YouTube lands naming rights to Hollywood Park arena

YouTube has acquired naming rights to the new 6,000-seat performance venue which forms part of the Hollywood Park development in Inglewood, California.

The multi-year agreement officially brands the venue as YouTube Theater and marks a first-of-its-kind partnership for the video-sharing platform. Work on the venue, which is located next to the recently-opened, 70,000-seat SoFi Stadium, is expected to be completed this summer.

YouTube Theater will host a range of live entertainment events, including concerts, comedy, award shows, esports competitions, community shows, conferences and distinctive YouTube creator events. The first event to officially open the venue is slated for mid-summer.

As part of the agreement, which was brokered by Legends Global Partnerships, a large-scale digital YouTube play button icon will be placed outside the venue. The icon will transform into an immersive video screen that guests can interact with by mirroring themselves on the screen and by viewing highlights of YouTube’s creator and artist content.

YouTube Theater will also feature a dynamic digital wall on the interior that will be used to celebrate YouTube creators and artists by showcasing them in a gallery-like setting.

Angela Courtin, vice-president of brand marketing at YouTube, said: “YouTube Theater will drive the uniqueness of YouTube by combining physical, ‘in real life’ events that bring creators and fans together, while simultaneously sharing ​that same event​ experience with our two billion global monthly users through livestreams and VOD content.

“YouTube creators and artists are the heart of YouTube and YouTube Theater adds to the portfolio of opportunities to drive their creativity, build their businesses, grow their communities and so much more.”

Jason Gannon, managing director at SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park, added: “When he set out to build YouTube Theater, Stan Kroenke envisioned an intimate, world-class venue that exemplified three core aspects: technology, creativity, and entertainment.

“We cannot imagine a better partner to help us bring this vision to life than YouTube. YouTube Theater will be open to the public this summer as Los Angeles’ new home for esports, community gatherings, concerts, and all types of live entertainment. YouTube Theater is the next step for Hollywood Park as we develop and deliver on creating a true sports and entertainment destination across our 300 acres.”

Earlier this month, Live Nation agreed a deal to become the promoter of the venue. Live Nation has already lined up a host of acts for YouTube Theater’s first year, including former One Direction star Louis Tomlinson, Devo and Black Pumas.

Hollywood Park spans almost 300 acres and is anchored by SoFi Stadium, the new home of the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams and Chargers which opened in September last year.

Google, YouTube’s parent company, already serves as a commercial partner of SoFi Stadium as part of a multi-year deal signed ahead of the venue’s opening. As part of the deal, Google Cloud powers SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park’s digital innovation experiences, with YouTube also serving as the official streaming sponsor of the Rams, Chargers, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park.

At a reported cost of $5bn (£3.6bn/€4.2bn), SoFi Stadium is said to be the most expensive sports venue ever built. The stadium did not welcome Rams or Chargers fans during the 2020 NFL season due to COVID-19 restrictions but is expected to operate at full capacity when the new season gets underway in September.