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All posts tagged stadium naming rights

The NFL’s St Louis Rams have reportely penned a stadium naming-rights deal worth USD$158m with National Car Rental for their proposed riverfront stadium that would be built in St. Louis.

The stadium, which would replace the team’s Edward Jones Dome, has been proposed to help keep the Rams in St. Louis, although owner, Stan Kroenke – who also holds a majority stake in English soccer team Arsenal FC – has expressed a desire to move the team to Los Angeles.

National Car Rental have reached a 20-year agreement with the St. Louis Regional Sports Authority (who would be the owner/operator) for the stadium, which would be known as ‘National Car Rental Field‘. Officials with the stadium task force and the Company told the Associated Press about the deal on Tuesday.

The St. Louis-based company will pay USD$6.5m in the first year, with a 2% annual inflation escalator every year after that. (The average annual payout would be approximately USD$7.9m.)

The deal includes signage on the interior and exterior of the stadium featuring the National Car Rental brand name.

The parent company of National Car Rental is Enterprise Holdings, who also owns Enterprise and Alamo car rental companies.

Govenor Jay Nixon released the following statement regarding the announcement on Wednesday:

Today’s announcement is another concrete step forward and a powerful affirmation of the St. Louis business community’s strong support for this project.

Private investment and taxpayer protection have been pillars of this effort from Day One, and I thank National Car Rental, the Taylor family, as well as Dave Peacock and Bob Blitz for their work to keep the NFL in St. Louis, redevelop the north riverfront and build a brighter future for the region as a whole.

The stadium project is certainly not a ‘done-deal’ and hinges on the League’s decision regarding which team (if any) will be granted permission to re-locate to Los Angeles.

However, this naming-rights agreement would be a significant step in demonstrating the feasibility of the stadium plans, just days ahead of a League meeting to discuss the potential move of the club. The Rams are competing with the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders (whose proposed ‘shared’ MANICA-designed stadium features in the latest Q3 edition of PanStadia & Arena Management magazine), both of whom are mooting a move to LA.


Source: Associated Press

Image courtesy: St. Louis Regional Sports Authority

Mercedes-Benz has ‘stamped’ its name on the city of Atlanta by acquiring the naming-rights to the new Atlanta Falcons stadium, which will now be known as the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The USD$1.5bn stadium, designed by HOK, is slated to open in 2017 and will be ‘home’ not only to the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons but also to Atlanta United FC; a new MLS club owned by Falcons Owner, Arthur Blank.

The 2020 men’s Final Four is to be played in the new stadium and the city is also competing for future Super Bowls and College Football Playoffs.

This marks Mercedes-Benz’s second NFL stadium – and second in the NFC South – for which it already holds naming rights; the New Orleans Saints having agreed a 10-year naming-rights deal with the car manufacturer back in 2011, which saw their home ground re-named the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

In China, the company has held the naming-rights to Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai since 2009.

This deal marks Mercedes-Benz’s largest naming-rights acquistion to date. The car manufacturer is also moving it’s headquarters from New Jersey to a new campus facility in Atlanta metro’s Sandy Springs, which will open by 2017, further stamping it’s mark on the city of Atlanta.

Image courtesy: HOK

NB: You can view the announcement, made by the club, car manufacturer and city representatives, online at:


PGE secures naming rights to Poland’s National Stadium

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Poland’s state-owned power utility, PGE, has secured the naming rights to the National Stadium in Warsaw, home of the national football team, for the next five-years.

The deal between PGE and the stadium operator, PL.2012+, will see the stadium re-named PGE Narodowy (PGE National) from now until 2020 – with PGE’s logo to appear on the stadium’s facade – with a renewal option after that.

The 58,145-capacity stadium was originally built as a host venue for the UEFA EURO 2012 championships, which Poland co-hosted with Ukraine, and hosted the opening match between Poland and Greece. It is ‘home’ to Poland’s national football team and is the largest association football arena in Poland. The stadium has a retractable PVC roof that unfolds from a nest on a spire suspended above the centre of the pitch. The retractable roof is inspired by the cable-supported unfolding system of Commerzbank-Arena in Frankfurt, Germany, and is also similar to the newly renovated roof of BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, Canada.

Although the financial terms of the agreement have not yet been released, Polish newspaper Puls Biznesu has reported that PGE will pay PLN37m (US$9.85m) over the duration of the agreement, though this figure could rise to PLN45m (US$11.9m) if certain targets are met.

Marek Woszczyk, Chief Executive of PGE, said:

The agreement with PL.2012 + is the next step to achieve our main objective of marketing activities: achieving a level of brand awareness and recognition of PGE so that every Pole not only knows the brand, but above all wants to be its client.

The venue’s net loss stood at PLN700,000 last year, but thanks to this naming rights deal, the stadium will be back in the black.

Augsburg sponsor takes stadium naming rights

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German top-division club FC Augsburg have announced that their home stadium will be re-christened the WWK Arena from the start of the forthcoming season.


WWK Insurance were announced as Augsburg’s new primary sponsor back in April, and have now moved to show their full commitment to the club, signing a ten-year deal to act as the title sponsor for the former SGL Arena.


The announcement was made at the presentation ceremony for Augsburg’s new kit, which also features WWK as the main shirt sponsor.


Klaus Hofmann, President of FC Augsburg, said:

We are happy to take this further step towards a long-term, close cooperation with WWK Insurance. WWK is the right partner for us and we are delighted to be able to continue the successful development of FC Augsburg together.


The move comes off the back of Augsburg’s strong 2014/15 season, when they finished fifth in Germany’s Bundesliga.

With construction of Minnesota’s state-of-the-art, multi-use stadium more than halfway complete, the Minnesota Vikings can ‘bank’ on a substantial home field advantage every time they take the field beginning in 2016; with the stadium’s naming rights having been acquired by U.S. Bank, making the venue’s official name, U.S. Bank Stadium.

U.S. Bank, the fifth-largest commercial bank in the United States, and the Minnesota Vikings announced the 20-year partnership for the exclusive naming rights of the Vikings’ new stadium today, June 16, 2015. The announcement highlights two prominent and storied Minnesota institutions coming together with a focus on strengthening the economic and social well-being of the state and surrounding communities. Terms of the partnership were not disclosed.

Described by the stadium architects, HKS Sports + Entertainment, as an “authentic structure influenced by its Minnesota location”, U.S. Bank Stadium exhibits a bold, progressive design and combines efficient functionality with stunning architecture.

The stadium’s transparent ETFE roof, combined with the world’s largest pivoting glass doors and an entire glass wall that overlooks the downtown Minneapolis skyline, will give users an outdoor feel in a climate-controlled environment.

As one of the most technologically-advanced stadiums in the country and boasting some of the NFL’s closest seats to the field, U.S. Bank Stadium will also provide an unprecedented game-day experience.

Richard Davis, Chairman, President and CEO of U.S. Bank, commented:

The Minnesota Vikings are a treasure for all citizens of Minnesota and our surrounding states to embrace, enjoy and enthusiastically support. As Minnesota’s hometown bank, U.S. Bank has been investing in the financial futures of individuals, families, small businesses and large enterprises for more than 150 years. Today, it is our privilege to make this new investment in the Vikings and the entire state of Minnesota. We look forward to U.S. Bank Stadium being a place that will drive economic vitality in Minneapolis-St. Paul, as well as a place where friends and families will create lasting memories celebrating civic pride and the competitive accomplishments of the Minnesota Vikings.

Vikings Owner/President, Mark Wilf, said:
On behalf of the entire Minnesota Vikings organization, we would like to thank Richard and the 67,000 U.S. Bank employees for their belief in, and support of, the Vikings and this new stadium and for the commitment they make in the economic and social well-being of Minnesota and its citizens every day. We are proud to partner with a storied and respected Minnesota institution to introduce both U.S. Bank Stadium and the Places to Play program, both of which will serve as assets for the entire Minnesota community.

Reinforcing both U.S. Bank’s and the Vikings commitment to youth and the community, the partners also announced a USD$1m investment into locations across the state where Minnesota children will play through the “Places to Play” program. The Places to Play program is a state-wide, grant-making initiative focused on investments in the community facilities that contribute to the quality of life including parks, playgrounds, trails and athletic facilities. For the next several years, U.S. Bank and the Vikings will make grants totaling USD$250,000 annually to improve and enhance public venues across the state of Minnesota. Communities can apply for the grants beginning in September 2015 and winners will be selected by the Places to Play advisory committee.

Davis advised:

At U.S. Bank, we believe that we are only as strong and vibrant as the communities we serve and we are deeply committed to helping Minnesotans reach their full potential financially and in their quality of life. The recreational and play spaces across the 87 counties in Minnesota are simply one example of catalysts for turning potential into promise and promise into exceptional achievement. Joining forces with the Vikings as the naming partner for U.S. Bank Stadium gives us the platform and the responsibility to make great things happen for the youth of Minnesota. We are excited for the kickoff of the Places to Play initiative, as well as the kickoff of the Vikings 2016 season. Skol, Vikings!

Wilf added:

The Vikings have never wavered in our commitment to the physical well-being of Minnesota’s children. The partnership with U.S. Bank is a natural fit as both the Vikings and U.S. Bank are strong community advocates who care about similar charitable causes throughout the state of Minnesota, particularly as it relates to children. The Places to Play initiative is the next step in that continued commitment, and we look forward to launching the program later this year.


Source & images courtesy: Minnesota Vikings,


Rotherham United FC secures first ever stadium naming rights sponsor

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The Championship side’s GBP£20m state-of-the-art stadium, which opened in 2012, will now be known as the AESSEAL New York Stadium, after a naming rights deal was agreed with AESSEAL, an international company engaged in the design, manufacture and distribution of mechanical seals, which has their global headquarters in Rotherham.


Although no financial details have been released, this deal marks the biggest sponsorship in the Club’s history. The initial term will be until the summer of 2019, with the Millers officially playing their first game under the AESSEAL brand against Huddersfield Town on Boxing Day (December 26, 2014).

The agreement will also see the AESSEAL name and branding prominently visible both internally and externally at the stadium.
AESSEAL have been in business in Rotherham since 1984 and now have over 1,650 employees operating out of 77 locations in 37 countries. The company recently celebrated its 33rd consecutive year of sales and profit growth. With sales in over 104 countries, 2013 saw AESSEAL increase total sales to over GBP£146m.

Rotherham United Chairman Tony Stewart said:

This a landmark deal not only for the football club and but also for the Borough of Rotherham.

AESSEAL are one of the world’s leading figures in their sector and it is a company with roots deeply embedded in Rotherham, which makes them the perfect partner for the stadium naming rights.


Chris Rea, Group Managing Director and founder of AESSEAL, commented:

The primary reason that I am delighted to associate the AESSEAL brand with Rotherham United is that the current management team of the football club has built a beautiful product.

The stadium itself, and in particular the corporate social responsibility aspects of the club, are truly excellent.

Club Commercial Director, Steve Coakley, added:
This is undoubtedly a ground-breaking agreement for Rotherham United Football Club and one that we are all absolutely thrilled with. We look forward to welcoming AESSEAL as our Stadium Rights Partner.
It has taken some tireless work and diligent planning, from both parties, to come to this agreement, and after working closely with both Chris [Rea] and Jonathan [Wilkinson, AESSEAL Chief Executive] we are very excited to announce this partnership with such a long-standing and well known international brand that also has very local links.
Based close by at Bradmarsh Business Park, AESSEAL employ in excess of 300 people within the town so it really is a brand that the supporters of the club can identify with.


MLS’ San Jose Earthquakes sign stadium-naming rights deal

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On November 19, 2014, Major League Soccer club San Jose Earthquakes and Avaya – two Silicone Valley brands on the ascent – announced a multi-year agreement granting Avaya the stadium naming rights of the team’s new stadium.

The club’s new home will be named the Avaya Stadium when it opens early in 2015 and, according to the Mercury News, Avaya – a Santa Clara-based firm that provides technology services – will pay US$20m over a ten-year period.

Avaya Stadium will feature state-of-the-art technology and will be the first cloud-enabled sports stadium in the league. The 18,000-seat stadium will also include the largest outdoor bar in North America, large double-sided scoreboards and field-level suites.

Dave Kaval, President of the Earthquakes, said:

We wanted to find a company that could actually enhance the stadium; that’s why a technology company would be logical for that. The cool thing for fans is it’s going to be constantly evolving.

Joe Manuele, Avaya’s VP of Cloud Services, commented:

This is a way for us to play a bigger part in the community. It’s also a showcase for us so our customers can see the technology in action in a very unique environment.

Images courtesy San Jose Earthquakes

Images courtesy San Jose Earthquakes

Club_View_1.png Aerial_Night_Avaya_Final

About Avaya Stadium

The 18,000-capacity Avaya Stadium – designed by 360 Architecture – is currently under construction on Coleman Ave. adjacent to the San Jose International Airport. The European-inspired building is the first cloud-enabled venue in Major League Soccer and will be among the most technologically advanced stadiums in the world. The stadium features a canopy roof and the steepest-raked seating in Major League Soccer to provide the best possible fan experience. Additionally, the north end zone houses the largest outdoor bar in North America, a two-acre fan zone and a double-sided video scoreboard. The suites and club seats are located at field level, giving fans a premium experience unlike any other in professional sports. The stadium will be part of a mixed use residential, retail, R&D and hotel development.

Atlanta Braves break ground on new SunTrust Park stadium

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Major League Baseball Commissioner-elect Rob Manfred and Hank Aaron were among the many dignitaries who flocked to Cobb County on Tuesday morning to be part of what Braves CEO and Chairman Terry McGuirk described as “one of the most important days in the franchise’s history”. They all gathered for the groundbreaking of SunTrust Park, a US$672m state-of-the-art stadium designed by world-renowned architects Populous that will open before the 2017 season.

McGuirk said:

A groundbreaking is a beginning. In two years, we’ll transform this bare patch of dirt from what it is today into a magnificent ballpark and a majestic ballpark village.

While the ceremonial breaking of the ground with shovels stood as the basis of the event, the highlight occurred during the early portion of the ceremonies, when McGuirk revealed that SunTrust Bank would serve as the naming rights partner for the stadium.

SunTrust Chairman and CEO, William Rogers, said:

We are extremely proud to be affiliated with a world-class franchise with tremendous business potential and incredibly loyal fans.

Sports Business Journal reported that SunTrust’s sponsorship will be worth over US$10m per year to the Braves. Although this is unconfirmed, that would equate to at least US$250m over the full term.

The ceremony was held inside a tent that was positioned on a plot of dirt that will soon serve as the new stadium’s centre-field area. Around the open-air, 41,500-seat ballpark will be a mixed-use village that will include restaurants, hotels, office space and residential opportunities.

With this mixed-use development, the Braves are hoping to gain year-round revenues that will continue to assist them in their efforts to construct championship-caliber rosters on a consistent basis.

Club President, John Schuerholz, said:

The feel of this new ballpark will foster a one-of-a-kind experience unrivalled in all of baseball.

Manfred highlighted how the vision of this facility is another example of the business excellence the Braves have shown over the years:

The Braves have always had great leaders, from [past owners] Bill Bartholomay to Ted Turner, to Terry McGuirk and John Schuerholz. The Braves truly have been blessed with business acumen and vision.

Today, here in Cobb County, there is a new history of the Braves being launched. The state-of-the-art facility that will be built here will be essential to the Braves continuing their great winning tradition, and this project is an example of the kind of vision the Braves have always shown.

No club in Major League Baseball has ever undertaken to building a facility and a stadium that is as fully integrated with a mixed-use project as this one. It will provide a unique experience for the fans of the Braves.

While the day was certainly special for McGuirk and Schuerholz, who have long beamed when speaking about the new stadium and mixed-use development that will attempt to attract consumers 365 days a year, this event was truly a celebration for Braves Executive Vice President Mike Plant, who spearheaded the initiative.

As far back as 2005, Plant had visions of building a mixed-use facility around Turner Field. But when it became apparent that he would not be able to complete this project, he set out looking for alternatives, and he found what he was seeking in Cobb County.

Plant said:

This is going to be a legacy transformation and a generational impact throughout the whole Southeast. I think we’re going to set an example for sports teams well into the future. I feel proud that I helped get it going in the beginning and have a pretty significant role moving forward working with our whole team.

We’ve got a lot of good people working on this. I think we all understand the significant impact this is going to have not only on this region, but the whole sports legacy.

Source: Atlanta Braves website. Images courtesy: Atlanta Braves.



Real Madrid to offer naming rights to Bernabeu Stadium to fund redesign

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According to a story by Alex Duff on, Real Madrid football club will sell the naming rights to its Bernabeu Stadium to pay for most of the costs of a €400m (US$518m) redesign of the venue, the soccer team’s President Florentino Perez said.

The stadium will take the name of a sponsor alongside the Bernabeu name it has had since 1955, Perez said after a news conference to present the European champion’s latest financial results. He said the club is in talks with suitors, without identifying them.

The venue takes its current name from Santiago Bernabeu, who was a player and coach for Real Madrid, and then its President for 35 years. The club won six of its ten European titles during the period.

Real Madrid is following teams including Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal and Manchester City which have brokered naming-rights deals to name their stadiums. For example, back in 2011, Etihad Airways PJSC agreed to pay Manchester City FC more than GBP£300m (US$489m) over the contracts 10 year tenure for their stadium naming-rights, which saw the venue re-named Etihad Stadium.

Perez said work on the redesign, which includes a proposed hotel and shopping centre, is being held up by a complaint by a conservation group, although construction could begin as early as next year.

Real Madrid’s net income for the year through June – during which it won the Champions League for the first time since 2002 – rose by 4% to €38.5m (US$50m). Sales, excluding transfer amortizations, increased by 5.5%, to €549.6m.


Image courtesy: Real Madrid FC

Duchy Homes secures naming rights to John Street Stand at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane Stadium

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English League One team Sheffield United FC has signed a two-year naming rights deal with luxury homebuilder, Duchy Homes, for the John Street Stand at their home stadium, Bramall Lane.

Part of the GMI Group, Duchy Homes currently has four executive developments in the South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire area.

Announcing the partnership, United’s Head of Commercial, Paul Reeves, said:

This is another significant commercial partnership for our club and one which brings Duchy Homes, a newly-emerging homebuilder to Bramall Lane.

We are sure that this relationship will create interest in their developments and we are very much looking forward to working with them commercially.

Duchy Homes Managing Director Jim Cropper said:

The opportunity to gain further recognition for the Duchy Homes brand was not to be missed. We are delighted to be associated with the Blades and have been impressed with the vision and energy shown by the Club. Here’s to a long, rewarding and successful relationship for both parties.


Leeds-based Duchy Homes was established by Managing Director Jim Cropper in December 2011. It is part of the GMI family of companies – one of the UK’s leading construction and energy groups.

Oldham Athletic FC secures lucrative stadium naming rights deal with

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Oldham Athletic FC have agreed a record five-year sponsorship deal with Sports Direct and kit suppliers Sondico, which will see their Boundary Park home ground re-named Park, with the retail giant also to be the new name on the front of the team’s shirts.


Top image: courtesy FWP Group.


In addition, a new 2,000sqft SportsDirect club shop will open within the 10,638-capacity stadium’s new North Stand.


No financial terms were released but the deal is said to be the biggest in the Club’s history, with the Manchester Evening News reporting it could have a value approaching seven figures.


Commenting on the deal on the Club’s website, Chairman, Simon Corney, said:

This is a landmark day for the football club. We are delighted to enter into a partnership of this magnitude with Sports Direct.

A lot of work has gone into this deal which see’s Sports Direct become our front of shirt partner and Sondico become our technical kit partner for the next five seasons, as well as the renaming of Boundary Park to Park.

There is a lot going on at the club, with the construction of the new stand and the opportunities this affords us. We have a dynamic young manager who is looking to assemble a squad to build upon the excellent finish we enjoyed to last season.


In regards to the stadium development, FWP Architects have been working with the Club to establish a long term redevelopment master plan. The scheme comprises a state-of-the-art 16,500-seater venue including three new stands, a 4-star hotel, conference facilities, office space and 776 new houses and apartments.


On the Club’s website, the latest blog states:

As work continues on the construction of the new North Stand, lead contractor Paul Whitehead gives supporters an update regarding the build.

Since the last blog, the majority of the steel frame has been completed and the Verlin Stand end of the frame is fully complete with end panels and staircases in place.
As is typical with this type of development, it appears on the face to be stop-start in terms of what you see happening over a period of time. When the ground works phase was on-going it appeared little was happening, then with the steel frame going up there was a spurt of obvious progression followed by another period where not much visible progress has been apparent. However, as the cladding and windows work starts over the coming weeks progress will once again be obvious.
Last week saw the announcement of the Sports Direct deal and the store that will be opening in the new stand. Plans to accommodate the store and indeed the gym have been worked up over the last few months and work has been ongoing on the ground floor during the last month to complete the necessary alterations and infrastructure required.
This has included encasing the bases of the steel columns, completing the below ground brick and block work, bringing up the ground levels to a sand blinding ready to take the gas vents required under the slab. The installation of the gas venting and membrane works have commenced this week meaning that we are able to commence the last bay of steelwork today. Work is also ongoing to the apron between the front of the seats and the blue track around the pitch with final drainage being installed before the concrete is put down.
In terms of spend the scheme is probably now some 40% complete and the main infrastructure is substantially complete. Once the building becomes virtually watertight as the cladding and windows are installed then progress can speed up as more trades, particularly internally, start their elements of the scheme.
The final steelwork will be complete before the end of the month and the cladding to the roof will commence during the week after the game against Melbourne.
The design teams attention is now turning to the internal fit out including the executive boxes etc. at first floor. Regular meetings are taking place with the club’s representatives as we look to finalise smaller details such as layouts for kitchens, bars and colour choices.
The time lapse video on the club website has enabled supporters to see the stand develop. Unfortunately as the majority of the recent works have been under the stand and out of view of the camera, it has not been possible to record much of the works. We therefore added some photographs to the website last week. We will be looking to start the time lapse camera again this week and continue the weekly update that will show the steel frame, cladding and windows works as they progress.


Internal View of the new North Stand. Image by: Gordon Lawton

Internal View of the new North Stand.
Image by: Gordon Lawton


RCD Espanyol secures stadium naming rights agreement with gaming technology provider Power8

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The brand leader technology provider in the area of sports betting becomes sponsor of RCD Espanyol and gives its name to Cornellà-El Prat Stadium

Power8 has become a new sponsor of the Club. With this agreement, Power8 acquired the name rights of the white and blue stadium and becomes a first level partner for RCD Espanyol de Barcelona.

The sponsorship deal, that includes important news as the naming rights to the stadium of the club but also a whole range of commercial assets, lasts for seven years and will start in the 2014-15 season. As a result of this agreement, the brand joins the sponsoring venue program and will have a primary and prominent presence in the stadium, which will officially be renamed Power8 Stadium.
Power8 is a brand leader technology provider to the area of sports betting. Its remarkable reputation in this sector is due to the possibility of providing all types of technological solutions to businesses online gaming and betting. On global presence and international Power8 acquired in 2013 a series of strategic business units and key markets in different continents to create a powerful corporation that can develop digital solutions and networked systems that guarantee the success of technological operation sector companies, whatever their size and commercial market.
RCD Espanyol and Power8 are fully convinced the deal will bring many benefits common to both brands, as well as commercial development.
The club’s President, Joan Collet, who has led the management of this agreement for the club, explained the details to Espanyol TV and made explicit the satisfaction of the Board of Directors and professionals for the agreement. Collet pointed out that the naming rights of the Stadium marks one of the main objectives of the business strategy and business development of the facility, and that the agreement is an example of the potential and future possibilities of the club.
The Power8 Stadium, inaugurated in 2009, won the award for the best sports facility in the world in 2010. It was and still is a benchmark for UEFA and international federations, and other clubs who plan to build new stadiums. The main events held at the stadium are RCD Espanyol’s home games, but it also hosts more than 100 corporate events per year; such as dinners, filming commercials or movies, concerts, product launches and corporate events.
“La Liga” is one of the greatest professional football competitions with international impact and Power8 Stadium will be one of the most recognised venues globally. With the Premier League, Spanish La Liga is the domestic competition that generated more attention and audiences worldwide.
Power8 already became a sponsor team last season in the Premier League as Fulham FC and Everton FC. With the agreement signed with RCD Espanyol de Barcelona, Power8 joins one of the best stadiums in the LFP and in the competition. The Spanish league, with over 140 countries broadcasting their games every weekend, demonstrates its global penetration.

Ulster Rugby agrees stadium naming rights deal with Kingspan

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Ulster Rugby has signed a 10-year agreement with the Kingspan Group – the world’s leading provider of sustainable building materials – for the naming rights to Ravenhill, which will now be called Kingspan Stadium. The agreement will result in significant investment for the game of rugby at all levels within the Province.
Kingspan, whose global headquarters are in Kingscourt, County Cavan, Republic of Ireland, has been a sponsor of Ulster Rugby since 1999.
Commenting on the landmark deal, Chief Executive of Ulster Rugby, Shane Logan, said:
We are delighted to have extended our partnership with Kingspan, one of Ulster’s most successful international companies, and to have secured a stadium naming rights partner for the first time.  
This is a landmark deal and one that will have considerable benefits for all of rugby in Ulster. 

I want to thank Kingspan for its long-term commitment to the Province and I look forward to many more special rugby occasions, from school and club finals to European match nights, at Kingspan Stadium in the future.

Pat Freeman, Managing Director of Kingspan Environmental said:
Both Ulster Rugby and Kingspan are successful globally recognised brands within their respective fields. 

We have been a partner of Ulster Rugby for 15 years and have witnessed the tremendous growth of rugby in the Province. We have also had extensive input into the redevelopment of the stadium through our high performance technologies. We are delighted to significantly extend our already strong association with Ulster Rugby by putting our name to such a wonderful sporting venue and are proud that the home of Ulster Rugby will be now known as Kingspan Stadium.



John Robinson, President, IRFU (Ulster Branch), warmly welcomed the new association when he said:

This long-term deal, with a leading Ulster company, will result in a highly significant investment for rugby in the Province and is a contract of which all involved can be very proud. Rugby has never been stronger in Ulster and partnerships such as this will enable us to continue to grow the game at club and schools level and to remain competitive both in Europe and the PRO12.



Kingspan Stadium: Phased Redevelopment

Ravenhill Rugby Ground or Kingspan Stadium as it is now known, is owned by the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) and is located in South East Belfast. It houses the administration centre for the game of rugby football in the province of Ulster.


The stadium is the home of Ulster Rugby, but also hosts finals of Club and School competitions, from Under 10 Mini Rugby to the Senior Clubs Final. In August 2007, the venue hosted its first senior Ireland international match in 53 years when Ireland took on Italy in a Rugby World Cup warm-up game on 24th August.


While the ground has been maintained over the years, 2008 saw the first major modernisation of the stadium when foundations were laid for a new high-spec corporate stand on the terrace side of the ground; Phase 1 of a re-development programme. Built at a cost of GB£5.5m, the stand opened for business in September 2009, boasting 20 high-spec corporate boxes, 532 premier seats and a full bar and restaurant facilities.


In 2010, Ulster Rugby submitted a business case to government, requesting funding from the Department of Culture, Arts & Leisure to modernise the rest of the grounds by building new stands at the Aquinas and car park ends and to replace the existing grandstand. In 2011, Minister Nelson McCausland confirmed that the request would be granted and GB£14.7m of funding was secured in November 2012. Construction work started immediately and will be complete this summer. Three new stands will be built at the ground in a phased approach that will see capacity rise from 11,400 to 18,000.


Ulster Rugby has appointed Northern Ireland based general building contractor, Gilbert-Ash NI Ltd., to carry out the construction work. The first phase of the redevelopment ran from November 2012 until June 2013, and saw new stands built at both the Memorial and Aquinas ends of the ground. The new Memorial End stand provides covered seating for approximately 2,400 people with terracing for a further 1,350 fans. It houses a ticket office, a shop, a bar/catering facilities and a new educational facility that promotes the benefits of nutrition, a healthy lifestyle and the values of sport.


The new Aquinas stand is the new family area of the ground. It provides covered seating for 2,100 people with terracing for a further 1,300 fans. It houses new team changing facilities, treatment rooms, an indoor training surface, as well as match day media facilities. It is also the Ulster Rugby Senior squad’s new training base with a state-of-the-art gym, meeting rooms and facilities.


Once the Memorial and Aquinas ends of the ground were complete, the second phase of construction began. This will run from July 2013 until August 2014, and will see the demolition of the existing main stand and the construction of a replacement grandstand built to accommodate 3,450 seated spectators with the new promenade providing standing for approximately 3,400 fans. This stand will also have bar and restaurant facilities. The existing promenade will also be upgraded.


With the increased number of spectators that the new-look ground will be able to hold, Kingspan Stadium will be capable of hosting a RaboDirect PRO12 Final or a Heineken Cup Quarter Final.




Source & image credit: Ulster Rugby

NFL Baltimore Ravens ‘bank’ stadium naming-rights extension

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NFL American football team Baltimore Ravens has signed a 10-year extension to its stadium naming-rights partnership with commercial banking group M&T Bank, in a deal worth $60m (€43.8m).


The initial partnership was agreed back in 2003 for 15 years, meaning the extension will now see the fresh term run through until 2027.


M&T Bank retains extensive stadium branding and the designation of being the Ravens’ official bank, while it will continue to offer an exclusive Ravens debit card to fans.


Collaborations on local initiatives form a pillar of the partnership, with M&T Bank partnering the Ravens Foundation. The bank is also the naming sponsor of the Touchdown for Teachers and Honor Rows programmes that recognise outstanding work from teachers and volunteers in the local community respectively.


Ravens President, Dick Cass, told the Baltimore Business Journal:

It’s hard to do a naming-rights partnership. It’s a major financial commitment, so you really have to think about that long in advance. To extend it for 10 years just gives us that financial certainty, which is important to us.

1. FC Köln celebrates Bundesliga return with stadium naming rights extension

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German Bundesliga football team 1. FC Köln has agreed a four-year extension to its stadium naming rights deal with energy company RheinEnergie.


Köln’s home ground will continue to be known as the RheinEnergieStadion through to 2018 under the agreement, the financial terms of which have not been disclosed.


Additionally, RheinEnergie will remain the jersey sponsor of Köln’s U-21 team and retains a sponsorship presence at the stadium’s surrounding RheinEnergie Sports Park, as well as at the club’s Geißbockheim training facility.


1. FC Köln sealed its return to Germany’s top flight after finishing top of the 2.Bundesliga this season, ending a two-year absence.


During the FIFA World Cup in 2006, the RheinEnergie Stadion was a host venue for five of the matches, all of which were sold-out with a total of 225,000 spectators. Home to 1. FC Köln, the stadium has a 50,000-capacity and is generally sold-out for home matches.

FC Schalke 04 and VELTINS renew stadium naming-rights

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C. & A. Veltins Brewery and FC Schalke 04 have agreed to extend the ‘VELTINS Arena’ naming-rights agreement by a further four years, taking it up until 2019.

“The VELTINS Arena name is the epitome of an engaging and sustainable sporting linkup and we’re looking forward to the furtherance of our relationship,” said chief Veltins representative, Michael Huber, on the continuation of the cooperation, the outcome of extensive negotiations.

The Royal Blues have enjoyed a successful and trusted partnership with the premium brewer since 1997, which reached its high point in 2005, when Veltins acquired the naming-rights for the Schalke stadium. Veltins also hold the pouring rights at the Arena until 2023.

In extending the naming-rights agreement, the Meschede-based brewery has underscored the positive aspects of the long-term relationship: ” As one of the biggest football clubs in Germany, FC Schalke 04 enjoy high brand recognition and an excellent reputation on account of their domestic and European successes,” said Huber. “For us as a premium brand, having Schalke as partners gives us maximum identity and acceptance. We’re convinced Schalke fans have been behind the VELTINS Arena name from the beginning because we have similar values – we’re down to earth, true to life and authentic.”

Schalke Director of Marketing, Alexander Jobst, takes a similar view: “With this contract extension we are setting an exclamation mark for the club and for the Bundesliga. Besides the commercial aspects, durability and credibility are important success factors for stadium naming-rights. We’re proud to continue a partnership with Veltins that is recognised and lived by the fans in equal measure. For us it’s more than a sponsorship deal: it’s a togetherness for another four years.”

The new deal continues to offer Veltins extensive marketing rights in addition to the exclusive right to supply beer to the Arena, which had already been agreed until 2023. Besides the principal sponsor, Veltins remains the most important partner to the Royal Blues, along with adidas. Over the next four years the two partners intend to increase the focus on social media promotions and supporter activities.

Veltins became the principal club and team sponsor in 1997 and featured on the Schalke shirt until 2001, a relationship that was extended in 2001 with the assumption of principal sponsorship rights for the newly-built Arena AufSchalke and reached its peak in 2005 when Veltins acquired the naming rights. The brewery had a major hand in the design of the new venue’s beer pouring system, which with its four central tank depots is unrivalled anywhere in Europe, and has driven catering performance at the Arena ever since.


WIRSOL to retain stadium naming-rights

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German soccer side TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and solar energy company, WIRSOL, have agreed to extend their existing naming-rights agreement, which has been in place since 2011, for a further two years.


Under the new deal, the Bundesliga club’s home stadium in Sinsheim will continue to carry the name WIRSOL Rhein-Neckar Arena on the same basis as the current collaboration.


“In WIRSOL, we have been able to gain a trusted partner from the metropolitan area for another two years. This continuity is more than pleasing. WIRSOL stands for courage and innovation, and fits very well with our Club,” said Chairman of the board at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, Peter Rettig.


Markus Wirth, Chief Executive at WIRSOL, added: “We’re delighted that we can continue our collaboration with TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. Our commitment to the WIRSOL Rhein-Neckar-Arena is about continuity and also the new strengths of our brand. We’re confident that TSG’s young team will continue to develop with their spirited style of football. As a result, WIRSOL will have an excellent platform for the growth of its brand for the next years in the form of the stadium.”



Macron to replace Reebok at Bolton Wanderers’ stadium

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Bolton Wanderers FC have confirmed Italian sports apparel company, Macron, as their new stadium naming-rights partner. The four-year deal will see the venue, which has been known as the Reebok Stadium since its 1997 opening, renamed the Macron Stadium from July 2014. The Bologna-headquartered company will also supply the Club’s playing kit, along with training and leisurewear.

The Championship soccer side were represented by Front Row Marketing Services throughout the negotiations, whilst Red Strike Marketing assisted Macron.

“This is an extremely exciting and beneficial deal for our Club. We will be proud to carry the Macron brand on our stadium and official merchandise for the coming seasons. We have been very impressed with their passion for football and their ideas to grow our partnership,” said Club Chairman, Phil Gartside.

“Macron will bring a new range of kit and training wear for our players and supporters that will launch later in the summer. They are an ambitious and innovative company and we are looking forward to becoming one of their flagship clubs.”

Macron’s Chief Executive, Gianluca Pavanello, added: “We are very proud to start this relationship with such a prestigious Club as Bolton Wanderers. Macron wishes to be associated with top clubs where the company’s principles of high-quality customised products can be further demonstrated.

“We feel with this bold move of becoming a stadium naming-rights partner we have been able to consolidate Macron’s brand as a major player in the European sponsorship market.”

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