O2 Arena forced into Olympic rebrand following sponsor clash

LONDON - AEG, the owner of the O2 arena, has been forced to drop the mobile phone's branding for the duration of London 2012 due to a sponsorship clash with 2012 telecoms sponsor BT.

The problem, which will also affect the branding around the arena's tube station, means the O2 will effectively remain unbranded for the duration of the Olympics as AEG will not allow another brand to sponsor the venue.

The issue has left a problem for 2012 organiser LOCOG because it is unable to give the arena, hosting badminton and basketball, a recognisable name. At the moment it is being referred to as NGA1 (North Greenwich Arena 1) in LOCOG documentation.

According the Event magazine, published by Brand Republic owner Haymarket, LOCOG is currently looking at a marketing strategy to combat any confusion over the venue. However its task has been hampered by the refusal of AEG to allow it to use the arena’s former name The Millennium Dome.

AEG does not want the O2's former name to be used as it fears this carries a white elephant status.

Under current IOC rules only official sponsors are allowed to have their brands within a specified radius of the event.  

O2 signed a £6m-a-year deal to rebrand what was formerly the Millennium Dome in 2005. the deal officially launched in 2007 and is set to run until 2013 and has been widely viewed as hugely successful for the telecoms brand.

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