Metro Radio Arena will take on a new moniker after operator SMG Europe agreed a naming rights deal with energy supplier Utilita for the venue in the English city of Newcastle.

The four-year deal announced today (Friday) will see the 11,000-capacity facility renamed as Utilita Arena, ending a 15-year naming rights relationship with the Bauer Media group’s Metro Radio station.

Utilita Energy already supports sporting venues in the UK – powering stadia such as Rangers’ Ibrox, Aston Villa’s Villa Park and Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park – and is now growing its presence in the entertainment industry. The company aims to use the new deal as a key driver in developing its customer rewards programme, Utilita Extra.

Nic Rhodes, head of brand marketing at Utilita Energy, said: “As Utilita continues to grow, our ‘Utilita Extra’ customer rewards programme becomes increasingly important to us – and the Utilita Arena will play a major role in this. The venue has a brilliant reputation across the UK so we are absolutely delighted be on board.”

Metro Radio will remain a key part of the venue’s promotion and will continue as the official media partner to Utilita Arena. Ailsa Oliver, general manager for Utilita Arena, said: “With successful partnership expansion and business progression this is a fantastic advancement for the North East. I look forward to an extremely dynamic relationship with Utilita Energy and our continued exciting work with Bauer Group Media Metro Radio going from strength to strength.”

Dominic Munnelly, Metro Radio station director, added: “The partnership we have enjoyed has been one of the longest standing naming right’s contracts in the country and we hope Utilita Energy enjoy the same success with this exciting new venture.

“In the fast evolving digital landscape we operate in, we now have different priorities in terms of how we promote the station. This revised deal will ensure we maintain a close association with the venue and our listeners can continue to rely on us to keep them informed of all the biggest and best gigs and shows coming to the region.”

Image: Utilita Arena