Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Updated: Barclays Center and the new Billboard lounge: media alliance/"alignment," but no sponsorship; rebranding the Vault?

Updated 8/15/15 with question marks about "align," graphics, and NetsDaily tweet about the Vault.

From BillboardLounge
The news that the music/event publication Billboard will sponsor "align" and "partner" on the 300-seat Billboard Lounge at the Barclays Center raises two questions question and leaves a larger question mark.

First, it's unclear--at least from the press release--whether the arena is repurposing an existing lounge space, or carving out a new area within the arena.

Surely if it was the latter, they would have said so. Indeed, a tweet from NetsDaily states that this is a rebranding of the Vault, a premium seating area.

The Vault
Second, it's unclear whether Billboard is actually paying anything or sponsoring the lounge. The term "align," surely well-chosen, could simply mean that it has an agreement to trade services with the arena, rather than having to put up any money.

But this clearly represents another alliance with a media company, along with existing deals with the New York Daily News (sponsor of the arena plaza) and WPIX-11 (with its Flatbush Avenue space), along with numerous media outlets which have a relationship tempered by the arena's big advertising spend.

BillboardLounge interior
That leaves a question mark. Let's keep watch to see if Billboard pursues skeptical coverage of the arena's numbers--after all, revenues and ticket sales have been much higher than profits. The Barclays Center, of course, likes to tout the former.

Coverage in Billboard

From Billboard, Billboard and Barclays Center Align on Billboard Lounge:
Billboard has aligned with Barclays Center for the launch of an exclusive club situated inside the state-of-the-art Brooklyn venue.

The 300-capacity Billboard Lounge will open this September at the entry level of the Barclays Center in a 5,500-square-foot space. The new club will host music showcases and will serve as an intimate destination at Brooklyn Nets and New York Islanders games and select events.
Inside, guests will enjoy an expansive bar, elegant cocktail tables and private suites nestled in the back. The menu is created by Barclays Center’s food and beverage partner Levy Restaurants, and the Billboard's music-themed design will be prominent.
On select evenings, Billboard and Barclays Center will curate live programming that will include artist showcases, product launches, industry speaking panels and special performances. Memberships are available starting this week to premium Nets and Islanders season ticket holders.
“This venue partnership between Billboard and Barclays Center represents a bold brand pairing in one of our most valuable spaces: live events,” comments Francisco Arenas, senior VP, business development and licensing. “The deal reflects our latest commitment to transforming the Billboard brand into a global franchise.”
“What makes this new lounge a destination is our collaboration with Billboard, the longstanding voice of the entertainment industry,” said Brett Yormark, CEO of Barclays Center. “Billboard Lounge will offer members an intimate club atmosphere, as well as the opportunity to attend private post-event artist showcases in a distinct setting. We are excited that Barclays Center continues to evolve as we enter our fourth year since opening.”
The press release, via Brooklyn Eagle

Barclays Center and Billboard partner to open Billboard Lounge in arena:
Barclays Center and Billboard, the leading global destination for charts, news, trends and innovations in music, have aligned to open an exclusive club, Billboard Lounge, in September. Located on the event level inside the Brooklyn venue, Billboard Lounge will serve as an intimate destination at Brooklyn Nets and New York Islanders games, select events, and for music showcases.
Accommodating up to 300 people, the 5,500-square-foot Billboard Lounge will radiate sophisticated glamour with a gold-and-maroon color scheme, custom banquette seating, warm wood finishes and a Billboard-designed music theme. An expanded bar, elegant cocktail tables, and private hospitality studios nestled in the back will create a one-of-a kind club inside Barclays Center. The menu, created by Barclays Center’s food and beverage partner Levy Restaurants, will feature signature cocktails and a specialized selection of small plate foods.
On select evenings, Billboard and Barclays Center will curate live programming that will include artist showcases, product launches, industry speaking panels and special performances. Memberships are available starting this week to premium Nets and Islanders season ticket holders.
“This venue partnership between Billboard and Barclays Center represents a bold brand pairing in one of our most valuable spaces: live events,” said John Amato, co-president, Billboard. “The deal reflects our latest commitment to transforming the Billboard brand into a global franchise.”
“What makes this new lounge a destination is our collaboration with Billboard, the longstanding voice of the entertainment industry,” said Brett Yormark, CEO of Barclays Center. “Billboard Lounge will offer members an intimate club atmosphere, as well as the opportunity to attend private post-event artist showcases in a distinct setting. We are excited that Barclays Center continues to evolve as we enter our fourth year since opening.”
Hitting an all-time high of nearly 15.2 million worldwide monthly unique visitors to its website in January 2015, Billboard has seen 77 percent year-over-year growth of monthly uniques globally since January 2014. Recent exclusive reports include Billboard’s scoop on John Mayer joining former members of The Grateful Dead, and the revelation that Amy Winehouse’s label destroyed the singer’s demo recordings following her death.

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