London Stadium naming rights deal ‘not unreasonable’, Olympic Park boss says
PUBLISHED: 11:55 14 December 2017 | UPDATED: 11:55 14 December 2017
Obtaining a £4m naming rights deal for the London Stadium is “not unreasonable” despite discussions with two companies falling through, a City Hall committee has heard.
The Moore Stephens report into the London Stadium’s finances, released earlier this month, revealed that naming rights deals with first Tech Mahindra and then Vodafone collapsed.
Unmesh Desai, the London Assembly member for City and East, asked the Assembly’s budget monitoring sub-committee yesterday: “How is £4 million of naming rights income realistic when a club the size of Arsenal generate less?”
He added: “The figures that I have, Arsenal generate £3.3m of naming rights but this also includes a shirt sponsorship.
“In light of that, do you think a joint stadium and shirt sponsorship deal is possible or desirable?”
Gerry Murphy, the acting chief executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said: “I think we’ve had significant advice that £4m is a reasonable sum and indeed the concession agreement with West Ham reflects the £4m level - above that, West Ham share the naming rights revenue.
“In terms of relevence to the Emirates [Arsenal’s stadium], the London Stadium is a very different proposition, it’s got multiple uses. The bundle, what you get for the stadium, is also a different proposition to a standard football club.”
She added: “In terms of whether those rights should be jointly offered with shirt rights, we’ve been in conversation with two different parties over the last year and actually the focus of neither of those parties was particularly on the club relationship but more on the wider relationship.
“We are looking now at how best to go back to the market.”
Mr Desai, who is also a Newham councillor, replied: “Dagenham and Redbridge stadium, they’re sponsored by a construction company [the ground is currently branded as the Chigwell Construction Stadium].
“You’ve got smaller stadia all over the country with naming rights deals. What is the problem with such an iconic institution?”
Ms Murphy said: “I think the Moore Stephens report actually helpfully points out the challenge to securing naming rights. “It is a narrow market and we have been reasonably close on two occasions now.
“I am very confident that at a point in time, we will get a naming rights sponsor.”
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