Britvic and Unilever among new Co-op Live partners

Co-op Live has announced a host of new partners, including Britvic and Unilever, as it moves towards opening in December 2023.

The 23,500-seat Manchester venue, backed by Oak View Group, has appointed Britvic as official soft drink partner with exclusive rights to provide the full range of Pepsi drinks, including 7-Up, Tango, and London Essence Tonics. Britvic will also have two permanent branded locations in the venue for Pepsi Max and London Essence.

Elavon has been named as the official supplier providing the technology that underpins the arena’s status as a cashless venue.

As part of Co-op Live’s plans to become the UK’s most sustainable and first all-electric venue, Schneider Electric has been signed as an official supplier for the both the hardware and software for the electrical and building management systems.

Meanwhile, Unilever hygiene soap brand Lifebuoy will be supplying its hand sanitisation products through the venue’s sanitation and hygiene services. The group’s The Vegetarian Butcher brand will also provide plant-based meat alternatives for venue-goers.

Sam Piccione, president of OVG International, said: “It’s proof of the excitement that Co-op Live is bringing to Manchester and the UK live entertainment market that global brands are committing to the project at this early stage of development.

“Building strong relationships with a wide range of partners and suppliers this early in the process of creating Co-op Live is another thing that sets the project apart. As we’ve shown already, it’s enabling us to build in shared values from partnerships right from the start. We thank Britvic, Elavon, Unilever, and Schneider Electric for committing so early as partners to Co-op Live.”

Each of the partners has announced a commitment to Co-op Live’s drive for sustainability, with Britvic providing sustainable packaging. Schneider Electric will also provide digital services and preventative maintenance throughout the venue.

David Williams, Schneider Electric’s vice-president of marketing for the UK and Ireland, said: “Acting socially and environmentally responsibly is key to this project and also at the core of Schneider Electric’s business, so we’re proud to announce this close partnership with both Co-op and Oak View Group International. This partnership will see Schneider ensure the venue is sustainable, resilient, hyper-efficient and people centric.”

The arena, backed by investors, Oak View Group, City Football Group and pop star Harry Styles, has already made a series of significant partnership announcements, led by Co-op as the naming rights partner. At the end of last year, it was revealed that Diageo will be the official drinks partner and that Bristol Street Motors is the official motor retailer.