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first direct arena naming rights deal in Leeds

 L-R Mark Mullen of first direct and John Sutherland of SMG Europe.

L-R Mark Mullen of first direct and John Sutherland of SMG Europe.

first direct has concluded a major sponsorship deal with SMG to give its name to the new and ground-breaking arena in Leeds as part of a five-year naming rights agreement. The 13,000 seat venue which opens in July 2013 will now be called the first direct arena.

This is the first major sponsorship the bank has undertaken in its 24 year history and means the name of the multi-award winning customer service champion will become ever more familiar with the many thousands of fans who attend the concerts and performances to be hosted at the arena.

Mark Mullen, Chief Executive of first direct commented:

This is a really exciting move for first direct. Leeds is the city that has made us who we are and we’re thrilled to be able to support such a major development for all the people who live and visit here.

It’s the first time we’ve undertaken such a major sponsorship but we’re often referred to as banking’s best kept secret so this should certainly put us on the map.

John Sutherland, Managing Director of SMG Europe who run the arena, said:

SMG Europe is totally committed to operating world class arenas that are supported by world class commercial partnerships. We are delighted that such an iconic and customer focused brand is partnering with us to deliver the outstanding customer experience that will be offered at the first direct arena.

The first direct arena will have a pre launch event on 24 July with Bruce Springsteen, followed by its official opening by Sir Elton John on 4 September. The £65m venue, which features a unique fan shaped design, the best acoustics in Europe and an innovative and striking design, is already attracting the biggest names in the entertainment industry.