Chelsea, Spurs enter sponsorship battleground

LONDON • Tottenham Hotspur are planning to drop the name White Hart Lane while Chelsea hope to retain the name Stamford Bridge in some form as the London football rivals battle to secure naming rights for their new stadiums.

According to The Times of London, the two clubs are adopting very different strategies as they seek a naming-rights partner in a competitive and crowded marketplace in the English capital. West Ham are still looking for a ground sponsor six months after moving to the London Stadium.

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy wants to raise more than £400 million (S$709.08 million) from the sale of naming rights to the 61,000-seat stadium. Despite remaining on the site that has been the club's home since 1899, they will abandon the present ground's name to get a better deal.

His priority is to secure a lucrative long-term deal to help bankroll the club's £700 million project.

Tottenham's plans contrast with those of Chelsea, who received planning permission to build a 60,000-seat stadium on the site of Stamford Bridge last month.

 

  • £400m 

    Minimum amount that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy wants to raise from the sale of naming rights to the London club's new 61,000-seat stadium.

Chelsea also seek a naming-rights partner, but will insist that a reference to their historic home must be included in any agreement.

Chelsea's former chief executive, Ron Gourlay, made the retention of Stamford Bridge a key condition when they began discussions in 2009. Despite failing to bring in a suitable partner on those terms, the club's stance has not changed.

Newcastle United's brief rebranding of their ground as the sportsdirect.com@StJames'Park in the 2009-10 season is the most high-profile example of such a fusion of history and commerce in English football.

Tottenham, who have spoken to more than 300 companies about possible partnerships, are taking a more pragmatic approach on the basis that retaining references to White Hart Lane would adversely affect the value of any naming-rights deal.

The club do not have a benefactor such as Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who is willing to underwrite the cost of their stadium.

Therefore they view naming rights as one of three revenue streams underpinning the project, along with advance ticket sales and commercial loans.

THE TIMES, LONDON


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 16, 2017, with the headline 'Chelsea, Spurs enter sponsorship battleground'. Print Edition | Subscribe