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July 2, 2008

Electronics giant to sponsor revamped NEC Arena

A £28 million funding package, which includes sponsorship by LG, will see the Birmingham's NEC Arena get a new look and name this autumn.
The concert and event venue, which welcomes one million visitors every year, will be officially renamed the LG Arena this Autumn, and work will start in September on creating brand new seating, hospitality, bars, restaurants and other essential customer facilities as well as improved backstage areas.
The sponsorship deal with the global technology manufacturer will help support repayment of the redevelopment funding, which the NEC Group will turn the Arena into a must-visit world-class venue.
Birmingham City Council will loan the NEC Group the money, which will be serviced and repaid by improved financial performance from the new LG Arena. An application for a grant of the £3 million balance is currently being considered by development agency Advantage West Midlands.
The redevelopment of the venue, which has helped boost the reputation and the economy of the region since it opened its doors 28 years ago, will support Birmingham in its goal to remain a major UK and international events destination and will provide visitors with a 21st century total entertainment experience.
The multi-million pound improvement works are essential to improve ageing facilities and infrastructure and help the venue compete in a global marketplace with a host of newer venues.
"LG Electronics is a fitting sponsor for the NEC Arena, with our unique synergy around enjoying life and discovering the future through live events or high specification technology,” said NEC Group chief executive Paul Thandi. "We are proud to have a new world-class partner investing in our business and in the West Midlands as a whole, and helping us to create a legacy for future generations."

Commenting on the sponsorship deal, Andrew Warner, marketing director of LG UK, said: "This partnership mirrors LG's brand values as a leading lifestyle company, which puts its customers at the heart of everything it does. The LG Arena will provide entertainment that is high-quality, distinctive and engaging to all visitors. We’re very excited to be creating a world class experience.”

On the importance of the venue to the city, Birmingham City Council Leader, Councillor Mike Whitby, said: "The NEC Arena is already one of the region's biggest attractions, welcoming one million visitors each year. Today's announcement underpins the achievements of the NEC Group to date, and demonstrates the confidence that global partner LG has in its business.”

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