London's O2 Arena Keeps Name Following Lucrative Pact With AEG
Sources say the telecoms company may be paying twice as much per year to keep naming rights for another decade.
AEG have renewed their decade-long naming rights partnership with telecoms company O2 for London’s The O2 Arena -- the world’s top grossing concert venue.
Negotiated by AEG Global Partnerships, the deal secures O2 as the 21,000-capacity venue’s naming rights partner for a further ten years. Financial terms were not disclosed, although multiple sources indicate that its likely to be more than double the reported £6 million ($7.5 million) per year deal that AEG brokered with the telecoms giant in 2005 ahead of The O2 opening in 2007.
As part of the agreement, the number of priority tickets for O2 customers will double, while both parties will partner on developing the venue infrastructure and supporting facilities, including boosting the availability of high density wi-fi throughout the building.
O2 will also utilise its technology inside the arena to track and analyse crowd movements, providing promoters, artists and audiences with data on noise levels, calories burned and the most popular songs of the nights. A 205,000 sq. ft. designer outlet village within The O2 facility is currently under construction and is due to open in late 2018.
"We’re delighted that O2 have decided to renew their deal for another 10 years," Paul Samuels, executive vice president of AEG Europe tells Billboard. He calls the deal "a true partnership" and cites the telecom’s support and engagement over the past decade with helping to make the London venue – formerly The Millennium Dome exhibition space – consistently ranked among the world’s top concert venues.
"When O2 did a deal in 2005 there was a lot of scepticism from the industry and other brands, who probably thought, 'What the hell are they doing?’ But O2 spent two years working with our designers on the building’s look and feel. The blood of O2 runs through the entire building and that has never stopped," continues Samuels, who says AEG did not go to market when their original 10 year deal with the telecoms company expired.
"We didn’t renew the deal because we didn’t want to change the name. We renewed the deal because O2 is the right brand for us," he states. "They are great partners and we want to keep them on this journey as The O2 goes from strength to strength."
Since Bon Jovi opened The O2 in 2007, over 60 million visitors have attended concerts and events at the venue. Alongside the 21,000-capacity main arena, the facility boasts the 2,800-capacity Indigo theatre and 3,000-capacity Building Six, as well as a dedicated exhibition space (currently home to Star Wars Identities), 11 screen cinema complex and close to 30 bars and restaurants.