May 30th, 2009
Technology Giants Have an Eye on Sponsorship Deal
By Jonathan Sibun
Samsung and Panasonic are in early stage talks with the London Eye about a sponsorship deal which could give them the naming rights to the tourist attraction.
Merlin Entertainments, which owns a majority share in the London Eye and earlier this month unveiled a £12.5m revamp of the attraction, is holding talks with the two companies.
A deal is likely to be structured as a technology partnership with naming rights, with either Samsung or Panasonic taking the lead on the technological refurbishment of the London Eye.
The Eye has been looking for a sponsor since July last year when British Airways chose to end its association with the tourist attraction.
Merlin had held talks with a range of companies thought to have included Nike, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates and Adidas but discussions faltered following the onset of the recession.
Merlin, which is backed by The Blackstone Group, made profits of £200m last year, a 20pc increase on 2007.