The Global Partnerships team at AEG has reported a 65% increase in sponsorship investment at its events this summer, compared to 2019.

AEG, which owns the O2 Arena (cap. 20,000) and promotes festivals such as BST Hyde Park (65,000) and All Points East (40,000), said it had worked with more than 77 partners at live events this summer. The companies involved came from industries including personal finance and fintech, social media, telecoms and education.

AEG said its new partners recognised that live events presented opportunities to engage with hard-to-reach audience, with 53% of festivalgoers at All Points East being Gen Z or millennials and 70% made up individuals who earn more than £50k per year.

Partnerships at this summer’s events have included All Points East headline sponsor crypto investment company Luno and creative media institution SAE UK Institute. The latter partnered with AEG Europe to give students placement opportunities in multiple roles across its festival events.

Other partners included telecommunications company Vodafone, which worked with Elton John at American Express BST Hyde Park to deliver an augmented reality show that paid tribute to NHS and frontline workers.

At All Points East, eyewear brand Ray-Ban took over the West Stage which was renamed The Ray-Ban West Stage. AEG also partnered with Reddit to deliver Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions, which saw individuals involved in APE and BST Hyde Park host sessions on the social media platform, from artists such as Rae Morris to AEG Presents CEO of European festivals Jim King.

AEG Europe vice president of global partnerships Will Dowdy said, “Following a lot of uncertainty over the past few years, brands are finally embracing opportunities to engage with consumers on one of the best days they will have all year.

“Partnerships are evolving, and companies now recognise that if they can enhance an experience or add to an already amazing day, whether that is through exclusive content, technology-enabled activations or on-site interactions, the consumer will forever link their brand to the warm emotion they felt at that time.

“Our partners are finding that creative activations are the best way to build relationships with younger audiences, generating loyalty that will remain for years to come. Consumers increasingly want to get to know brands’ personalities and what they stand for, and these partnerships allow them to demonstrate values over a longer time and create real bonds than cannot be developed by simply playing adverts at them in a kitchen or traffic jam.”