Lastminute.com is taking over from Coca-Cola as headline sponsor of the London Eye in a three-year deal that kicks off in February 2020.
The agreement signed by London Eye owner Merlin Entertainments, which also covers the Thames River Cruise, gives Lastminute full naming rights and will see the landmark lit up in the travel brand’s corporate pink colour. Both companies will use the partnership to run experiences and events.
Coke first sponsored the tourist attraction in 2015, rebranding the structure with red lighting and naming it the Coca-Cola London Eye. It was previously sponsored by utility company EDF Energy, which agreed a three-year deal in 2011.
Marco Corradino, group chief executive of Lastminute.com, said: “London is the city where it all began for Lastminute.com more than 20 years ago, so we’re thrilled to announce our partnership with one of the capital’s most recognisable symbols, the London Eye.
“We are planning many exciting things together for the people of the UK and visitors from across the globe. And we can’t wait to help make this unique part of the London skyline a bit more pink from 2020 onwards.”
The London Eye was originally sponsored by then-part-owner British Airways from 2000 – when it was known as the Millennium Wheel – until 2005, when the attraction was acquired by Merlin.
Sunny Jouhal, the London Eye’s general manager, added: “The London Eye has been an iconic and world-famous part of the city skyline for almost 20 years and is a ‘must-do’ for visitors to the capital. We are thrilled to enter a milestone year partnered with such a well-renowned brand and we have already agreed lots of exciting plans and are looking forward to bringing them to life.”
Lastminute uses Publicis London for its advertising and earlier this year launched a consultancy called Playbook, which saw it take much of its media in-house. It previously worked with Manning Gottlieb OMD on media.