London Eye hunts partner after 7-year BA deal ends

The London Eye Company (TLEC) and British Airways are scrapping their partnership after seven years. The pair will part company in February after deciding to end the sponsorship.

TLEC is seeking a new title sponsor for the tourist draw, which is London’s most visited attraction. It is understood that the company has approached the top tier sponsors for the London 2012 Olympics.

TLEC, a division of attraction operator Merlin Entertainments, says that the airline was offered an extension to its contract but BA decided against renewing the deal after selling its financial interest in the Eye in 2005.

It is seeking partners for a five year-plus package, including a possible joint branding deal and involvement in a series of high profile global and UK events.

TLEC claims that it has received approaches from interested parties and denies that it has approached the Olympic sponsors. A spokeswoman says: “The companies concerned are big brands.”

All tier one sponsors of the 2012 London Olympics – Adidas, EDF Energy and Lloyds TSB – have denied any talks with TLEC.

The London Eye opened in March 2000 and attracts over 3.5 million visitors a year. BA was one of the original joint owners of the attraction and instrumental in building its profile.

The TLEC says the new partnership will be different, as the London Eye now provides a more established platform.

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