PRESS RELEASE: “Starwood Hotels & Resorts Expands Global Sponsorship Alliance with Live Nation Entertainment”
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. & LOS ANGELES (BUSINESS WIRE) February 2, 2011 – In 2009, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) and its award-winning Starwood Preferred Guest® (SPG) program forged a unique strategic sponsorship alliance with Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. to offer SPG members access to unique, once in a lifetime music experiences. Now, as the two renowned global brands renew and expand their exclusive multi-year, multimillion dollar strategic sponsorship, SPG members are primed to benefit from even more unique entertainment experiences, resulting in strengthened loyalty among SPG members and the ability to attract new customers to Starwood properties.
The sponsorship enables Starwood to leverage the world’s most extensive roster of live entertainment events to offer its SPG members unique benefits around one of their key passions – music. Direct benefits to SPG include: music inspired promotions and redemption opportunities, access to intimate acoustic performances and artist after parties taking place around the globe at Starwood properties as well as access to premium tickets and VIP experiences. Since the alliance began, SPG members have witnessed Sting perform pre-show sound checks, taken drum lessons with Daniel Adair from Nickelback, and had the opportunity to meet other globally distinguished artists including Dave Matthews, John Mayer, Jonas Brothers, Depeche Mode, Katy Perry, and so much more.
“Starwood’s SPG program has been a category differentiator since its inception and our innovative alliance with Live Nation Entertainment solidifies our leadership position by providing members with benefits that are not only exclusive, but that align with their passions and pursuits,” said Phil McAveety, Chief Brand Officer for Starwood. “Our relationship with Live Nation Entertainment has been extremely successful and we’re pleased to renew and expand it so that our members and their families have the opportunity to get up close and personal with their favorite music artists.”
In addition to providing direct consumer benefits, the relationship – which expands further into Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asian markets with the renewal – is mutually beneficial to both companies. Starwood is now the exclusive preferred hotel partner of Live Nation and Ticketmaster worldwide. The Live Nation Entertainment global ecommerce platform allows Starwood to connect with the 200 million fans attending 100,000 events around the world annually through the ‘Where To Stay’ booking function on both livenation.com and ticketmaster.com. In addition, Starwood will work directly with the entertainment company’s touring division to arrange customized hotel bookings for artists on tour and for all corporate travel, providing a measurable cost savings for the company’s global travel and lodging needs. Starwood will also promote Live Nation concert tours in communication to SPG members and to Starwood hotel guests.
“The partnership capitalizes on the power of our integrated marketing platform, including the third largest ecommerce site in the world,” said Russell Wallach, President of Live Nation Network. “We’re tapping into our thousands of concerts to offer Starwood’s guests exceptional experiences that build on the power of live entertainment, while helping Starwood to reward and expand their customer base through highly efficient and measurable marketing programs to drive their business.”
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 and others, SPG continues to innovate and lead the industry. By offering No Blackouts on standard rooms at over 1,000 hotels and resorts in nearly 100 countries, 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 1025 properties in 100 countries and territories with 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®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft®, 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 Entertainment, Inc.
Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE-LYV) is the largest live entertainment company in the world: connecting 200 million fans to 100,000 events in over 40 countries which has made Ticketmaster.com the #3 eCommerce website in the world. For additional information, visit www.livenation.com/investors.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Worldwide, Inc.
Jennifer Leemann, 914-640-8539
Dan Klores Communications
Louise O’Brien or Julie Horn
Live Nation Entertainment, Inc.
Linda Bandov Pazin, 310-975-6930