Manchester Evening News Arena set for name change – and three major brands express interest

By Jessica Cree

The Manchester Evening News Arena is set to undergo a name change as the newspaper’s owners choose to end their sponsorship.

And Arena managers SMG Europe revealed to MM yesterday that three companies have already thrown their hat in the ring.

A spokesperson for SMG Europe, said: “The arena’s position as one of the most successful entertainment venues in the world makes a naming partnership a very attractive proposition for a national or international company.

“Given that such opportunities at this level are extremely rare, three major brands have already expressed interest although talks are, obviously, at an early stage.”

Despite having held the naming rights to one of the city’s most popular venues for more than a decade, Trinity Mirror – who own the Manchester Evening News – has decided to pull out of the collaboration.

A Trinity Mirror spokesperson said: “MEN Media has enjoyed a 13-year relationship with the Manchester Evening News Arena.

“Its partnership with SMG Europe has transformed the building into the most popular entertainment venue in the world. 
“This hugely successful relationship has seen the arena nominated an unrivalled 10 consecutive times for the Pollstar “International Venue of the Year” award, winning it in 2002 and gaining official recognition in 2007 as the world’s most popular entertainment venue. 

“The partnership is now set to evolve with MEN Media stepping down from the naming of the venue at the end of this year.

“MEN Media will continue to work with SMG Europe to continue to attract the biggest entertainment stars in the world to Manchester.”

Being such a prominent venue in the city and playing host to some of the biggest names in music and comedy means a bidding war is likely to commence between leading commercial labels.

SMG Europe are yet to reveal the names of the three companies who have expressed interest.

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