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Mercedes Benz Arena in Berlin is one of a number of AEG owned venues that were project managed by ICON Venue Group.

CAA Sports, a division of leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA), has acquired ICON Venue Group, an owner’s representative and project management firm. Founded by Tim Romani in 2004, ICON manages the development, design, and construction of sports, entertainment, and public assembly facilities worldwide.

The company will continue to operate as ICON Venue Group, headquartered in Denver, and will be led by Romani. ICON has overseen the development, design, and construction of major stadiums and arenas throughout North America and Europe, including The O2 Arena in London and the ongoing Wrigley Field Restoration Project in Chicago.

Howard Nuchow, Co-Head, CAA Sports said:

Tim Romani is a world-class executive who, in a short period of time, has grown ICON into a dominant player in the venue development space. Tim and his team’s expertise and experience are complementary with our wide-ranging service areas, and we look forward to working collaboratively to develop landmark opportunities in the global sports and entertainment marketplace.

ICON has overseen the development, design, and construction of major stadiums and arenas throughout the United States and Europe, and is currently underway on new construction or renovation projects for sports teams including the Sacramento Kings, Edmonton Oilers, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Bucks, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz, Colorado State University Rams, Toronto FC, Toronto Raptors, Orlando City Soccer, and AS Roma. ICON’s world-class portfolio is the most extensive in the sports and entertainment industry, and includes The O2 arena in London, Consol Energy Center, Prudential Center, Sprint Center, Rogers Place, Sports Authority Field, 10 of the 14 MLS stadiums constructed or renovated, and the Wrigley Field Restoration project, among many others. Romani said:

We could not be more thrilled to join such a prestigious and innovative company with an exceptional reputation in the sports and entertainment industries. There is so much value in the connectivity between CAA and ICON and we will utilize that link to expand into related business opportunities that will add unparalleled new value in the venue development marketplace. CAA Sports is an ideal fit for ICON and together we look forward to creating the most unique venues and fan experiences throughout the world.

CAA Sports and ICON share a likeminded collaborative culture and best-in-class approach to client service. Their combined resources will amplify and enhance their existing relationships in the sports and entertainment marketplace, with CAA Sports providing unmatched access to the agency’s global resources in sports and entertainment, while ICON creates a valuable new service area for CAA and its clients worldwide.

ICON Venue Group is the fifth strategic acquisition by CAA Sports in the past 10 months. CAA Sports’ industry-leading Property Sales group has completed more than $3.5 billion in new sponsorship business on behalf of its clients and orchestrated precedent-setting agreements for the new Yankee Stadium; the Marquee partnership deal at Madison Square Garden; the naming rights for the San Francisco 49ers Levi’s Stadium; and the recently announced Chase Center, the future home of the Golden State Warriors. CAA Sports Consulting advises, manages, and activates on more than $2.5 billion in sponsorship rights deals on behalf of leading global brands and is a leader in experiential marketing. In 2015, the agency launched CAA Premium Experience, a full-service hospitality and event management practice that works with Fortune 500 companies across hundreds of global sports and entertainment events annually, and acquired Fermata Partners, a specialized consumer products licensing agency focused on colleges and universities, global football clubs, and iconic sports and lifestyle brands. CAA’s merchant bank, Evolution Media Capital (EMC), provides traditional investment banking services, as well as a broad range of strategic advisory services to maximize growth and expansion for its clients. Since its inception in 2008, it has advised on more than $44 billion in transactions.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.


ICON Venue Group is the leading Owner’s Representative and project management firm in the sports, entertainment, and public assembly industry with a portfolio of many of the most successful venues in the world. ICON provides a comprehensive spectrum of facility development services required to guide a new facility project from its initial conception through planning, design, construction and opening to ensure years of successful operation for both public and private sector clients in the USA, Canada, Europe and Asia. ICON has managed the development of home venues for NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB MLS, MLL, AFL, CHL, NBDL, DEL and BBL franchises totaling more than $6 billion.


CAA Sports represents more than 1,000 of the world’s best athletes, coaches, broadcasters, and sports personalities, and leads all agencies in contract value under management exceeding $6.3 billion, more than double the next closest agency, according to Forbes. Beyond traditional athlete representation, CAA Sports provides unique opportunities for clients off the field, in areas including licensing, endorsements, speaking, philanthropy, books, and video games. CAA Sports also works in the areas of broadcast rights, corporate marketing initiatives, and sports properties for sales/sponsorships, for which the agency won “Best in Property Consulting, Sales, and Client Service” at the 2014 Sports Business Awards. CAA Sports is a division of leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA). CAA represents the most creative and successful artists working in film, television, music, theatre, video games, and digital content, and provides a range of strategic marketing services to corporate clients.


Sporting KC has agreed a naming rights deal with Children's Mercy.

Sporting Kansas City has a new name for its home ground, and a new community partner for the next decade and beyond. The club has announced a long-term partnership with Children’s Mercy Kansas City, a deal that grants the nationally-respected pediatric medical center exclusive naming rights to Sporting’s home stadium – now dubbed Children’s Mercy Park – and training center. The arrangement also promotes health and fitness among Kansas City-area school children and will provide specialised sports medicine to a youth athlete market that has experienced a substantial increase in sports-related injuries.

In addition, Children’s Mercy will become the official healthcare and sports medicine partner of the National Training Center, a joint project with US Soccer which will break ground in Kansas City, Kansas, in the spring of 2016. The facility will serve Sporting KC Academy players and offer a full range of sports medicine services, resources and programming for youth athletes from all types of sports, not just soccer.

Chris Wyche, the General Manager of Children’s Mercy Park will be speaking at the ESSMA Summit in Bilbao in January.

Cliff Illig, principal owner of Sporting KC along with fellow Cerner cofounder Neal Patterson, said:

Partnering with Children’s Mercy to impact youth health and fitness aligns perfectly with our mission at Sporting Kansas City. Neal and I have worked with health care organisations all over the world, and we have the deepest respect for the world-class vision, values, leadership and capabilities Children’s Mercy brings to pediatric clinical care, research and education in Kansas City.

Healthier kids lead to healthier communities, and we’re thrilled that the stadium will bear the Children’s Mercy name as we work together to prevent pediatric sports injuries.

The 10-year partnership, which will kick off with Sporting Kansas City’s 2016 training camp/preseason, focuses on three components: Improving access to pediatric-trained sports medicine; strengthening community; and protecting youth athletes and educating parents and coaches.

The arrangement will enhance Sporting Kansas City’s Victory Project, which helps area children – especially those with cancer – obtain the support and resources they need to survive and thrive. It will develop and promote Sporting Moves, a grassroots outreach program that educates and inspires elementary kids on the importance of physical activity in an effort to combat childhood obesity.

The partnership will develop soccer-specific curriculum for the Sporting Club Network, which includes approximately 200,000 players, parents, coaches, managers and administrators, including those with SKC’s academy. Also included: sports training, rehabilitation and conditioning programs for Sporting’s academy teams at Swope Soccer Village, the club’s official training facility that hosts year-round marquee youth tournaments and enjoys 525,000-plus visitors annually.

Randall O’Donnell, PhD, President and CEO of Children’s Mercy said:

It’s not every day that an opportunity like this comes along, to partner with an organization like Sporting Kansas City whose passion and commitment to improving the health of our region’s youth is beyond question. We’ve maintained that same commitment for 118 years and look forward to partnering with the Sporting Kansas City network to further our mission.

The home arena for the NBA’s Utah Jazz will now be known as the Vivint Smart Home Arena, following the signing of a naming-rights deal with the Utah-based technology company.

The team announced the new name for the building, which was previously called EnergySolutions Arena, on Monday.

The agreement with Vivint is for 10-years. Financial terms have not yet been disclosed.

Vivint is a smart home provider and technology company based in Provo, Utah, USA. The agreement includes the “Vivint Smart Home Experience” in the Arena’s concourse and other services aimed at improving the fan experience at the venue. Security and other technologies are also scheduled to be upgraded.

The 19,911-seat building opened in 1991 and over USD$25m has been spent on the facility in upgrades in the last five years. The Arena hosts about 1.8 million guests and more than 100 sports and entertainment events each year. The basketball court is named after Larry H. Miller, who spearheaded the construction of the building 25 years ago.

Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment (LHMSE) President, Steve Starks, said:

The Utah Jazz and the arena are proud to have Vivint as our new naming rights partner. Vivint is a long-time supporter of the Jazz, is a Utah-based company, and has a deep commitment to the community and our fans. These were all qualities we looked for when we began this process.

Vivint will also partner with LHMSE, which owns and operates the Arena, on an autism awareness campaign as part of their joint community outreach.

Todd Pedersen, Chief Executive of Vivint, said:

This agreement extends far beyond a typical ‘logo-on-the-building’ arrangement – it’s a true partnership built around innovation, community impact and the drive to elevate the prominence of Utah.

EnergySolutions will continue as a champion partner of the Utah Jazz.

The name change, effective immediately, will be visible throughout the facility, with Vivint Smart Home Arena being prominent on the exterior of the building, the lower panels of the centre-hung scoreboard, all digital building signage and on the Utah Jazz basketball court.

The venue’s naming transition to Vivint Smart Home Arena will occur throughout the end of 2015, as the building hosts marquee events beginning with the Garth Brooks World Tour on Oct. 29-31 and the Jazz home opener on Nov. 4.

Situated on the north bank of the River Seine, the AccorHotels Arena in Bercy, Paris, reopened on October 14, 2015, following an 18-month, complete refurbishment.

One of Europe’s largest concert halls and sports arenas, the AccorHotels Arena (formerly Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy or simply Bercy Arena) will now offer the very latest in visitor facilities, technology offerings, and a fantastic live experience for performers and spectators alike.

As part of the design team lead by DVVD architects and engineers, Populous, in a consulting role, drew on their international arena-design experience, including the 50,000-capacity Philippine Arena in Manila, to design a bowl that would suit multiple configurations, including the ATP Masters Series Paris tennis tournament.

The seating formation of the AccorHotels Arena is designed to be able to attract the biggest names from around the world for 20,300-capacity sellout gigs, as well as suiting smaller, more intimate events of around 7,000 spectators. This versatility will support the arena and local community throughout the year.

Populous Principal, Francois Clement, said:

It is great to be a part of the redevelopment of an arena with such a rich history. The new AccorHotels Arena is going to play a really important part in the story of entertainment in Paris and in Europe, and we can’t wait to see it in action in the coming weeks and months.


Image: Accor-Hotels-Arena-©-Bercy_DVVD-Architectes-et-ingénieurs_Yam-Studio.-1024×385

Naming Rights

ReutersAccorHotels landed the naming rights to Paris’ indoor concert hall and sports arena, Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy (POPB), as part of its strategy to boost brand awareness and thus revenue.

The deal also paves the way for future cooperation between AccorHotels and Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), one of the world’s largest music entertainment promoter and co-operator of the Paris arena, AccorHotels CEO Sebastien Bazin told Reuters.

Under the plan, which was cleared by the Paris City Council late September/early October, France’s biggest concert hall – with a capacity of 20,000-seats built 30 years ago on the eastern edge of the city – is now the AccorHotels Arena POPB.

AccorHotels is spending €4.15m per year for the 10-year naming rights deal, with an option to extend it for another 10 years.

The world’s fourth-largest hotel group changed its own name from Accor to AccorHotels back in June and has been accelerating its digital business to fight back against online rivals.

The naming rights deal was awarded by a consortium controlled the City of Paris and by Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), owned by Denver billionaire, Philip Anschutz.

Future cooperation between AccorHotels and AEG could focus on offering packages coupling AEG entertainment tickets with reservations in AccorHotels and with AccorHotels loyalty cards.

Rock bands U2 and the Foo Fighters will be among the first acts to play the revamped arena, which now boasts an increased capacity of 20,300-seats (it previously offered 17,000) following the makeover, which was said to cost around €150m.

Naming rights are a relatively new concept in France, where most sports venues are owned by the local authority/municipality. Recent initiatives in the sector have included the new Bordeaux stadium, which was named Matmut Atlantique under a ten-year contract with French insurer Matmut Group worth around €20m, and the Nice stadium, renamed Allianz Riviera Stadium, for roughly the same amount.


The Matmut Group has just signed a naming-rights agreement for the new Bordeaux stadium for a 10-year period. From now on, the new sporting venue, which was inaugurated on 18 May of this year, will be called the ‘Matmut Atlantique’.

This new name will soon be seen on a giant totem pole installed in front of the stadium, and on the stadium roof.

Following the signing of this agreement, Daniel Havis, the Chairman of Matmut, said:

The Matmut Group strongly believes in projects that contribute to improving the quality of life in the regions where they are developed. The Matmut Atlantique is an architecturally magnificent stadium, which will undoubtedly promote trade, social interaction and the provision of local services around the sporting arena, and we are delighted to be making a contribution to its success and attractiveness. 

This commitment will prolong our substantial investment in the region. In particular, that investment will be reflected in the forthcoming finalisation of our merger agreement with the mutual Ociane, which is well-known not only to the inhabitants of Bordeaux but to everyone in the region.

We are also thrilled with the results of Union Bordeaux Bègles, which has our strong support and is another illustration of our commitment.

Nicolas Gomart, the Chief Executive Officer of the Matmut Group, added:

The Matmut Atlantique has all the characteristics of the so-called new generation of stadia, with innovative services, particularly in the digital domain. These modern services offered to spectators, and the fact that we regard the naming of stadia as an effective method of advertising, encouraged us to associate Matmut’s name with this vibrant and exciting venue.

The Matmut Group is especially pleased with the schedule for the Matmut Atlantique, which during the 2015 season will host three exhibition matches involving Union Bordeaux Bègles, a rugby club in the TOP 14 of which the Matmut Group is a partner.

The Matmut Group already has experience of naming stadia, as the stadium of LOU Rugby, a Pro D2 team located on the outskirts of Lyon, has been called the Matmut Stadium since 2011.

As a mutual insurance company, the Matmut Group is also heavily involved in sports. The Group supports a large number of sporting disciplines through high-level clubs and sports personalities, particularly in rugby, motorsports, sailing, ice-hockey, football and basketball. For the Matmut Group, sports sponsorship is an effective way of promoting its mutual values and is a natural extension of its corporate citizenship approach.

Currently, it has more than 200 partnerships in operation every year across all disciplines and levels of sporting endeavour.


The largest stadium on the Atlantic coast

With a flexible all-seater capacity of more than 42,000, the Matmut Atlantique is the largest stadium in the south-west and on the Atlantic coast. It offers a rich and diverse schedule of sports and entertainment. In addition to matches played by its resident club, FC Girondins de Bordeaux, the ground will also host some Union Bordeaux Bègles rugby matches and a number of football internationals such as the forthcoming match between France and Serbia on 7 September 2015. Finally, it will be one of the official stadia for UEFA’s Euro 2016, with 5 matches scheduled.

Designed by Herzog & De Meuron and built and operated by the VINCI and FAYAT groups, the Matmut Atlantique is a genuine architectural work entirely dedicated to the comfort of spectators. With the user-friendliness of an English-style stadium, it is also equipped with the latest technological innovations, including, in particular, a tough hybrid grass pitch and HD Wi-Fi connectivity allowing spectators to access the internet and new digital services at any time, anywhere in the ground.

Pierre Coppey, VINCI’s Chief Operating Officer, said:

I am delighted with this long-term partnership with Matmut, which is a great French company dedicated to its mutual values. This new stadium, which is now called the Matmut Atlantique, is a perfect illustration of an exemplary public-private partnership.

FAYAT’s Chief Executive Officer, Laurent Fayat, added:

We are very keen to promote our region and it is pleasing to see a big name like Matmut associated with the Bordeaux stadium, which is universally recognised for its exceptional architecture. We took pride in its construction and we will be equally proud to operate it under the name Matmut Atlantique.

Videotron secures naming rights to new multifunctional Quebec City arena

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Canadian communications group, Quebecor, has secured the naming rights to the new Amphithéâtre Multifonctionnel De Quebec (Multifunctional Ampitheatre of Quebec), which is currently under construction in Quebec City, Canada, for its Videotron cable and wireless business.

The newly-named Videotron Centre is expected to open in 2016 and is the prospective home venue of Quebec City’s on-going bid to secure an NHL ice hockey franchise.

According to a report on, as manager of the venue for the next 25 years, Quebecor will pay the City of Quebec CAN$33m (€24.4m/$25.8m) in full when the arena opens. This figure is set to increase to CAN$64.5m if an NHL franchise is secured. Quebec City’s minor league hockey team, recently purchased by Quebecor, will play at the CAN$400m Videotron Centre.

According to the Globe and Mail newspapers, Videotron’s wireless service has a 12% market share of Quebec, which it will seek to substantially improve through this naming rights deal.

Manon Brouillette, President and Chief Executive of Videotron, said:

Videotron is very proud to associate its name and all its brands with what will be an iconic building for Québec City. We have built strong relationships with Québec City residents; we have 600,000 users of our services in the Québec City area and we are part and parcel of their daily lives. So the partnership with the Québec City Arena that we are announcing today is a natural extension of that relationship.

Arena Stats

Located just outside of downtown Quebec City, the new 18,000-seat Videotron Arena will consist of approximately 64,000sqm of space with premium seating availability to include 900 club seats in the lower bowl on the main concourse level and 2 suite levels with 80 total suites and nearly 100 loge box seats.

The arena – which has been designed by the joint venture of Populous and Quebec City firms, ABCP Architecture and GLCRM & Associates – will feature an array of premium seating options, auxiliary entertainment and dining features.

The facility will seat just over 18,000 for hockey, with nearly 10,000 of those seats in the lower bowl. Additionally, a multitude of concert configurations will be accommodated for, ranging from nearly 20,000 for a centre stage concert to 3,700 for an intimate theatre experience. Both public concourses will be open to the seating bowl, keeping fans connected throughout the duration of the event. In addition to generously sized concession and toilet facilities, fans in the general admission areas will be provided with two open bar areas with views to the exterior.

The venue will offer a diverse array of premium spaces, with the primary club space to be located at the lower concourse level, providing 900 centre-ice seats with upscale food service and a dynamic feature bar. There will also be two dedicated suite levels, with the lower level featuring 73 private suites, fully encircling the level, with seven more at the upper level. And the lower suite level will also host a gourmet restaurant with open views to the main entry hall below, as well as smaller meeting rooms for different events.

For the VVIP, a “bunker” suite will reside at the event floor, offering an ‘up close and personal’ view of the players and the on-ice atmosphere, while providing the most premium amenity offering in the facility.

The project is pursuing LEED Certification.

Project Details
• 18,000 seats
• 64,000sqm
• Flexibility from 20,000-seat centre stage concert to 3,700-seat intimate theatre experience
• 80 suites
• 100 loge box seats
• VVIP “bunker” suite
• Estimated completion: 2016


Image courtesy: Populous, ABCP Architecture and GLCRM & Associates

The PrivateBank secures naming-rights to Chicago Fire’s new dome

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The Chicago Fire MLS club has announced a multi-year partnership with The PrivateBank, which focuses on growing the soccer community in the Chicagoland area.

Chicago Fire’s COO, Atul Khosla, said:

The PrivateBank recognizes the global and local relevance of soccer as it continues its rapid growth in the U.S. We look forward to elevating the game together through programming at The PrivateBank Fire Pitch and throughout the community.

The cornerstone of the partnership is naming rights of The PrivateBank Fire Pitch, the new soccer centre located on the city’s north side that’s providing year-round access to soccer fields. The PrivateBank Fire Pitch, located at 3626 N. Talman Avenue, was created as part of the Club’s larger initiative to recognize and invest in the diverse soccer community and to drive the soccer conversation in Chicago. Once completed, the centre will offer soccer access to more than 250,000 people each year through a host of Club and affiliated soccer and sports programming.

The PrivateBank Fire Pitch features two regulation size turf fields, the first air-supported dome within Chicago’s city limits and is officially open for play. The centre houses the Chicago Fire Rec Soccer League, the leading provider of adult recreational soccer in the city, with more than 5,000 participants. The facility also serves as the home base for the Chicago Fire Juniors City team, a professionally-based youth soccer club that serves more than 250 children aged between 6-18. The club is one of ten clubs in the Chicago Fire Juniors family, touting more than 15,000 participants across six states.

In addition to naming rights at the new facility, The PrivateBank will serve as the Official Bank of the Chicago Fire Soccer Club and will be involved in various activities on and off the pitch. Key matchday opportunities include: presenting sponsorship of one Chicago Fire home match, in-stadium signage and activation rights in Fire Fest, the interactive pre-match fan fest. In addition, The PrivateBank will engage with the soccer community through suburban tournaments, First Team Practice in the Community and as a supporting sponsor of the Chicago Fire Foundation’s P.L.A.Y.S. Program (Participate, Learn, Achieve Youth Soccer), which integrates soccer with social and emotional learning to not only help kids learn and enjoy soccer, but also strengthen academic performance.

Larry D. Richman, President and Chief Executive Officer, The PrivateBank, said:

We are excited to partner with the Chicago Fire and to work together to extend soccer’s reach into our communities. We are particularly pleased to support The PrivateBank Fire Pitch as we give the City of Chicago a terrific venue to expand access to this great game.


The majority owner in the project is an entity controlled by Andrew Hauptman, with minority partners Richard Levy and Jared Schenk. In addition to the Fire’s uses, the centre will also serve the surrounding community, providing access to neighbouring schools, universities and recreational sports leagues. The development will include a 15,000sqft building, forecast for mixed-use field management offices, restaurant, retail and training.



Birmingham’s revamped National Indoor Arena (NIA) to become the ‘Barclaycard Arena’

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Birmingham’s iconic National Indoor Arena (NIA) is to be renamed the Barclaycard Arena when it re-opens in December, following its substantial two-year GBP£26m refurbishment, as part of the five-year partnership Barclaycard – the UK’s leading payments business – and the NEC Group signed in 2011.


As part of the venue’s substantial eighteen month redevelopment, all areas have been upgraded, with the changes made being in direct response to feedback from visitors over the years – creating a world-class music and entertainment venue that provides a best-in-class customer experience.


Barclaycard’s involvement builds on its wider involvement in the music and entertainment industry, which includes current partnerships with the Mercury Prize, British Summer Time Hyde Park and previously, the Wireless Festival.


Since opening in 1991, the NIA has become one of the busiest large scale indoor sporting and entertainment venues in Europe, staging everything from sports events to concerts, entertainment spectaculars, business conferences and exhibitions, benefitting from its position at the heart of the UK’s second city.


Attracting up to a million visitors a year, and accommodating more World and European Championship sports events than any other arena in Europe, the multi-purpose venue has undergone an extensive redevelopment over the past two years to vastly improve the customer experience and ensuring that the venue remains a world-class venue.


The most dramatic element is the brand new glass facade overlooking the Brindleyplace canal side development, which creates a dynamic arrival for visitors and creates a focal point in the centre of Birmingham. Nearly 6,000m² of new show space has also been added, new food and drink options installed, and state-of-the-art seating that combines extra legroom with the removal of the previous restricting barriers.


The revamped venue will also offer the latest contactless payment technology throughout to help speed up the queues at bars and catering outlets on event days. Contactless payment was introduced into the UK by Barclaycard and is seeing huge growth in the West Midlands as both consumers and businesses realise the benefits of its ease, speed and convenience.


Barclaycard customers will get extended benefits at the venue, including access to exclusive lounges from where they can soak up the pre-show atmosphere; fast track entry; pre-sale tickets to events and shows; and ‘Fee-Free Friday’ where tickets bought through The Ticket Factory using a Barclaycard on a Friday have no admin fees.


This extends opportunities already opened up by the partnership, across the wider Barclays group, such as access for Premier customers to an exclusive Barclays Premier lounge inside the venue.


The venue redevelopment also forms a central part of Birmingham City Council’s ‘Big City’ Plan – a 20 year vision to make Birmingham a truly world-class city centre and firmly position it as the UK’s second city.


Global sensation Michael Bublé, who has sold over 35 million records worldwide, will officially open the Barclaycard Arena on Tuesday 2nd December. He will play two nights at the Arena, for which Barclaycard customers can access a 48-hour presale on tickets from 9am on Wednesday 1st October.


Katherine Whitton, Chief Marketing Officer at Barclaycard, said:

The partnership we entered into with the NEC Group in 2011 was all about us joining forces to make the NIA fit for the 21st Century, creating one of the best entertainment venues in the UK, and supporting a city where a significant number of our customers and merchants are situated.

Following its refurbishment, the Barclaycard Arena has been entirely re-invented, with state-of-the-art facilities, a much-increased capacity, brand new retail and merchant spaces and the latest contactless payments technology to vastly improve the customer experience and make it easier for those attending to enjoy the entertainment.

Birmingham is a thriving city at the heart of the UK and this project is both about recognising the important role it plays in the country’s economy and supporting it in becoming a national destination for music and entertainment.


Paul Thandi, Chief Executive at the NEC Group, added:

The renaming of the NIA to the Barclaycard Arena continues to build and strengthen our partnership with Barclaycard.  The new name reflects the enhanced and improved experience that the refurbishment will provide visitors, artists and promoters.

The Arena has a rich 21-year history in Birmingham, welcoming world-renowned singers, athletes, comedians and performers who all help to shine a light on what our city has to offer. The renaming is another historic moment in this and allows us to continue to be a world class venue leading in providing the ultimate live experience.

Image courtesy:


Amalie picks up naming rights to Tampa Bay Lightning arena

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Amalie Oil Company has agreed a long-term partnership with Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment to take on the naming rights of the home arena of NHL ice hockey team Tampa Bay Lightning.

The renovated 19,200-capcity venue, which is also home to Arena Football League gridiron team Tampa Bay Storm, will know be known as the Amalie Arena.

Motor oil and industrial lubricants supplier Amelia has held the naming rights to the arena football field for Tampa Bay Storm since 2011.

Terms for the agreement between Amalie and the operating group for the Lightning, the Storm and the arena were not disclosed.

Amalie Oil Company ends the Tampa Bay Times’ 10-year run as the venue’s naming sponsor, although the newspaper group remains the exclusive print partner of Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment under a new agreement signed with the organisation this week.

The Times’ new partnership includes the naming rights to one of the arena’s two hospitality lofts, interior and exterior signage, an LED presence during Lightning and Storm games and extensive community and hospitality functions.

Arena Information

From 2011-2013, Amalie Arena had more than US$62m in improvements that have clearly revolutionised the industry and made it the premier entertainment venue in the state of Florida.

The renovated Amalie Arena is home of the 2004 Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning and five-time Arena Football Champion Tampa Bay Storm.

Boasting unique features like lightning-throwing Tesla coils, an 11,000sqft Bud Light party deck with incredible views of the city and a massive five-manual, 105-rank digital pipe organ, Amalie Arena consistently ranks among the very best venues in the United States.


Source: Sport Business and Tampa Bay Lightning

FC Schalke 04 and VELTINS renew stadium naming-rights

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C. & A. Veltins Brewery and FC Schalke 04 have agreed to extend the ‘VELTINS Arena’ naming-rights agreement by a further four years, taking it up until 2019.

“The VELTINS Arena name is the epitome of an engaging and sustainable sporting linkup and we’re looking forward to the furtherance of our relationship,” said chief Veltins representative, Michael Huber, on the continuation of the cooperation, the outcome of extensive negotiations.

The Royal Blues have enjoyed a successful and trusted partnership with the premium brewer since 1997, which reached its high point in 2005, when Veltins acquired the naming-rights for the Schalke stadium. Veltins also hold the pouring rights at the Arena until 2023.

In extending the naming-rights agreement, the Meschede-based brewery has underscored the positive aspects of the long-term relationship: ” As one of the biggest football clubs in Germany, FC Schalke 04 enjoy high brand recognition and an excellent reputation on account of their domestic and European successes,” said Huber. “For us as a premium brand, having Schalke as partners gives us maximum identity and acceptance. We’re convinced Schalke fans have been behind the VELTINS Arena name from the beginning because we have similar values – we’re down to earth, true to life and authentic.”

Schalke Director of Marketing, Alexander Jobst, takes a similar view: “With this contract extension we are setting an exclamation mark for the club and for the Bundesliga. Besides the commercial aspects, durability and credibility are important success factors for stadium naming-rights. We’re proud to continue a partnership with Veltins that is recognised and lived by the fans in equal measure. For us it’s more than a sponsorship deal: it’s a togetherness for another four years.”

The new deal continues to offer Veltins extensive marketing rights in addition to the exclusive right to supply beer to the Arena, which had already been agreed until 2023. Besides the principal sponsor, Veltins remains the most important partner to the Royal Blues, along with adidas. Over the next four years the two partners intend to increase the focus on social media promotions and supporter activities.

Veltins became the principal club and team sponsor in 1997 and featured on the Schalke shirt until 2001, a relationship that was extended in 2001 with the assumption of principal sponsorship rights for the newly-built Arena AufSchalke and reached its peak in 2005 when Veltins acquired the naming rights. The brewery had a major hand in the design of the new venue’s beer pouring system, which with its four central tank depots is unrivalled anywhere in Europe, and has driven catering performance at the Arena ever since.


ANZ renews stadium naming-rights through to end of 2017

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One of Australasia’s most recognisable sporting sponsorships will endure after banking group ANZ announced it had extended its naming-rights sponsorship of Sydney’s former Olympic stadium.

The ANZ Stadium naming-rights sponsorship commenced in 2008 and the partnership will now span at least a decade following the bank’s decision to extend the deal through to the end of 2017.

ANZ Managing Director Products and Marketing, Matt Boss, said the sponsorship was in line with the group’s continuing commitment to both NSW and sport in Australia.

We’re pleased to be continuing our support of ANZ Stadium and this agreement will take the sponsorship into its tenth year. ANZ Stadium is one of Australia’s iconic stadiums with more than 20 million spectators passing through the turnstiles since the venue opened to host the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000.

ANZ Stadium Managing Director, Mr Daryl Kerry, said he was grateful to ANZ for its decision to commit to a decade of sporting sponsorship at Sydney Olympic Park on the back of the most successful year at the Stadium since the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

In 2013, ANZ Stadium welcomed 1.6 million fans to more than 50 events, including an extraordinary run of five sell-out events (State of Origin I & III, FIFA World Cup qualifier, the deciding British & Irish Test, Manchester United visit) that drew upwards of 60,000 visitors to NSW and was worth more than $100m to the NSW economy. Australians are passionate about their sport and this partnership is important for sport in NSW and Australia.

ANZ’s decision to extend its naming-rights sponsorship also comes at a time when the Stadium Australia Group is working closely with Governments and the five sporting codes to advance plans to redevelop the Stadium and the surrounding precinct. We fully expect that, by 2017, ANZ Stadium will be well on the way to becoming the world’s leading multi-purpose stadium – a venue able to continue to attract major international events.

A 2013 Repucom report ranked ANZ Stadium as the most valuable naming-rights property of all major Australian stadia, with a total reach of 48.3 million people.

Wembley Arena to be re-named the SSE Arena

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AEG and SSE have signed a decade-long naming rights deal with Wembley Arena that will see the famous London venue re-named the SSE Arena from 1 June.

The money raised from the partnership will be used to complete a general upgrade of the foyer and concourse areas, and to create ‘SSE’ customer lounges.

Tom Miserendino, CEO, AEG Europe, said:

Wembley is one of the world’s most iconic venues, steeped in history with some of the greatest artists having performed under its roof. Over the last few years however, the venue landscape in the UK and Europe has changed with many more venues for artists and acts to choose from. This naming-rights partnership with SSE enables us to undertake the refurbishments to restore this renowned arena.

Will Morris, SSE’s Group Managing Director, added:

We know entertainment is a key driver for our customers, so it makes sense for us to build on our established sponsorship of The SSE Hydro and ensure more customers can take advantage of the great benefits SSE Rewards has to offer.

SSE’s customers will be able to access advance tickets and lounge upgrades at the venue through the SSE Rewards scheme.