New name for Sheffield Arena in seven-figure sponsorship deal
Energy supplier Utilita has signed a five-year deal with Sheffield City Trust to sponsor Sheffield Arena.
From today the venue near Meadowhall will be called Utilita Arena Sheffield.
As well as music, sport and shows, the building has played a crucial role during the pandemic, with more than 400,000 people vaccinated there over the past year.
Jem Maidment, Utilita’s chief marketing officer, said after a ‘horrendous’ past 18 months they were ready to party.
She added: “The UK live events industry has been particularly hard hit during the pandemic, so we’re thrilled to become headline partner of this fantastic arena as it celebrates its 30th birthday.
“We’re not just going to have our name above the door. We’ve an outstanding relationship with the Trust, who share our vision around what we want to deliver in the wider community, from energy efficiency campaigns such as Energy High 5 and sustainability lessons in schools, to support for local charities and staff volunteering programmes.
“We have exciting plans and a huge desire to play an active role as the arena enters is fourth decade. It’s been an horrendous past 18 months or so and I’m sure nobody will ever take live entertainment for granted again – now we are ready to party!”
It is the firm’s third arena deal after similar partnerships in Birmingham and Newcastle. It has also been a junior kit sponsor at Sheffield United, and this season is supporting the Blades’ women’s team and has branding at Bramall Lane.
The deal is a boost for cash-strapped Sheffield City Trust which last month announced the pool at Ponds Forge sports centre will stay closed until January because of repairs costing £500,000.
Sheffield City Council, SCT's main funder, has given it millions of pounds over the past few years to keep it going after officials found it was ‘haemorrhaging’ cash.
Dom Stokes, head of live events and venues for Sheffield City Trust, said the timing was ‘phenomenal’.
He added: “To be able to agree a deal for this length of time and value is always fantastic news – to do so after the 18 months that the world has just gone through is simply phenomenal!
“Over the past year we’ve been proud to be at the heart of Sheffield’s response to COVID and supported the NHS in saving lives. However now we are ready to do what we have done for 30 years – put smiles on faces and put on some of the biggest shows and events.
“We are most definitely ready to open our doors and entertain our audience - and I couldn’t be more excited to do that alongside Utilita.”
The first major music event since March 2020 will be a gig by city rockers Bring Me The Horizon on September 24 – five days after Sheffield Steelers face Nottingham Panthers on the ice.
Utilita has opened an energy hub next to Sheffield Cathedral and will be celebrating the new deal with ‘family fun and giveaways’ tomorrow, Saturday September 4.The venue, previously known as FlyDSA Arena, opened in 1991 and hosts concerts, shows and sporting events. It is also home to the Sheffield Steelers ice hockey club. The maximum capacity is 13,600 and the total attendance since it opened is about 14m.
The arena’s new web address is: https://www.utilitaarenasheffield.co.uk.