Mobile operator O2 will be the new sponsor of the Academy Music Group venues across the UK, ending its five-year relationship with Carling. The AMG venues will be renamed O2 Academy from January 1 2009 in a five-year £22.5m deal.
The deal will see O2 customers gain priority tickets to gigs at all the venues, which are majority owned by Live Nation with Metropolis Music and SJM Concerts, as well as other Live Nation events across the country.
The Telefonica-owned mobile operator will also have first option on exclusive live content from gigs and will work with artists to make it available for download on mobile handsets.
Carling has sponsored the AMG venues, which include Brixton Academy, Shepherd’s Bush Empire and Birmingham Academy, since 2003. In November last year, it scrapped its sponsorship of the Reading and Leeds music festivals after nine years. Promoters Festival Republic, formerly known as Mean Fiddler, said the deal ended with mutual consent.