Sunday 26 March 2017

Bord Gais gets theatre naming rights in €4.5m deal

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

Bord Gais is to shell out an estimated €4.5m in a deal to rename Dublin's Grand Canal Theatre 'The Bord Gais Energy Theatre' for the next six-and-a-half years.

The agreement, which runs from next March, means the gas company's name will appear throughout the Harry Crosbie-owned venue, as well as featuring in advertising for events at the venue and on customer bills and promotions online.

The deal follows a similar agreement at the Point Depot, also owned by Mr Crosbie and Live Nation, which was renamed 'The O2' in 2008. That deal is believed to have been worth €25m over 10 years.

Bord Gais chief executive John Mullins said the deal would be important in the battle to retain and attract consumers, adding that Bord Gais customers could look forward to preferential treatment when applying for tickets for events. He also refuted suggestions that agreeing such a deal was excessive for a state company in light of the state of the economy.

"Our budget for sponsorship and promotion will actually be lower next year than this year. We have ended several agreements we had elsewhere and are concentrating on a small number of ventures," he said.

Mr Crosbie said that he was "delighted" with the agreement.

Mike Adamson, chief executive of Live Nation, the firm that runs both the theatre and The O2, said the partnership was a boost for the theatre at a time when it plans to host 400 performances a year.

The rebranding of the theatre continues a theme of selling the naming rights to new developments, something that has caused some controversy. Aviva's purchase of the naming rights for Lansdowne Road for around €44m sparked outrage when it was announced last year.

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