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PHAR Partnerships, working exclusively on behalf of SMG Europe, has secured a 5 year multi-million pound sponsorship deal with the mobile phone retailer Phones 4u which, from today, sees the group's flagship venue re-named Phones 4u Arena - Manchester. As part of the partnership the SMG Europe managed and operated venue - which attracts 1.5 million visitors a year and hosts the biggest names in live entertainment - will undergo a significant transformation. Work will begin immediately on an extensive re-branding of the venue which includes refurbishment inside and outside the arena.

James Allen, General Manager for Phones 4u Arena Manchester, says: “Phones 4u is the perfect partner for our flagship Manchester venue. We’re delighted to join forces with such a youthful, engaging and consumer focused brand who share our commitment to world class products and customer service. We’re excited by the new opportunities it will offer for fan interaction via social media and Phones 4u’s widespread high street network of almost 700 stores.”

Scott Hooton, Chief Commercial Officer at Phones 4u, says: “This is an incredibly exciting time in Phones 4u’s history as our brand grows and evolves, and strives to engage with a broader audience. The partnership is also particularly relevant considering the rapid convergence of the entertainment and mobile space and over time, will allow us to deliver a whole host of exclusive benefits to our customers. Mobile phones are increasingly becoming central to the way people create, experience and share entertainment, whether in their own living room or in a large arena.”

The deal was brokered by PHAR Partnerships, the specialist sponsorship and marketing agency that was appointed jointly by SMG and owners of the arena, Development Securities and Patron Capital. SMG has a 25 year management lease to manage and operate the venue. The arena in Manchester is historically ranked in the top 3 arena venues in the world based on annual concert and entertainment tickets sold.

Marcus Wight, PHAR CEO, had this to say, “The Phones4U Arena is the end result of an extremely thorough process including new research into the Arena’s attendees and an evaluation of all the benefits that were available for potential sponsors. We are extremely proud that our extensive search for the right partner has resulted in securing Phones4U whose business and marketing objectives are perfectly aligned to those of the Phones4U Arena.”