Merlin Entertainments announces 3 year partnership for London Eye with EDF Energy

7 January 2011

Merlin Entertainments (‘Merlin’), Europe’s leading attractions operator confirmed today that it has agreed a three year partnership for its premier attraction – the London Eye - with leading energy company, EDF Energy.

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The partnership will give EDF Energy, the UK’s largest producer of low-carbon electricity, naming rights to the London Eye for the period of the contract and will allow both parties to maximise opportunities through joint marketing activity.  The new partnership branding for the EDF Energy London Eye will be revealed later in January when the attraction reopens after its annual two week maintenance period.

A global icon, the London Eye provides a unique and very high profile international platform in the year leading up to 2012 and beyond. EDF Energy is a tier one sponsor and the first sustainability partner for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games; and the link with the London Eye will optimise the organisation’s visibility in the Capital.  

Gareth Wynn, Director of London 2012 Programme, EDF Energy, said “Our partnership with the London Eye will be a powerful way to help EDF Energy communicate our vision of a low carbon future.

EDF Energy and Merlin share a commitment to sustainability and to engaging people to play their part in tackling climate change. We will be using our expertise as Britain’s largest generator of low carbon electricity to help lower the carbon footprint of the London Eye. Merlin’s expertise in providing a fantastic visitor experience will help us inspire people to do their bit for a more sustainable future”.

Commenting David Sharpe, Merlin Entertainments’ Divisional Director Midway London, said  “Merlin is absolutely delighted to be partnering with an organisation of the quality and reputation of EDF Energy.”

‘We have always believed that working with the London Eye offered unique and compelling opportunities for the right partner. 

The London Eye is one of Merlin’s premier attraction brands and recognised internationally as a 21st century symbol for modern Britain, and a global icon.  It has therefore always been very important to us that any agreement, particularly if it involves naming rights, is with an organisation which not only reflects the same values as our own, but which also brings something extra to the party like environmental expertise.  In EDF Energy we believe we have found the perfect partner, and we very much look forward to working with them in the future.”

MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS GROUP

The leading name in location based, family entertainment, Merlin has seen the most successful and dynamic growth of any company in the sector over the last five years.   Europe’s number one, and the world’s second largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin has 69 attractions and 6 hotels in 14 countries, across 4 continents.   The company aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its 38.5 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and 15,000 employees.   Merlin Entertainments operates the following attractions – SEA LIFE – the world’s No 1 aquarium brand, Madame Tussauds, LEGOLAND, The London Eye, Dungeons, Gardaland, LEGOLAND Discovery Centres, Alton Towers Resort, Warwick Castle, THORPE PARK, Chessington World of Adventures, Heide Park, and Earth Explorer.  Most recently the company has also acquired the Sydney Attractions Group in Australia/New Zealand.

The London Eye

At 135m, the London Eye is the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel. It was conceived and designed by Marks Barfield Architects and has won over 85 awards for national and international tourism, outstanding architectural quality and engineering achievement.  Since 2000, it has attracted over 40 million visitors and is owned and operated by the Merlin Entertainments Group.       

Recently the Eye also added a 4D Experience for visitors - the first live action, 4D attraction film ever produced in the UK. The film brings together a number of 3D filming styles: including unique aerial photography over London, time lapse, live action and sophisticated visual effects.

EDF Energy

EDF Energy is one of the UK’s largest energy companies and the largest producer of low-carbon electricity, producing around one-fifth of the nation's electricity from its nuclear, coal and gas power stations, as well as combined heat and power plants and wind farms. The company supplies gas and electricity to more than 5.5 million business and residential customers and is the biggest supplier of electricity by volume in the UK.

EDF Energy’s safe and secure operation of its eight existing nuclear power stations at sites across the country makes it the UK’s largest generator of low carbon electricity. EDF Energy is also leading the UK's nuclear renaissance and has published plans to build four new nuclear plants, subject to the right investment framework. These new plants could generate enough low carbon electricity for about 40% of Britain’s homes. They would make an important contribution to the UK’s future needs for clean, secure and affordable energy. The project is already creating business and job opportunities for British companies and workers.

Through Our Sustainability Commitments, EDF Energy has launched one of the biggest environmental and social programmes of any British energy company. EDF is the official energy utilities partner and sustainability partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The company is also helping its customers and others use energy more sustainably through products and initiatives such as Team Green Britain, smart meters and electric vehicle research.

EDF Energy is part of EDF Group, one of Europe’s largest power companies. The company employs around 15,000 people at locations across the UK.