New Naming Rights Partner sought for Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena, host of the 2018 Indoor World Athletics Championship

The NEC Group has announced today that it will be searching for a new naming rights partner to Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena, formerly the National Indoor Arena (NIA), following the conclusion of a successful five-year partnership.

The Barclaycard Arena has been a resounding success since it launched in 2014 following a £26million redevelopment. The award-winning venue has secured high profile international sports events from the Davis Cup in 2016 to the IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships in 2018 and has attracted world-class entertainment from One Direction to Madonna.

Now, as part of a review of their overall sponsorship strategy, Barclaycard has decided to move away from long-term naming rights for the Arena creating a compelling opportunity for a brand to benefit from an association with a national, city centre icon which attracts over 650,000 annual visitors.

The arena was opened in 1991 by Linford Christie and since then has staged more sporting World Championships than any other indoor venue in Europe. It is one of the busiest, large-scale indoor sporting and entertainment venues in the world and accommodates everything from music, sport and comedy, to family entertainment and live theatre.

The naming rights partnership presents a multi-platform marketing opportunity including large scale branding installations, crowd engagement across a range of sporting, comedy, music and family events plus a portfolio of digital rights to ensure year round brand promotion.

Guy Dunstan, general manager for the Genting and Barclaycard Arenas in Birmingham and former chairman of the National Arenas Association commented:

“The recent £26m refurbishment of the Barclaycard Arena has created further opportunities for brand activation including bespoke hospitality lounges and pre-show stages, adding increased value for our partners and ensuring the Arena continues to be a leading event destination.

“We have also invested significantly in the venue’s Wi-Fi capabilities to enable our customers to better communicate with one another via social media and to ensure they have the best possible experience.”

The NEC Group has appointed the rights marketing practice of London based agency, The Sports Consultancy, the exclusive rights to market the venue alongside those of the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) and International Convention Centre (ICC).

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