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PNC Bank secures naming rights for the former Verizon Wireless Amphitheater

The Verizon Wireless Amphitheater has a new name – PNC Music Pavilion.

The Pittsburgh-based bank has acquired the naming rights for Charlotte’s largest outdoor concert venue in a multi-year deal, amphitheater owner Live Nation Entertainment and PNC announced in a release that was made public Monday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We’re trying to be impactful in the community, and we’ve also been a big supporter of arts and entertainment,” PNC Charlotte market President Weston Andress said. “This is a slightly different angle on that but similar to a lot of the other things we’ve done in trying to make a difference.”

PNC Bank entered the Charlotte market last year through its acquisition of RBC Bank. Since then, it has actively spread its name and brand through the city.

The bank has sponsored a community day and photography exhibit at the Mint Museum, made a significant donation to the library system for financial education and sponsored forums in conjunction with the Observer. PNC also launched a large media campaign that included putting advertising on city buses.

PNC will donate 1,200 tickets to pavilion events to the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Charlotte. The bank is still working to put together its “activation strategy” for product placement and brand representation inside the pavilion.

“It gives us brand recognition with a lot of potential customers and different groups seeing our brand and kind of understanding what PNC is all about,” Andress said. “It’s a source of pride for our employees in our community.”

The amphitheater’s name change means the end of a nearly 14-year run for the Verizon Wireless branding. What was formerly known as the Blockbuster Pavilion last changed its name in February 2001. The headline acts that summer included James Taylor, Brooks & Dunn and the Dave Matthews Band.

The company that owns the concert venue has changed its name since then as well. When Verizon Wireless took over the naming rights, the company was called SFX Entertainment.

Banks continue to be heavily represented among the names of public event venues in Charlotte. Bank of America has had the naming rights to the football stadium where the Carolina Panthers play since 2004. BB&T recently announced it would sponsor the uptown baseball stadium that will be home to the Charlotte Knights next season.

PNC Bank also has the naming rights to the arena in Raleigh where the Carolina Hurricanes and N.C. State men’s basketball teams play.

Dunn: 704-358-5235; Twitter: @andrew_dunn
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