Arena rebrands as curtain falls on Barclaycard sponsorship

Arena Birmingham

A sports and leisure venue in Birmingham is to rebrand following a decision by a major financial services business to pull the plug on its sponsorship deal.

From September 1, the Barclaycard Arena – the former National Indoor Arena – will become simply ‘Arena Birmingham’.

The rebranding follows the decision by Barclaycard – first announced last year – to end its long-term deal for the naming rights to the arena.

The move is part of a review of the company’s sponsorship strategy, across both Barclaycard and the broader Barclays Group.

The rebranding will be in place in time for the new events season, which kicks off on September 9 with a concert featuring the Nooran Sisters. John Legend (September 20) and The Australian Pink Floyd Show (September 30) will also be amongst the first acts to play at the newly-rebranded venue, which is part of the NEC Group.

Phil Mead, managing director for the NEC Group Arenas, said: “The Barclaycard Arena has been a resounding success since it launched with Michael Bublé in 2014 following a £26m redevelopment.

“The award-winning venue has attracted world-class entertainment from Drake to Iron Maiden and Céline Dion, and has secured high profile international sports events from the Davis Cup in 2016, to the IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships in 2018.”

Despite the disappointment at the sponsor’s decision, Mr Mead said the group was not bitter about what had happened and he added that much of what had been achieved at the venue during the last five years was down to the support of Barclaycard.

“We are now entering another exciting era with Arena Birmingham, as it’s transformed into a destination in its own right within the city,” he added.

“The construction of the Legoland Discovery Centre Birmingham is already underway, we are a principle venue of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 bid, and will be hosting a roster of great events throughout the rest of 2017/18.”

The arena is one of the busiest large scale indoor sporting and entertainment venues in Europe. Alongside its sister venue, Genting Arena, the NEC Group Arenas attract more than 1.5 million visitors annually.