PRESS RELEASE: “Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. and Live Nation Expand Sponsorship Alliance Globally”
LOS ANGELES & WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (BUSINESS WIRE) March 24, 2010 – Building on the success of their first year, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (HOT 43.80, -0.25, -0.57%) and Live Nation (LYV 13.46, -0.17, -1.25%) today announced that they will expand their sponsorship alliance beyond North America to include Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The two companies formed their innovative alliance in 2009 to deliver unique live music experiences to members of Starwood’s award-winning loyalty program, Starwood Preferred Guest(R).
In preparation for this next phase of their alliance, Starwood and Live Nation recently began offering SPG members premium access to Cirque du Soleil’s Saltimbanco and artist experiences with Depeche Mode in Spain, France, UK and Germany.
“We are thrilled to expand our alliance with Live Nation following the remarkable success of our first year. Now we are able to deliver robust music offerings to our members around the world, while attracting more customers from the millions of people across the globe who attend Live Nation shows,” said Phil McAveety, Chief Brand Officer for Starwood. “We are continually developing new ways to offer unique experiences through this rich alliance that our members can share with those close to them.”
The expanded relationship will give SPG members in Europe, Asia and the Middle East substantially similar benefits enjoyed by SPG members in North America including premium ticket access and priority seating, music-inspired promotions, exclusive access to top artists for select Live Nation concerts and retail discounts for artist merchandise.
“The fact that we continue to grow our strategic business alliance with a distinctive, global brand like Starwood reflects the value and reach of Live Nation’s integrated live entertainment platform. By leveraging the tremendous breadth and power of the Starwood network, we are able to interact directly with even more avid music fans around the world,” said Simon Lewis, Live Nation’s President of International Marketing Partnerships. “We have already opened up a wide range of avenues to drive business among Starwood’s hotel guests in the United States, and we expect to do the same on a global scale.”
Live Nation helps Starwood drive room stays through multi-platform media placement at Live Nation venues and seamless hotel booking integration on all “Where to Stay” web pages on LiveNation.com. The site is the gateway for Live Nation event, venue and artist information and ticket sales, through which Starwood communicates directly with millions of targeted consumers. This expanded alliance is expected to drive incremental ticket sales for Live Nation via multiple media channels both online and in-room, reaching millions of guests worldwide.
About Starwood Preferred Guest
The SPG program’s breakthrough policy of No Blackout Dates at the world’s most sought after collection of hotels, reinvented the hospitality loyalty program when it launched in 1999. By creating a program centered on its members, SPG has developed the most passionate and knowledgeable membership base in the hotel loyalty space. Through its use of new technologies and innovative channels such as SPG.com, SPG.com/stayconnected, SPG.com/flights, thelobby.com and others, SPG continues to innovate and lead the industry. By offering No Blackouts on standard rooms at 940 participating properties, No Blackouts on hundreds of airlines, and once in a lifetime experiences available through SPG Moments at spg.com/moments, the program has proven to be a big draw for the world’s most frequent travelers, and a significant competitive advantage for Starwood. For more information about Starwood Preferred Guest please visit SPG.com or call (877) — STARWOOD.
About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 992 properties in nearly 100 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis(R), The Luxury Collection(R), W(R), Westin(R), Le Meridien(R), Sheraton(R), Four Points(R) by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft(R), and Element SM. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.
About Live Nation
Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE-LYV) is the largest live entertainment company in the world, consisting of five businesses: concert promotion and venue operations, sponsorship, ticketing solutions, e-commerce and artist management. Live Nation seeks to innovate and enhance the live entertainment experience for artists and fans: before, during and after the show.
In 2009, Live Nation sold 140 million tickets, promoted 21,000 concerts, partnered with 850 sponsors and averaged 25 million unique monthly users of its e-commerce sites. For additional information, visit www.livenation.com/investors.
SOURCE: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Brad Minor, 914-640-3687
Hannah Kampf, 310-867-7000
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