Real Madrid stadium Santiago Bernabeu’s grandeur and historical value is so overpowering that brands feel that naming rights association will be overpowered by the epochal sports facility.
Spanish football giants Real Madrid are struggling to sell the naming rights for their iconic Santiago Bernabeu stadium. The reason, according to Spanish media rights experts, is the grandeur of the property that may potentially overpower any brand.
Under normal circumstances, European club football bigwigs like Real Madrid should be able to rake in a grand fortune selling the naming rights of their 70-year-old home stadium, with the most noted examples being the Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena and Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano.
However, the reason for the averseness from brands and corporates might leave market gurus flabbergasted! The reason remains a major stumbling block that has resulted in failed negotiations between the club and brands, including a reported €400 million deal with Spanish oil and gas multinational company Cepsa in January for Santiago Bernabeu naming rights.
According to the Spanish digital news agency El Confidencial, corporates fear that the brand name will be overshadowed by the historic status of the Santiago Bernabeu, and there is a strong likelihood the venue will continue to be referred to by its traditional name rather than that of any partnering brand.
The potential investors, according to the report, are said to have explained this to club president Florentino Perez and head of business operations Dave Hopkinson, expressing that the situation would be different if the club was building a new ground, rather than renaming and redeveloping the existing arena.
Hopkinson joined the club in June from Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), where he was the company’s chief commercial officer, and one of his principal objectives has been to secure a naming rights deal for the stadium.
During his time at MLSE, Hopkinson played a key role in the CAN$800 million naming rights deal with Scotiabank, which saw the naming of what was previously known as the Air Canada Centre – the home of National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Hockey League (NHL) teams Toronto Raptors and the Toronto Maple Leafs respectively.
This comes especially after the LaLiga club announced grand revamp plans for its home stadium which will include a dedicated esports arena, shopping facilities and extension of the museum. The club is expected to receive a huge consideration in return for naming rights to offset the gargantuan costs of renovation work.
The $617.2 million project is set to commence in 2019 and will see the 81,044-seater venue go through a major revamp that will take at least three and a half years to complete. The new stadium will also include an events space that is expected to generate an extra $176.4 million in revenues annually.