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O2 renews its sponsorship of Academy music venues under PS70m agreement

Mobile operator has retained the right to name venues in 13 cities over the 10 years, in a deal with the owners Live Nation and AMG.

O2 continues its support of concerts across Britain which include Manchester Apollo, the Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Brixton Academy, and Manchester Apollo, in a deal believed to amount to around PS70m over the next 10 years, The Guardian says.

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The contract will see the operator of mobile phones retain its O2 Academy naming rights to the venues for music across 13 cities which include Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, Liverpool, Newcastle upon Tyne, Oxford, Sheffield and Leeds.

The 10-year contract, which was signed in conjunction with Live Nation and Academy Music Group who own these venues is expected to be worth around PS7m per year, which is significantly higher than the PS4.5m it was paid under the earlier deal.

The month of February saw the company that makes telecoms spent PS125m to retain the rights to name The 02, the London arena The 02, formerly known as the Millennium Dome, until at the very least 2027.

Nina Bibby, chief marketing officer at O2 and O2 said the latest deal is a shot in the arm of entertainment industry, which has seen a variety of small venues shuttered across the country over the past decade.

“They help grass-roots music communities. It’s amazing as I look at what the industry of music has developed in the past decade. live music has become crucial to musicians as well as important to their communities as well as to the music lovers. It’s not just a simple practice of paying a fee to be a naming sponsor. It’s more than a mere sponsorship.”

In the end, the number of people who attended live music events ranging from clubs and bars to stadium tours and festivals across the UK were up 13% up to 30.9 million.

According to the terms of the previous contract that was signed during 2008, for five consecutive years, afterwards extended for another five years, the company paid approximately PS4.5m per year to be a sponsor of 11 venues.

The price increase is due to there currently being 19 venues, and also an improvement in the perks O2 can provide its customers.

This will mean a double of the amount of tickets that customers can purchase through the priority ticket service, which will allow them to be available up to 48 hours before going for sale.

The additional allocation of tickets can also be used for other Live Nation-sponsored events, which include big music festivals like Reading, Leeds and Wireless and Wireless, which O2 promises to give the ability to access venues “from the smallest of rooms to stadia”.

O2 will also offer the venues an upgrade three years after the introduction of free internet access across 19 venues.

The company, controlled by Spanish telecoms firm Telefonica and is likely to be a ferocious bidder in the broadcasting regulator Ofcom’s forthcoming multi-billion-pound auction for mobile spectrum which will allow 5G technology within the next decade.

O2 wants to get back on the stock market through an initial public offering of PS11bn likely later in the year.

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