The BBC reported yesterday that Northern Rock has ended its shirt sponsorship deal with Newcastle United early.
The deal that was announced in January of 2010, when Newcastle were still in the Championship, was for only £10M over four years, and that was not particularly a good deal, but probably the best the club could get in the second division.
But the agreement included an option allowing the bank to get out of the contract after two years, and that option has has been taken up by Northern Rock.
The Northern Rock decision was based on financial reasons and the way it will invest in marketing activities. We always though it was strange that after their almost complete financial collapse in September of 2007, they continued to sponsor Newcastle United.
It seems to us the Northern Rock deal was not a very good deal for Newcastle, and now the club are standing 3rd top of the Premier League, surely they can get a much better deal.
But as Derek LLambias said yesterday, he only has until the end of the year, at the latest, to get a new sponsor in.
And the news on Northern Rock’s withdrawal coincided with the cluib’s decision to sell the naming rights of St. James’ Park, which Mike Ashley has renamed Sports Direct Arena, until a sponsor can be found.
Derek LLambias would like to combine a shirt deal with the naming rights and get the same sponsor in for both, but of course beggars can’t be choosers, and he’ll take separate sponsors if possible.
Fans have reacted negatively to the naming rights decision that Derek LLambias has said will bring in form £8M to £10M a year in sponsorship, and in our poll we’ve conducted since the announcement, 66% disagree with the name change and 25% agree with it, with almost 3,000 votes in.
Labor leader Ed Miliband yesterday urged the club to abandon plans to rename its ground, and said that fans should have a say in these types of decisions, which the club made with no discussion whatsoever with anybody, as far as we can tell.
Mike Ashley runs the club the way he wants to, and has hardly listened to fans in his four and a half years on Tyneside, and in fact he himself doesn’t even bother talking to the fans at all.
And expect the St. James’ Park stadium to be renamed as each sponsor contract runs out, as is done over there in the US.
So just like the names of the sponsor on the shirt will change with different sponsors, the name of the Stadium will change depending on who the sponsor is.
There’s something wrong with that somehow, and maybe we should keep referring to it as St. James’ Park, whatever happens.
What do you think?