AO is the arena's first headline sponsor since 2015

Manchester Arena strikes AO sponsorship deal  

Dan Whelan

The Bolton-based online electricals retailer has signed a five-year deal to become the headline sponsor of Manchester Arena, the venue’s first since 2015 when its previous sponsor Phones 4u ceased trading. 

AO’s plans to sponsor the arena, which was bought by Secure Income REIT from Mansford Estates for £436m in 2018 and is operated by ASM Global, were first revealed by Place North West in January after a planning application for new signage was lodged. 

The rebranded AO Arena is currently closed due to Covid-19 restrictions. 

Manchester Arena’s sponsorship history 

1995 -1998 NYNEX Arena 

1998-2011 Manchester Evening News 

2011-2013 no sponsor 

2013-2015 Phones 4U 

2015-2020 no sponsor 

2020-2025 AO 

Manchester Arena Redevelopment Entrance

The deal coincides with the submission of plans for the first phase of a project to redevelop the arena. 

Following a consultation, ASM Global has lodged plans with Manchester City Council for external work to the arena that will see the redevelopment of the Hunts Bank entrance to create a sloping ramp taking concert-goers from street level up to the arena entrance, opposite Cheetham’s School of Music.  

Commercial units beneath the ramp will provide a permanent home for music charity Nordoff Robbins.  

Other work includes improving access from Trinity Way by creating another entrance. This, in turn, will allow the arena to more than double its standing capacity from 3,000 to 7,000, under the plans. 

AO founder John Roberts said: “The Arena holds a special place in the hearts of so many people in Manchester so we’re hugely proud to add the AO smile, especially after such an emotional and difficult period.    

“We hope today’s redevelopment plans for the AO Arena which, combined with soon-to-be-announced good news about the events coming in 2021, will create hope and excitement about the future of entertainment in our great city.” 

James Allen, general manager of the AO Arena, said: “We are thrilled to have secured this partnership and we look forward to a dynamic relationship with this exciting brand. Marking our 25th anniversary with redevelopment plans and our new partnership with AO highlights our commitment to the future of this venue in the heart of Manchester.  

“And after such a long period of pause, we look forward to being able to press play and welcome fans back to the AO Arena.” 

Your Comments

Read our comments policy here

One of the world’s busiest arenas, people come from all around especially Liverpool and Yorkshire to see shows there.

By Dan

They’re going to need that sponsorship money to make all of those improvements they are going to need to make when the new arena gets the go ahead.

By Anonymous

How wonderful to anticipate the excitement of the new events at this sparkling centre, after the disaster that took place there. Well Done AO world, This is just what Manchester needs.

By Sir Norman Stoller

It`s not the best locale, and in a landlocked, and geographically challenged city. Although it`s an enormous improvement, I can`t help but think it would be far better setting adjacent to a harmonious river. The Irwell must be very disappointing for those with awareness.

Lets say, the M&S Bank Arena at King’s Dock, Liverpool, with a harmonious setting adjacent a tidal river. Arriving and departing together adding to the experience. The the sudden aura of refreshing sea air soothing the senses, and not wanting to leave.

You just can`t compare, can you?

By Liverpool romance