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Newcastle United might negotiate a £500 million deal that would blow Barcelona and Tottenham out of the water



Stadium naming rights are anticipated to be a more frequently accepted technique of increasing advertising revenue in the coming seasons.

Football teams selling naming rights to stadiums is not a new occurrence.

The Premier League already has the AMEX Stadium, King Power Stadium, Emirates Stadium, Etihad Stadium, and Vitality Stadium, among others. For all save the latter, the stadium naming rights changes occurred following a relocation to a new facility, where the perceived shackles of tradition were removed.

Newcastle United has also faced the issue of stadium naming rights in the past. The Magpies renamed their home James’ Park in 2009, when Mike Ashley owned the club. In 2011, the stadium was renamed the Sports Direct Arena, with then-managing director Derek Llambias touting the benefits of the change.

In a statement, Llambias stated: “Our goal for Newcastle United is to continue to provide success to the fans and everyone affiliated with the club. We must make this club financially self-sufficient in order to achieve success.

“To develop sustainably and invest in the future, we will need to rely more heavily on commercial income. Stadium rebranding provides a lucrative opportunity for clubs to generate significant additional revenue.”

It was a very controversial move, so much so that when bought both the jersey sponsorship and stadium naming rights in 2012, they chose to restore to the stadium’s previous name, St James’ Park.

Things are different in Newcastle right now. The club’s acquisition by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF) at the end of 2021 ushered in a new era for the club, but despite being owned by one of the world’s richest sovereign wealth funds, the club is bound by what it can do in the transfer market due to the Premier League’s existing financial controls, with the club having to engage in player trading to a significant extent on the final day.

PSR, as well as the tighter controls that now exist around associated party transactions, which could have been a significant lever for Newcastle to use to increase commercial revenues and alleviate PSR concerns, has prevented the club from building on its Champions League qualification and even faced the prospect of losing stars such as Alexander Isak and Bruni Guimaraes due to financial controls in June.

However, the PIF has yet to exercise its stadium naming rights option for St James’ Park. But, as economic pressures on football clubs continue to mount and the odds stack against those seeking to close the gap between themselves and the so-called ‘big six’, will there ever be a period when it is more appealing to supporters, and how useful could it be?

In Spain, Barcelona was willing to risk fury when they sold the naming rights to the Nou Camp to streaming behemoth Spotify. That contract could have been worth more if Barcelona hadn’t had such limited data on their supporters, which Spotify emphasized and lowered total value.

Given their status and at a time when the sport is increasingly globalised and reach extends into territories such as the US, which now have a huge interest in the game of’soccer’, there is no doubt that Newcastle United could command a sizable sum on a multi-year deal from a potential naming rights partner, potentially with links to the Middle East, with the Premier League’s US TV deal accounting for 20% of all global broadcast revenue in the most recent cycle.

Tottenham Hotspur’s 2019 transfer to a new purpose-built stadium on the site of their former White Hart Lane ground put them in one of European football’s most cutting-edge facilities.

With a £1.2 billion construction cost and £800 million in debt remaining on the balance sheet, the club began looking at stadium naming rights early on. Links to possible partners such as Google were discussed, but given Spurs chairman Daniel Levy’s reputation for obtaining a good deal, the club is said to be adamant on what they believe the value of such a sponsorship opportunity should be.

Levy has also previously discussed the possible worth of not selling stadium naming rights to a company and instead maintaining the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium moniker, which may be significant in emerging markets, particularly considering that the stadium hosts NFL regular season games every year.

However, the US market differs from the UK market, and same success cannot be assumed.

SoFi, a financial corporation, purchased the naming rights to the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers’ home stadiums in 2019 for more than $600 million over 20 years. paid $700 million in 2021 to acquire the naming rights to the Staples Center, which previously housed the Los Angeles Lakers and Kings. The Los Angeles Clippers will open a new purpose-built arena in Inglewood in 2024, with the rights already acquired to Intuit for $500 million.

Los Angeles is located in California, a state with a larger GDP than France, India, Italy, and Brazil. It is home to some of the world’s largest companies, generating billions of dollars in income each year.

In the United States, prominent local corporations are increasingly acquiring stadium rights. In the absence of front-of-shirt marketing opportunities across major North American leagues, although modest jersey sponsorship patches are now authorized, and with in-stadium branding relatively clean in US sports, stadium naming rights have a huge draw.

The market in the United States is almost striving to accommodate people wearing jersey patches, etc. However, in the United States, stadium naming rights have long been considered the most valuable asset in terms of brand awareness and visibility.

“There isn’t as much field signage in the United States. When you watch an NFL game, you are in a relatively clean atmosphere in terms of stadium branding.

“Obviously, the business is different, and there are a lot more companies interwoven into the broadcast limelight than in sponsored parts on CBS or ESPN, but the actual playing environment is much cleaner.

“ is one of the exceptions, but usually stadium naming rights are obtained by a major corporation based in that state. So, in most stadium naming rights arrangements in the United States, the corporation is often a US company with headquarters in that state.

“The economy of these states can be enormous. California’s economy is larger than that of the United Kingdom, and each state has several enterprises. The signature is for billion-dollar revenue businesses that can afford it as a marketing expense. So that is why it is a distinct market.

“The other factor to consider is that it is usually difficult to sell a stadium naming rights contract outside of the United States when the site is not multi-purpose and open 365 days a year.

“If you look at in the UK, for instance, even like the Co-Op Arena in Manchester, that was sold before it was constructed because that isn’t a football stadium with a limited number of home games where the brand is present and then competitions like the Champions League on the calendar, where there is limited reference to the stadium naming partner and branding is taken over by UEFA sponsors.”

Arsenal’s departure from Highbury resulted in a long-term agreement with Emirates, while Manchester City owns the Etihad Arena, Brentford the Gtech Community Stadium, and Brighton & Hove Albion the AMEX Stadium.

All were new builds, free of the traditions that previously prohibited the sale of rights, and three of those four teams have alignment across major shirt sponsorship and stadium sponsorship, with Arsenal, Manchester City, and Brighton’s front-of-shirt sponsors matching the stadium naming partner, limiting rights dilution and brand visibility.

Haddad explained: “For sponsors, there are 19 Premier League matches and a domestic cup. There are no rights surrounding the Champions League or Europa League.

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