Dome operator poaches 2012 marketer

AEG Europe has poached London 2012 marketer Philip Beard to run the Millennium Dome, which is being renamed The O2.

Beard is currently director of sponsorship and marketing for the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG). He joins as chief executive in December and will be responsible for developing commercial strategy and performance and operational management of the O2.

Beard will also manage AEG’s interest in the David Beckham Academy, which is also located on the Greenwich Peninsula in London. He will report to AEG Europe president and chief executive David Campbell.

The leisure complex – for which mobile operator O2 bought the six-year, 6m-a-year naming rights – is scheduled to open in July 2007. The deal, signed last year, is the biggest sponsorship deal for the mobile operator, which has also supported Arsenal Football Club and the English rugby union team.

The O2 will include a 2,200 capacity live music club, an 11-screen cinema multiplex and 26 bars, restaurants and cafes. It will also be an official Olympic venue when London hosts the event in 2012.

Beard joined the London 2012 bid team in 2003. Previously, he helped launch Air Miles in the UK, North America and Europe and has worked as an independent marketing consultant to businesses in the sports, travel and leisure industries.