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Stadium development: It’s all in the name

9 March 2012

Experts in the stadium sector agreed that lucrative naming rights deals have become one of the most important factors behind sustainable projects on the third day of the Global Sports Forum Barcelona 2012.

Shawn Dawson, Chief Executive of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, told delegates in the During the Stadium Development: At the heart of the experience discussion that it was not just major stadia that can attract the big corporate backers.

« Naming rights deals are traditionally associated with major sports and major venues, not the less popular sports with minimal footfall, » he said. « However, what we are finding with some of the [London 2012] Olympic venues – like the 6,000-seat velodrome - is a lot of interest from sponsors due to a strong business model going forward.

“Coca-Cola held one of its in-house staff events in the velodrome just a few weeks ago. The place was completely decked out in Coca-Cola livery and the company’s MD immediately made the association between its brand and the velodrome. We need to capitalise on that interest as soon as the Games finish.

“If big brands see there is a clear programme for a venue after the Games they are more likely to participate through a naming rights deal.”

At the other end of the stadia scale, Marcel Cordes, Executive Director at Sport+Markt, stated how important a multi-million naming rights deal are given the impending restrictions on football clubs’ budgets from UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations.

“Naming rights are very important,” he said. “We faced the situation with [Bayern Munich’s] Allianz Arena. I think the deal is worth EUR6 million every year and they paid most of that up front.”

Also on the panel moderated by SportBusiness Group Editorial Director Kevin Roberts was Philippe Auroy (Deputy Managing Director, Consortium Stade de France) and Ulrich Wolter (Managing Director, DFB-Wirtschaftsdienste GmbH Consulting Sales and Services).

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