O2 Just Paid A Hundred Million Quid To Keep The Millennium Dome's Name

By Holly Brockwell on at

It seems like forever ago that the big white canopy in Greenwich was called the Millennium Dome, and in some senses 2001 was indeed another time. It was before the iPhone, before Facebook, and before anyone really believed a reality TV star had a shot at becoming president.

But O2's deal to rebrand the White Elephant wasn't permanent, and we could potentially have seen the Dome keep swapping sponsors like the constantly-renamed London Eye (it's currently Coca-Cola, if you were wondering).

However, the mobile network has just sealed a deal worth £125m to keep the name The O2 for another decade, when the world will presumably be entirely virtual and no one will visit anyway.

AEG, who owns the site, has struck a hard bargain. On top of the money, O2 has to double the number of Priority tickets available to its customers before the official sale, and the total cost of the deal has risen from £6m a year to more than £10m. After its closure, the Millennium Dome was costing the government over £1m a month.

Apparently, other brands were very interested in plastering their name across the tent: AEG Europe's Exec VP Paul Samuels tells The Guardian that “When it came to renewal time we got lots of calls. We never even considered them and having to go out and sell this. We wanted to stay with the great partnership we already have."

Also, they would have had to change all the signs, and everyone knows what a faff that is. [The Guardian]

Main image: Davide D'Amico via Flickr Creative Commons

Related: North Greenwich tube station is getting a new name