports, business, tech and more – that will drive value for the brands, content providers, venue partners and guests,” says ASM president and CEO Ron Bension.

“Jason’s extensive experience, particularly with IMG in forging new national partnerships with Fortune 1000 brands, will provide far and away the most diverse and enriching opportunities the industry has ever seen.”

ASM’s growth potential is unlimited

With AEG Global Partnerships, ASM Global has secured recent key naming rights and other ASM Global corporate partnerships for venues such as the Coca-Cola Music Hall and Distro T-Mobile in Puerto Rico; the renamed T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri; and the AO Arena in Manchester, England.

Other recent alliances include a multi-year technology partnership with Mobilitie and a multi-year agreement with Honeywell.

“ASM’s growth potential is unlimited,” adds Oberlander. “We’re the world’s largest live-event marketing platform, which enables us to deliver fan-engagement opportunities to brands across the guest journey; and we can do it on a scale that no one else can deliver.

“Fans are craving live event experiences more than ever, and brands will want to be a part of those moments. No one has the breadth of events, venues, tenant partners and boots on the ground like ASM. At a full run, there are 164 million people coming through our venues. That’s more than the four major US professional sports leagues combined. We are very excited to show brand partners what we’re planning.”

 


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Crypto.com currency ‘up 70%’ after LA arena deal

Crypto.com’s currency, CRO token, surged almost 70% in the wake of the platform’s naming rights deal for AEG’s Staples Center, according to a new report.

The 20-year deal with the Singapore-based cryptocurrency company is reportedly worth US$700 million (€622m), with all of the 20,000-cap venue’s external signage to be replaced by June 2022.

However, Forbes reports the coin’s value has risen 69.9% since last week’s announcement that the 20,000-cap Los Angeles venue is to be renamed the Crypto.com Arena from 25 December following an agreement brokered by AEG Global Partnerships. The news prompted Meltem Demirors, chief strategy officer at CoinShares International, to say the deal had already paid for itself more than a dozen times.

The deal paid for itself – 13x over

“Crypto.com put $700M into a 20 year sponsorship, and the resulting PR doubled its token price and led to a $9B run-up in market cap the deal paid for itself –13x over,” she tweeted, “difficult to untangle token distribution and who benefited, but smart token marketing strategy!”

The new relationship will result in the first name change in the venue’s 22-year history and will also see Crypto.com featured prominently across the venue with large-scale, premium branding and signage.

“We’re very excited about partnering with AEG and investing long term in this city, starting with Crypto.com Arena in the heart of downtown, and using our platform in new and creative ways so that cryptocurrency can power the future of world class sports, entertainment and technology for fans in LA and around the world,” said Crypto.com co-founder and CEO, Kris Marszalek.

Opening its doors in 1999, the downtown Los Angeles arena is home to the NBA’s LA Lakers and LA Clippers and the NHL’s LA Kings and LA Sparks and hosts over 240 major high-profile events a year, including 19 of the last 21 Grammy Awards shows. Upcoming concerts include Enrique Iglesias & Ricky Martin, Bad Bunny, Justin Bieber, Imagine Dragons and the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest series.

Earlier this year, Crypto.com became the first crypto platform to partner with an F1 team (Aston Martin), the first to partner with an NHL team (Montreal Canadiens), and the first to partner with a professional sports league (Lega Serie A).

 


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Finland’s Tampere Deck to become Nokia Arena

Finland’s Tampere Deck Arena (cap. 15,000) is to become the Nokia Arena under a new naming-rights deal.

The Tampere Deck arena previously signed a ten-year naming rights agreement with technology firm Uros but the deal was terminated amid concerns about the company’s financial position.

The venue will now be named after Finnish telecommunications company Nokia, which has acquired the naming rights for five years, with an option to extend the partnership by another five.

Nokia 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.

“Nokia Arena is not only a state-of-the-art venue for sport, music and business events, but also a Finnish landmark”

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.

Tommi Uitto, president of mobile networks and country senior officer for Finland at Nokia, says: “Customer experience both in physical and virtual events is changing radically with the introduction of new digital platforms and technologies. Nokia Arena is not only a state-of-the-art venue for sport, music and business events, but also a Finnish landmark. Nokia was founded in Tampere 156 years ago and today Finland continues to be one of Nokia’s key R&D centres in 5G and beyond. This partnership further reinforces our commitment to Finland, and we look forward to seeing Nokia Arena as a pioneer in world-class stadium experience.”

Marko Hurme, CEO of the Nokia Arena, says: “This is an exciting time for the arena, and we are very proud to partner with such an iconic brand and technology leader like Nokia. When choosing our partner, we wanted to ensure that we united with a company that shares our vision and values for the arena, and understands the possibilities new technologies and connections enable in creating an engaging visitor experience. Nokia has a long history of building recognised technology clusters in Finland and in Tampere, so this is an ideal match.”

 


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LA’s Staples Center to be renamed Crypto.com Arena

AEG’s Staples Center in Los Angeles is to be renamed the Crypto.com Arena as part of a new 20-year naming rights deal.

The deal with the Singapore-based cryptocurrency platform, reportedly worth US$700 million (€618m), according to the FT, was brokered by AEG Global Partnerships and comes into effect from 25 December, with all of the 20,000-cap venue’s external signage to be replaced by June 2022.

“This partnership represents the fastest-growing cryptocurrency platform and the biggest sports and live entertainment company in the world converging to drive the future of sports and live entertainment as well as the incredible legacy of this arena for decades to come,” says Todd Goldstein, chief revenue officer of AEG.

“It marks an exciting new chapter in the history of our company and our respective industries, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have such a visionary partner like Crypto.com supporting our global fan base and local community.”

As exclusive naming rights partner, Crypto.com plans to engage fans through premium branded areas of the arena including a 3,300 sq. ft activation space at the building’s entrance, as well as dedicated activation areas on the main concourse and throughout the adjacent LA Live campus.

The new relationship, which will result in the first name change in the venue’s 22-year history, will also see Crypto.com featured prominently across the venue with large-scale, premium branding and signage throughout the interior and exterior.

This partnership is about the future

“This partnership is about the future,” adds Dan Beckerman, AEG president and CEO. “AEG and Crypto.com not only share a vision about innovation and the future of sports and entertainment, but we also have a shared commitment to our communities where we work and live. We look forward to partnering with Crypto.com to create meaningful initiatives to bring that vision to life in the years to come.”

Crypto.com has committed to becoming carbon negative by the end of 2022 by offsetting more carbon than is generated by all activities across the organisation. Earlier this year, the company became the first crypto platform to partner with an F1 team (Aston Martin), the first to partner with an NHL team (Montreal Canadiens), and the first to partner with a professional sports league (Lega Serie A).

Opening its doors in 1999, the downtown Los Angeles arena is home to the NBA’s LA Lakers and LA Clippers and the NHL’s LA Kings and LA Sparks and hosts over 240 major high-profile events a year, including 19 of the last 21 Grammy Awards shows. Upcoming concerts include Enrique Iglesias & Ricky Martin, Bad Bunny, Justin Bieber, Imagine Dragons and the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest series.

 


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Glasgow’s Hydro reveals sponsorship, green plan

Scotland’s Hydro arena (cap. 13,000) has secured a naming rights deal with OVO, the UK’s third-biggest energy supplier (not to be confused with Drake’s record label).

The newly renamed OVO Hydro in Glasgow re-opened its doors in September following an 18-month closure and is now gearing up for a record-breaking 2022.

Next year, the nation’s flagship venue will host 40% more events than in an average year, with concerts from world-renowned acts such as Billie Eilish, Shawn Mendes, The Weeknd, Dua Lipa and Anne-Marie.

The OVO Hydro’s biggest-ever year of live entertainment will also see the venue continue to develop its sustainability credentials as part of a journey to achieve A Greener Festival‘s (AGF) ‘Greener Arena Certification’.

The AGF certification will include external verification that carbon reduction and transition strategies are at the heart of all venue operations, from catering to materials used and circularity.

OVO will support the venue’s goal to achieve the ‘Greener Arena Certification’ through funding of specific carbon-reduction and environmental initiatives recommended as a result of the annual accreditation process.

The venue will host 40% more events than in an average year, with concerts from Billie Eilish, Shawn Mendes and The Weeknd

In turn, the OVO Hydro will support the commitments in OVO’s ‘Plan Zero‘ to become a net-zero business by 2030 and drive progress towards zero-carbon living.

Billy McFadyen, director of finance and development at the SEC (Scottish Event Campus, which includes OVO Hydro), says: “OVO Energy is the perfect partner for SEC to help achieve our sustainable goals and objectives. We’re working hard to build on our existing, multi-layered sustainability programme and look forward to working with A Greener Festival towards achieving ‘Greener Arena Certification’ for the OVO Hydro.

“We’re grateful to OVO for their support towards this incredibly important consultation and certification process and look forward to working together to further strengthen our sustainability credentials, build upon the work we have already done, and make Scotland’s flagship entertainment venue as low impact as possible.”

The work with OVO and AGF will build on sustainability initiatives already in place across the SEC campus, which includes a sustainable food strategy, a pivot to digital ticketing and a long-standing partnership with conservation charity Trees for Life.

The SEC campus comprises the OVO Hydro, SEC Armadillo (cap. 3,000) and SEC Centre (cap. 13,000).

 


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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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