St. James’ Park Undergoes One Name Change, Maybe Two
One of England’s oldest football grounds is getting a name change after more than 130 years.
St. James’ Park, home to Premier League side Newcastle United, will now be known as Sports Direct Arena – at least until another company bites on the naming rights.
“Stadium rebranding offers a lucrative way for clubs to secure significant additional income,” United’s managing director Derek Llambias said in a statement.
“We are now actively seeking a long-term sponsor wishing to acquire full naming rights for the stadium.
Magpies owner Mike Ashley also owns Sports Direct, hence the name.
Liverpool, Turkish Tourism Ink Two-Year Deal
Liverpool FC’s latest partnership comes courtesy of Turkish Tourism.
“Turkey is a great country and we all have fantastic memories of our European Cup win in Istanbul in 2005,” Reds managing director Ian Ayre said in a statement.
“Through this partnership the club can provide Turkish Tourism with significant brand visibility and access to our supporter base to help raise awareness of their tourism opportunities.”
Financial details of the two-year deal were not disclosed.
“Over one quarter of those taking package-holidays to Turkey do so from the North West of England so this area is very important to Turkey” added Tolga Tuyluoglu, director of the Turkish Culture and Tourism Office in London.
“Of course, the fact that Liverpool FC plays in red and white is a bonus too.”
Puma, Swiss Football Renew Kit Deal
Swiss national team footballers will wear Puma through at least 2016.
The German sportswear giant announced a renewal to its deal with the Swiss Football Association that dates back to 1998.
“The SFV’s work and commitment to the development of football at all levels in Switzerland is very impressive, evidenced by both the Switzerland U17 team winning the FIFA U-17 World Cup last year and the U21 team reaching the final of the UEFA U21 Championship earlier this year,” Puma CEO Franz Kock said in a statement.
“We are proud to be associated with SFV, as they strive to build on these successes in the coming years.”
Alex Miescher, general secretary of SFV, added: “PUMA’s proficiency in developing technical performance playing and training apparel is second to none, and their support in the development of our grass-roots and youth programs has been instrumental. They are the perfect partner for the SFV in every respect, and we very happy to continue with them.”
Maltese Women’s League Finds Support
The Bank of Valletta will sponsor the national leagues and top club competition in Malta for this season and the next two.
The renewal includes the annual Super Cup and, for the first time ever, the country’s women’s league.
“This will widen the Bank’s involvement in all sectors of Maltese football,” Bank of Valletta CEO Tonio Depasquale said at news conference.
“We are delighted that the clubs are benefiting directly from this sponsorship enabling them to further invest in the development
of players and the game.”
Norman Darmanin Demajo, president of the Malta FA, added: “At a time when new regulations regarding Financial Fair Play are being introduced for all European clubs, the Bank’s continued support for Maltese football is welcomed and appreciated by the MFA on behalf of all its member clubs, who are the ultimate beneficiaries of this sponsorship.”
Itau, Adidas Execs Added to Soccerex Lineup
Top executives from Latin America’s largest bank and Germany’s largest sportswear brand are the latest additions to the speaker lineup for this month’s Soccerex Global Convention in Rio de Janeiro.
Banco Itau chief marketing officer Fernando Chacon and Adidas VP of football marketing Claus-Peter Mayer will each participate in the aptly titled “Football brands the World” panel.
They’ll be joined by FIFA marketing boss Thierry Weil, Chief Marketing Officer and Jean Claude Biver, CEO of luxury Swiss watchmaker Hublot, to deliver insight on how brands use football as a platform for commercial growth in new markets.
The four-day football business conference will run Nov. 26-30 at the Forte de Copacabana adjacent to Rio’s iconic beach of the same name.
By INSIDER’s Matthew Grayson
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