First Direct announced today that it will give its name to Leeds Arena as part of a five-year sponsorship deal.
The 13,000 seat venue which opens in July 2013 will now be called the first direct arena.
It is the first major sponsorship the bank has undertaken in its 24 year history and means the name of the multi-award winning customer service champion will become ever more familiar with the many thousands of fans who attend the concerts and performances to be hosted at the Arena.
Mark Mullen, chief executive of first direct, said: “This is a really exciting move for first direct. Leeds is the city that has made us who we are and we’re thrilled to be able to support such a major development for all the people who live and visit here.
“It’s the first time we’ve undertaken such a major sponsorship but we’re often referred to as banking’s best kept secret so this should certainly put us on the map.”
The first direct arena will have a pre launch event on July 24th with Bruce Springsteen, followed by its official opening by Sir Elton John on the 4th of September. The £65m venue, which features a unique fan shaped design, the best acoustics in Europe and an innovative and striking design, is already attracting the biggest names in the entertainment industry.
John Sutherland, Managing Director of SMG Europe who run the Arena, said: “SMG Europe is totally committed to operating world class arenas that are supported by world class commercial partnerships. We are delighted that such an iconic and customer focused brand is partnering with us to deliver the outstanding customer experience that will be offered at the first direct arena.”
Councillor Keith Wakefield, Leader of Leeds City Council, said: “It is excellent news that a Leeds company with national reach that employs many people in this city is the proud sponsor of our outstanding new arena. When the council decided to pursue its vision of providing a world-class entertainment venue for the city it knew it would require a big name to match that ambition.