MASTERCARD AGREE NAMING RIGHTS DEAL FOR STADIUM IN CHINA

MasterCard has announced a five-year naming rights deal for the former Beijing Olympics basketball stadium.

The deal is the first time a foreign firm has acquired commercial naming rights over an arena in China's capital.

Under the agreement, the 18,000-seat arena, which is also used for concerts and other sports, will be called the MasterCard Centre.

Stadium naming rights deals are common in the US but are more unusual in China where the government has traditionally owned the venues.

Following the Beijing Olympics in 2008, there were moves to sell branding rights to the iconic Bird's Nest National Stadium, home to track and field events during the Games.

Despite a number of multinational firms expressing interest, no actual deal was made.

MasterCard have not announced how much the deal is worth but the move is considered as the U.S. card company tries to enter the Chinese electronic payments market that has been largely closed to foreigners.

Posted on 06/01/2011