Deal means First Direct will sponsor and name Leeds arena until 2023

Banking giant First Direct has confirmed it will extend its naming sponsorship of Leeds' arena for a further five years.

Wednesday, 15th March 2017, 1:47 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:49 am
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The 13,000 seat venue which opened in July 2013 will now continue to be called the First Direct Arena until at least 2023.

First Direct gave its name to the venue before it opened and has worked alongside operators SMG Europe to bring the sponsorship to life, something it said has resulted in a range of unique benefits for First Direct bank customers.

Since its opening the arena has played host to a cavalcade of star acts from across the globe including Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac, Drake and Queen, as well as hosting large-scale sporting and award events.

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In the coming months it will welcome the likes of the Stone Roses, Steps, Disney on Ice and Iron Maiden. The Stone Roses concerts in June, will be their first in Leeds in more than 20 years.

The sponsorship has also seen First Direct bank playing an instrumental role in bringing some of the biggest events to Yorkshire, from the MOBO Awards, to an exclusive Jake Bugg concert, and the finals of Europe’s Strongest Man.

The extended deal will see the bank and the arena working even more closely to benefit all their customers.

Speaking about the new deal, Joe Gordon, head of First Direct, said: “The reaction of our customers to our association with the arena has been outstanding and we’re delighted to be able to commit to an additional five years and begin planning the exciting years of partnership to come. Other banks have branches, but we have an arena.”

John Sharkey, CEO SMG Europe, added: “First direct and SMG Europe share a passion for customer service, innovation and pushing boundaries and as such, it’s a perfect fit. We are delighted to announce this extension.”