Beijing’s Iconic Wukesong Arena Renamed MasterCard Center
MasterCard, Bloomage and AEG Sign Landmark Deal, Paving the Way For Beijing’s Leading Sports and Entertainment Venue
Singapore, - MasterCard announced today that it has obtained naming rights for Beijing’s iconic Wukesong Arena, the basketball venue for the 2008 Olympic Games, in a landmark deal for China’s sports and entertainment industry.
The 18,000-seat arena will be renamed the MasterCard Center or, in Chinese, Wanshida Zhongxin, in a five-year deal with the venue owners Bloomage International Investment Group and U.S.-based AEG, one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world. As the strategic partner of Bloomage, AEG together with the U.S. National Basketball Association (NBA), will provide consultancy support in the running of MasterCard Center.
The renaming of the stadium marks another milestone for China’s rapidly growing sports and entertainment industry. It is the first 2008 Olympic Games venue to be rebranded commercially, the first arena in Beijing to be renamed in such a way, and it also marks the first time local ownership and know-how has combined with international event management expertise and sponsorship to bring the world’s best performers to Beijing.
To officially launch MasterCard Center, popular Cantonese pop singer, Jacky Cheung will be performing on 21 January. Other renowned artists scheduled to perform in the arena in 2011 include American rock band, the Eagles and Hong Kong singer, Aaron Kwok. In addition, the arena will host NBA basketball, table tennis, badminton and other sports events.
The MasterCard Center is great importance for MasterCard as it looks to build public awareness of its brand and services in China. It also complements its series of other region-wide initiatives that have created Priceless moments and opportunities for MasterCard cardholders. Recent initiatives include travel deals like privileged fares for tickets to over 120 Lufthansa destinations in Europe, support for up-and-coming fashion designers as sponsor to the Singapore fashion festival, and the region-wide ‘Purchase with Purpose’ fund-raising program for good causes. As the Official Worldwide Partner and Payment System for the upcoming Rugby World Cup 2011, MasterCard cardholders also stand to enjoy exclusive privileges such as double entry into the ballots for the option to purchase the semi-finals and Final tickets.
Besides being a vehicle to bring world-class performers and unforgettable Priceless moments to Chinese audiences, the MasterCard Center demonstrates MasterCard’s long-term commitment to China, while helping to ensure the legacy of the Olympic Games. It leverages local resources for the benefit of consumers and stakeholders, including the local community in Beijing – especially in Haidian District where the arena is located – and the local government. It is also in line with the government’s objective of maintaining economic growth through increased domestic consumption.
Jessica Guo, Deputy General Manager, Bloomage International Investment Group Inc., remarked, “As the newest, state-of-the-art multi-use arena in China, our 18,000-seat arena is already a benchmark for arenas throughout Asia. By teaming up with MasterCard, a reputable global payment solutions leader, we’re really looking forward to continuing the Olympics legacy by bringing the world’s finest performers to the capital to entertain Beijingers and visitors, making Beijing one of Asia’s leading entertainment hot spots.”
John Cappo, President and Chief Executive Officer of AEG China, said, “The Beijing Olympics was an amazing eye-opener for the world. It’s great to have such a visionary partner like MasterCard who wants to continue the legacy of the Beijing 2008 Olympic arenas. This naming rights deal underscores MasterCard’s long-term commitment to China and a milestone in the maturing of China’s sports and entertainment industry. Together with MasterCard and our partners, we will bring world-class entertainment and Priceless experiences to the MasterCard Center.”
Ling Hai, Division President, Greater China, MasterCard Worldwide, said, “We are delighted to rebrand an iconic Olympics venue as the MasterCard Center in Beijing, the capital city and an emerging market with huge growth potential. We’ve seen in recent years, thanks to the increasing prosperity and stability of China’s economy and society, a surge in public demand1 for live entertainment and sports events, creating a prosperous and active market for such events. By providing opportunities for unique access to performers and behind-the-scenes action, we aim to bring to local consumers and businesses that we collaborate with a series of Priceless experiences in the MasterCard Center. In Chinese our name means ‘everything is attainable.’”
David Yang, NBA China Vice President, Business Development and Marketing Partnerships, said, “There is a growing appetite for sports and entertainment in China and the MasterCard Center will continue the legacy of the Beijing Olympics and further solidify the city as a premiere destination for world-class events. Together with our partners, we have a long-term commitment to China and we look forward to bringing NBA basketball to the state-of-the-art MasterCard Center in years to come.”
Bloomage International Investment Group INC. (Bloomage) has a business range of project investment, corporate acquisition and other investment, including real estate, finance, biotechnology and high-tech field. Real estate investment is the company’s focus in China. Bloomage has built several 5A office buildings within CBD area along Chang An street and the famous 5 star service apartment at Chao Yang Park. Currently, Bloomage’s accomplished and working projects have a total area of more than 1 million square meters, including Huaxia Bank Building, Central International Trade Center, King Stone International, China Biotechnology Center and the Wukesong Sport & Culture Center composed of the Wukesong Arena and LE MALL Shopping Mall. Besides real estate, Bloomage also highly invests on biotechnology, medicine and finance. Bloomage owns several high-tech companies including Bloomage Bio Technology Corporation Limited, Shandong Furuida Biochemical Limited, First Capital and BBMG Corporation. Supported by high technology and market advantage, those companies have formed industrial clusters of large scale.
AEG is one of the leading sports management and entertainment presentation companies in the world. AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Anschutz Company, consults or manages at over 100 facilities worldwide such as STAPLES Center (Los Angeles, CA), Sprint Center (Kansas City, MO), Best Buy Theater (Times Square, New York), The Home Depot Center (Carson, CA), American Airlines Arena (Miami, FL), MasterCard Center (Beijing, China), Mercedes-Benz Arena (Shanghai, China) Acer Arena (Sydney, Australia), The Globe arena (Stockholm, Sweden), O2 World arena (Berlin, Germany) and The O2 arena and district (London, England). AEG also owns sports franchises including the Los Angeles Kings (NHL) and two MLS franchises in addition to overseeing privately held management shares of the Los Angeles Lakers (NBA). AEG created L.A. LIVE, a four million square foot / $2.5 billion downtown Los Angeles sports, residential & entertainment district featuring Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE and Club Nokia, a 54-story, 1001-room convention headquarters destination (featuring The Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott hotels and 224 luxury condominiums The Residences at The Ritz Carlton all in a single tower), the Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE Stadium 14, broadcast facilities for ESPN, along with entertainment venues, restaurants and office space.
AEG China, a stand-alone division of Los Angeles based AEG, combines expertise in facility operations and management, sales & marketing and event promotion to create China’s most complete live sports and entertainment organization. Led by John Cappo, President and CEO, who brings over 15 years of business experience in Asia, AEG China works with our partners to build upon our global expertise to deliver the very best live entertainment experience to the people of China in arenas strategically located throughout China.
About the National Basketball Association
The NBA, founded in 1946, is a global sports and entertainment brand that features 30 teams in the United States and Canada. NBA games reached 215 countries and territories in 41 languages. The league’s worldwide reach was reflected in the 83 international players from 36 countries and territories on NBA rosters. NBA merchandise is sold in more than 100,000 stores in 100 countries on six continents. NBA.com averages more than 26 million daily visits, with more than 50 percent of the site’s visitors come from outside of North America.
The NBA’s entity that conducts all of the league’s businesses in greater China was formed in January 2008. The NBA has interacted with Chinese basketball for decades, including first hosting the Chinese National team in 1985. The NBA currently has relationships with 51 television and digital media outlets in China, including a partnership of more than 20 years with national broadcaster CCTV. In China, the league hosts hundreds of touring basketball events for fans, conducts community enrichment programs and maintains marketing partnerships with a combination of world-class Chinese based corporations and U.S.-based multinationals.
The NBA opened its Hong Kong office in 1992 and currently employs more than 100 people in four offices in greater China. NBA.com/China has become the most popular sports Web site in China, 300 million people play basketball in China and more than 500 unique NBA products are available at NBA Stores in China. The NBA became the first American sports league to stage games in China with the NBA China Games in 2004 and returned in 2007, 2008 and NBA Game in Taipei and Beijing in 2009.
About MasterCard Worldwide
As a leading global payments company, MasterCard Worldwide prides itself on being at the heart of commerce, helping to make life easier and more efficient for everyone, everywhere. MasterCard serves as a franchisor, processor and advisor to the payments industry, and makes commerce happen by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, governments, businesses, merchants, and cardholders worldwide. In 2009, $2.5 trillion in gross dollar volume was generated on its products by consumers around the world. Powered by the MasterCard Worldwide Network — the fastest payment processing network in the world — MasterCard processes over 22 billion transactions each year, has the capacity to handle 140 million transactions per hour, with an average network response time of 140 milliseconds and with 99.99 percent reliability. MasterCard advances global commerce through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro®, and Cirrus®; its suite of core products such as credit, debit, and prepaid; and its innovative platforms and functionalities, such as MasterCard PayPass™ and MasterCard inControl™. MasterCard serves consumers, governments, and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information, please visit us at www.mastercard.com.
1 According to the Beijing Trade Association for Performances, 61 commercial performance venues in the city earned a total income of RMB933 million in 2009. The Association also revealed that Beijing’s performance market grew 59.5% from 2008. China has also developed a sizeable professional sports services market. There are over 20,000 companies conducting sports related business in China with total investments amounting to more than RMB200 billion and an annual turnover of over MB60 billion.
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