THE CIRCLE REMAINS UNBROKEN: O2 branding is everywhere at the complex. (Courtesy The O2) The O2’s naming-rights deal for the arena became a pioneering sponsorship in the U.K. The intriguing story behind the O2 London development extends to the cell phone carrier that acquired the arena’s naming rights. The deal represented one of Europe’s first comprehensive marketing programs tied to the title sponsor of a sports and entertainment facility. In 2002, O2 entered the international market as a new brand after a spinoff from British Telecommunications, a public company. In May 2005, O2 signed a 10-year deal for the arena, which opened in 2007. (Spain-based Telefonica acquired O2 in October 2005). In February 2017, O2 renewed the agreement for another 10 years. The deal, based on current exchange rates, carries an annual value of $13 million to $19 million, doubling the numbers of the original agreement, according to multiple media reports.  […]
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