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O2 extends sponsorship deal with Academy music venues for £70m

Mobile network O2 has renewed its sponsorship deal with several music venues across Britain.

The venues included in the Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Brixton Academy and Manchester Apollo, as well as retaining the naming rights to the O2 Academy music venues in 13 cities including Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, Liverpool, Newcastle upon Tyne, Oxford, Sheffield and Leeds.

O2 signed the deal with Live Nation and Academy Music Group, which is worth £7m a year, according to The Guardian.

O2 recently paid £125m to retain the naming rights to The O2 in London until at least 2027.

“The Academy venues are local venues, part of the communities in which they are located,” said Nina Bibby, chief marketing officer at O2.

“They support grass roots music communities. It is amazing to me when you look at how the music industry has evolved over the last decade, live music is now so important to artists, the venues are to their communities and to music fans.

“This isn’t just some badging exercise paying some money to be a naming partner. It is so much more than a sponsorship.”

Attendance at live music events increased by 12 per cent to 30.9 million, according to The Guardian.

In addition, the number of tickets doubled through the priority service and the price increased due to an increase in venues and perks available.

Live Nation-promoted events such as Leeds, Reading and Wireless Festivals were provided with an extra allotment of tickets through the partnership.

O2 has also promised to upgrade the digital capabilities of each venue after three years.

Image: Ewan Munro