Feb 27, 2013 at 03:36 PM
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Live Nation Reports Strong Results From Sponsorship

Live Nation Entertainment today announced an 8% increase in revenue for the year, crediting sponsorship for being one of the company's primary growth drivers. Despite the bump in overall sales, Live Nation nearly doubled its net loss, losing $159.7 million due to write downs and costs associated with the departure of Chairman Irving Azoff.

On the sponsorship front, revenue was up 7.4% for the full year to $248 million, as LN execs credited custom client-branded events and festival sponsorship, along with online advertising growth for the bump in revenue. Recently, Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino said the company's goal is to get "as much as 30 percent of the $1 billion marketers spend a year sponsoring U.S. music."

"These results came close to what we had hoped for, for the business for the year with strong growth in our core sponsorship business with amphitheaters and festival sponsorship contribution margin up 12% as we continued to build new sponsorable products at these events," COO Joe Berchtold said.

The entertainment giant showed strong growth in sponsorships to close out the year, pulling in $54.7 million in sponsorship and advertising as compared to $48.3 million in the fourth quarter of the prior year. Operating income for sponsorship and advertising over the full year came out to $163.8 million, making it one of the company's highest margin businesses and helping to make up for losses in Live Nation's concert business. The growth in sponsorship follows a successful 2011, where the company showed 9% growth over 2010.

Without giving specific guidance for 2013, Berchtold told analysts that they can expect similar double digit growth from sponsorship in the coming year.

Related: For Every $1 Marketers Spend on Music, This Company Wants 30 Cents