Three Ire­land in €55m 3Arena spon­sor­ship deal

The Irish Times - Business - - FRONT PAGE - LAURA SLAT­TERY and CIARA O’BRIEN

Three Ire­land has re­newed its nam­ing rights spon­sor­ship of the 3Arena venue in Dublin, in­vest­ing €55 mil­lion over the next decade in what is one of the big­gest such deals in Ire­land.

Un­der the agree­ment with US en­ter­tain­ment gi­ant Live Na­tion, the tele­coms com­pany’s cus­tomers will have con­tin­ued ac­cess to pre-sale op­por­tu­ni­ties for shows held at the 13,000-ca­pac­ity venue, mean­ing they can pur­chase tick­ets be­fore they go on gen­eral sale.

Three Ire­land said the 10-year spon­sor­ship marked “a sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment” for the group and demon­strated its com­mit­ment to the Ir­ish mar­ket. The value of the spon­sor­ship has sharply in­creased on the pre­vi­ous 10-year deal agreed in 2008, although this too is thought to have been worth more to Live Na­tion than the fig­ure of €25 mil­lion that was re­ported at the time.

Three’s new deal with Live Na­tion and Aviva Ire­land’s nam­ing rights deal on the Lans­downe Road sta­dium are un­der­stood to be the two big­gest spon­sor­ships in Ire­land. The rel­a­tively low num­ber of avail­able deals has put a pre­mium on the high­est-pro­file prop­er­ties and con­trib­uted to in­fla­tion at the top end. Aviva paid €40 mil­lion for a 10-year deal that runs un­til 2020 but the in­surer is thought to have paid more for a five-year ex­ten­sion an­nounced in Jan­uary.

The in­dus­try ex­pec­ta­tion was that Three would re­new the 3Arena deal, which was first signed be­tween the venue own­ers and the Tele­fon­ica-owned O2 Ire­land in 2008. It was re­named the 3Arena af­ter Three ac­quired O2 Ire­land.

The venue first opened as the Point Theatre, known as the Point or Point De­pot, in 1988, and is now vis­ited by about 900,000 peo­ple each year.

This lat­est deal be­longs to the next tier of Ir­ish spon­sor­ships, which is led by Voda­fone’s agree­ment with the Ir­ish Rugby Foot­ball Union (IRFU) and also in­cludes the three-way spon­sor­ship of the GAA foot­ball all-Ire­land cham­pi­onships by Eir, AIB and Su­per­Valu.

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