Live Nation has entered into a new marketing alliance with Citi that is the first to fully leverage the live entertainment giant's evolving, multi-faceted music platform.

The deal, which makes Citi the "official credit card partner" of Live Nation in the U.S., will include concerts, online ticketing, and access to Live Nation Artists through VIP events and promotions. While neither side would discuss terms of the agreement, it is believed to be a multi-year deal valued at as much as $100 million, or more over the term if multiple components come into play.

Citi/Live Nation follows a previous deal LN had in place with American Express, but is much larger and more comprehensive in scope, reflective of LN's growing database of 26 million fans, a much improved online profile, expanded merchandising capabilities, and deeper, longer-lasting relationships with artists.

The Citi/Live Nation partnership will be activated through Citi's recently expanded Private Pass program, a promotion where Citi had previously partnered with LN in private shows (Billboard, March 31, 2007). Potential promotions now include access to presale and preferred tickets, box seats at venues, premium seats, exclusive merchandise and a variety of VIP experiences, all of which will become accessible at www.livenation.com or www.privatepass.citi.com.

"The combination of our two brands will provide music fans a breadth of opportunities to see their favorite artists in new and unique ways. Citi cardmembers will have access to presales and premium seats for select shows and can also access exclusive merchandise and experiences," says Vik Atal, Chairman and CEO, Citi Cards.

"We are looking forward to our upcoming show with Billy Joel at Shea Stadium on July 16th as well as many other exciting opportunities for our customers and music fans all over the country."

Citi claims a national footprint of over 150 million credit card accounts, and the new alliance is expected to help drive incremental ticket sales for Live Nation and its artists for all levels of seats and events.

The deal could lead to other alliances with Citi, such as venue naming rights (LN owns, operates or exclusively books 88 venues in North America), further tie-ins with Live Nation's new ticketing operation to be launched next year, and benefit access for other Citi customers.

It is anticipated that Citi's brand messaging and logo will be integrated into online and offline initiatives as well as in signage, direct mail campaigns, and LiveNation.com.

Live Nation was the talent buyer and producer of the concerts on the Citi/Aadvantage Traveling Through Life Concert Series last year, which included exclusive VIP shows by Dave Matthews, Prince, and Christina Aguilera at intimate venues through the Private Pass program.

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