Newcastle United rename St Jamesí Park
Thu 10th Nov 2011 | Football Sponsorship
Newcastle United announce plans to licence full naming rights to St. James’ Park
Newcastle United have today announced plans to licence the full naming rights to the club’s stadium following consultation with international branding experts.
In a controversial move that has angered many fans, Newcastle have revealed that as of today, St James’ Park will now be known as the Sports Direct Arena.
In a statement released by the club Managing Director, Derek Llambias, said: “Our aim for Newcastle United is to continue to deliver success for the fans and everyone associated with the Club. We must make this Club financially self-sufficient in order to deliver that success.”
The original naming rights proposal, launched in November 2009, invited sponsors to link their brand to St. James’ Park, but this did not prove commercially attractive.
As such, the club will now seek a sponsor who will be granted full naming rights and as a showcase until a sponsor is found the stadium has been renamed the Sports Direct Arena.
“To grow sustainably and allow us to invest in our future, we will need to rely increasingly heavily on commercial income,” Llambias continued. “These are very difficult economic times and the board have a responsibility to maximise all revenue streams for the benefit of the Club. Stadium rebranding offers a lucrative way for clubs to secure significant additional income.
“When we initially launched our plans at the end of 2009, we invited sponsors to attach their brand to that of St. James’ Park. However it has become clear that in order to make the proposition as commercially attractive as possible, a potential sponsor must be given the opportunity to fully rebrand the stadium.
“Naming the stadium the Sports Direct Arena helps up to showcase the opportunity to interested parties. We are now actively seeking a long-term sponsor wishing to acquire full naming rights for the stadium.”
fcbusiness Editor Ryan McKnight said, “The fact that Newcastle United have made this decision is no great surprise. However, I would be curious to know what value they have placed on the naming rights and if there is any money being paid by Sports Direct for the rights. If not, surely there should be some write off of the clubs debts to the value they think is appropriate for such a high level of sponsorship.”
Newcastle will also seek a new shirt sponsor which prospective companies will be offered as part of the Stadium naming rights package. “Our shirt sponsorship deal with Northern Rock will also expire at the end of this season, which presents would-be sponsors with the opportunity to acquire both the naming rights and shirt sponsorship deals.”
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