first direct extends sponsorship deal with Leeds arena

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by Stephen Chapman

first direct will hold the naming rights of Leeds’ 13,000 seat arena until at least 2023.

The 5 year extension to the current deal will see operators, SMG Europe working even more closely with the banking group.

“The first direct arena is our flagship venue and we wanted a sponsor that matched our ambitions for it. first direct and SMG Europe share a passion for customer service, innovation and pushing boundaries and as such, it's a perfect fit,” said John Sharkey, CEO SMG Europe.

"We are delighted to announce this extension and we're looking to really build on the already strong foundations in place.”

The sponsorship deal means that first direct customers get access to pre-sales, complimentary tickets, an exclusive entrance, and free food and drink within the arena.

"The reaction of our customers to our association with the arena has been outstanding and we’re delighted to be able to commit to an additional five years and begin planning the exciting years of partnership to come. Other banks have branches, but we have an arena!” added Joe Gordon, head of first direct.