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O2 To Take Over Carling's Sponsorship of Academy Music Venues

The Academy Music group have announced as O2 as the new sponsors of its nationwide venues. They will take over from Carling as the sponsors of the various nationwide Academy venues including Brixton, Oxford, Newcastle, Leeds, Sheffield and Glasgow.

The following statement was released:


The Carling Academy Brixton, which is, of course, what we all call the Brixton Academy these days, will, from January, be known as the O2 Academy Brixton. Make sure you get that right, won't you? I'd put it in my diary if I was you.

Yes, the Academy Music Group announced yesterday a new sponsorship deal for their network of eleven Academy venues which have carried the Carling name for sometime now. The venue company, whose majority owner is Live Nation, have done a deal with the mobile firm whose name is also attached to one of the UK's biggest venue complexes of course, the former Millennium Dome.

The new deal is good news for O2 customers, who will get the same priority ticket access for the Academy venues that they already enjoy at The O2 dome. It's also presumably good news for lager drinkers, who might be able to get a lager other than Carling at the venues' bars from now on. It also cements O2's status as the most high profile brand operating in the music space. When CMU did a reader survey early last year Carling still topped the poll as the brand most readers immediately associated with music. But O2 came second in that survey, and with Carling having now withdrawn from two of its most high profile music partnerships, the Reading/Leeds festivals and Academy venues, the phone firm would surely come first this time round. Confirming their latest music partnership, O2 CEO Ronan Dunne told CMU: "Our customers tell us that they really value having priority access to tickets at The O2, so we want to bring this benefit to even more customers. The O2 Academy venues are a hugely important part of the UK's music scene and we admire their role in musical heritage. Through this partnership we are not only looking to benefit O2 customers, but to also enhance the live experience for all artists and music fans". The boss of the Academy Music Group, John Northcote, added: "Academy Music Group is the UK's leading live music venue owner and operator and we have successfully built a nationwide network of premier concert venues across the country. It is very important that we continue to improve the artist and customer experience, working with like-minded partners. O2 have a dedicated programme and track record of rewarding their customers and embracing new methods of communication, as well as supporting new and emerging artists".

As I understand it, the new Academy sponsorship is part of partnership between the phone firm and Live Nation, who will be keen to ensure their competitors and The O2 owners AEG Live don't get all the O2 music marketing spend."

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