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Mercedes-Benz extends name deal for Shanghai arena

By Zhang Kun | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-01-03 13:39

German automaker brand Mercedes-Benz has extended its partnership with AEG and Oriental Pearl Group for the naming rights of the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai until 2025 — an additional five years beyond the existing 10-year deal negotiated by American arena operator AEG, which commenced in 2011.

AEG reached the agreement on the name right deal with Mercedes-Benz, alongside OPG, a large-scale cultural enterprise group recognized by the municipality, in 2009 when the building was under-construction for the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai.

For six years the venue has become "not only China's premium venue, but it is now also the number one venue in all Asia and the number seven venue in the entire world", Adam Wilkes, president and CEO of AEG Asia, said while announcing the naming right extension on Dec 30. "Whenever superstar artists tour Asia, this is a must-stop. This is a place that they absolutely must play at."

Through integrating some of the world's most advanced resources, Mercedes-Benz Arena has managed to "redefine the live entertainment and service experience for Chinese audiences, continuously setting new industry benchmarks in China as well as in Asia", said Huang Jin, vice-president of Culture, Entertainment & Tourism Business, OPG.

The naming rights extension marks a significant moment in the development of China's booming entertainment industry, Wilkes said.

As a leading promoter of sports and live entertainment, AEG has brought to Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, as well as other venues in China, superstar artists such as Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, the Rolling Stones, and Metallica, who will be coming back to Shanghai to perform at the Mercedes-Benz Arena on Jan 15, he said.

In 2016, more than 900,000 fans visited the Mercedes-Benz Arena, which presented 273 ticketed events, making it Asia's No. 1 sports and entertainment venue.

The naming rights extension also marks a strong testament to a successful partnership and sustainable cooperation of leading brands, said Duan Jianjun, EVP of Mercedes-Benz in China. "For six years, Mercedes-Benz Arena has connected our consumers and presented them a state-of-the-art venue that is a landmark in both Shanghai and Asia, along with outstanding world-class entertainment and performances," he said.

The companies declined to disclose the amount of money involved in the naming rights deal, but the sponsorship has comprised the most stable part of the income of the Mercedes-Benz Arena, as well as giving AEG a strong foothold in the Chinese market, according to an industry insider who asked to remain anonymous.

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