Renaming Of St. James’ Park A Fantastic Opportunity For Brands

An expert in brands and advertising, who was unofficially consulted by Newcastle, before they made the decision to sell the naming rights of St. James’ Park, thinks it’s a fantastic opportunity for both Newcastle and sponsor alike.

St. James’ Park

Jonathan Gabayis  a marketing adviser to some of the world’s top companies, and because of the Tyneside fan support, the good name of Newcastle United,  and the fantastic St. James’ Park stadium itself, he thinks  sponsors will be quickly in line to get the naming rights to the famous stadium.

Jonathan also thinks the deal could bring up to £10M a year into the Newcastle coffers, which Managing Director Derek LLambias  has said will be reinvested into the club, but let’s hope that promise is kept better than the one that was made to reinvest the Andy Carroll cash.

Although, to be fair, there’s still time to use that Andy Carroll cash, and it seems some transfer money will be used in January, but exactly how much, we don’t know.

And Jonathan doesn’t think the fans’ distress at the decision or their anger at losing the St. James’ Park name, which has been linked with Newcastle for over 120 years, will  dissuade sponsors from coming forward:

“It’s a good decision because of what it’s going to do,” “I couldn’t say what sort of company will come forward. That’s not for me to say but I think there will be a lot of brands that realise the opportunity.”

“I already believe sponsors will know what a great place the North East is – the region, the football, the fans – and being associated with that is a fantastic opportunity for brands.”

“If there were a suitable brand then I couldn’t see how it can be something that the fans wouldn’t like if the money would be put back in the club to help them do even better,”

“In principle, we’ve got a fantastic area and a fantastic club and fans. This could be a great relationship and a great collaboration.”

“No-one is going to forget about St James’ Park but it’s now about a shrewd brand teaming up with a fantastic area of England.” “When you’ve got a community like that, who wouldn’t want to be associated with it?”

“At this time right now, it’s not about cynicism. This is the time for optimism. It’s about looking forward to a fantastic opportunity.”

Since  Gabayis  has consulted with Newcastle on the naming rights of St. James’ Park,  it’s hardly surprising that he’s all for it, since that’s what he will have told Mike Ashley and Derek LLambias.

We shudder to think which companies will come forward to become potential sponsors, and couldn’t  quite take St. James’ Park being renamed Tesco Stadium or Facebook Arena.

But IBM Park has a certain lilt to it, come to think of it – where’s Sam Palmisano’s telephone number? 😀

Comments welcome.

52 comments so far

  • Stuart

    Nov 12, 2011 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #1

    Haha, Facebook Arena!

    Is £10m a year worth putting to an end 120 years of history? Thats basically Colo’s wages for the year or something. Not exactly team changing money.

  • geoff777

    Nov 12, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #2

    Can anyone really see it being called anything but the Sports Direct Arena?

    More lies and smoke-screens from Ashley & Llambias.
    How much will Sports Direct pay us?
    They are a separate company.

  • pardew no 1

    Nov 12, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #3

    i will be happy as long as the sponsor has st james park in the name

  • davybtoon

    Nov 12, 2011 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #4

    As good will gesture st James park signs will remain on the steps but in wont b in the name, think that would good

    I haven’t got a problem if it stays sd areana but he has to pay the same as other sponsors would, honestly think joint shirt n stadium sponsor is already lined up

    Plz the history is still there stop moaning about history it hasn’t changed

  • BiffBaffBoff

    Nov 12, 2011 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #5

    With all the initiatives the club are giving regarding season tickets and family tickets etc.. this was bound to happen and we need to do it I feel to be able to compete in that top 6 or so. Arsenal have done it, Man City have done it, Chelsea are thinking of doing it, Spurs will do it in their new stadium and so forth. Admittedly Man Utd dont rly need to do it due to their high profile around the world, but we dont have that to fall back on so this is the only option financially without taking more money from the fans.

    Im not pleased with it but I see the sense in doing it at the same time.

  • Timmers09

    Nov 12, 2011 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #6

    A couple of things 1) I thought Puma was only a 2 year deal and that we wouldn’t have them for 2012/13 season? Also I’m sure there was a ruling that the home kit had to stay the same for 2 seasons unless the sponsor changed. This hasn’t been the case with puma.
    2)next seasons kit will be red and blue stripes, be made by Lonsdale and sponsored by Sports Direct. ( Venkys sponsor Blackburn at the drumstick stadium)

  • Matt Stoddz NUFC

    Nov 12, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #7

    Same Pardew 1 its our name and always will be there’s still successful teams that have kept there stadiums look at old trafford and anfield you dont need sponsors to be successful it just helps a little , make sure our next sponsor calls it St James’ Park for f* sake

  • geoff777

    Nov 12, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #8


    I haven’t a problem with the name change.

    I don’t believe they are looking for sponsors for the stadium.

    The 8-10M bandied about is to make fans like you happy and support the change.

    It’ll be the Sports Direct Arena all the time Ashley is the owner and they’ll pay nothing or peanuts.

  • Phil K

    Nov 12, 2011 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #9

    Personally, I couldn’t care if its renamed Dogturd Stadium, as long as the trophies start coming in.
    We’ll always know it as SJP. We’ll call it SJP to each other.
    So what ?

  • hrocks

    Nov 12, 2011 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #10

    we should all keep our fingers crossed that SD become our official sponsors. it seems we are a curse. what happened to S&N, Greenalls, NTL and Northern Rock.
    if we can screw 10m a year from someone lets do it. None of us support the stadium name or the sponsors we support the team. I dont remember all this fuss when we were going to move to the town moor or when the leazes end became the sir john hall stand.
    to sit at the top table you need mega stupid money and to eat the scraps you need stupid money
    as long as we tell our kids and grandkids its st james’ then it will live on and be our martyr.its not a sign on a wall that keeps history alive its us the fans

  • Stuart

    Nov 12, 2011 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #11

    Exactly Geoff!

    Even if we did find a sponsor what kind of difference is £8m-£10m a year going to make? Its certainly not the kind of money thats going to push us into regular top 4 finishes. Its more like one or two players yearly wage.

    Is paying for one players wages, important player or not, worth changing a 120 year old name?

    You can say the history hasnt changed as many times as you want davy and you’re right, the history hasnt and won’t change, it has however been stopped dead! You seem to show absolutely no sense of tradition for the home of football in the northeast.

  • Matthew Tom

    Nov 12, 2011 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #12

    You idiots would sell out our heritage believing Ashley will continue to do anything other than continue to rape our beloved club. We won’t see the money, simple as that.

    This is the moment to stand up for once against corporate interests betraying the game we love. The only way to reverse this decision is to keep up the pressure so no other sponsor would consider coming in.

    And no, an expensive new striker will not heal the wounds and will not repair the insult to our club’s history.

  • Stuart

    Nov 12, 2011 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #13

    @Matthew Tom – Less of the insults eh mate? If you’d bothered to read the comments theres only 1 person actually for the change.

    I ain’t no idiot! haha.

  • UTD111

    Nov 12, 2011 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #14

    Wait a minute……

    They’ve renamed the Leazes End???


  • Lee Dodd

    Nov 12, 2011 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #15

    We ALL know it will be the sports direct arena for a few years and there will be a new sponsor on the shirt for next season – Hopefully not sports direct …. I hope all this crap does not affect the team perfomances now … Roll on next weekend !!!

  • Rotonda heights

    Nov 12, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #16

    How is Colo’s wages 10M a year. He’s on a reported 55k a week. Do the math.

    There are some seriously narrow minded, bigoted morons about who hate any kind of change. They knock everything but never come up with any viable alternatives about how they would keep us afloat.

    What history ? We haven’t won anything meaningful since 1955. Most fans weren’t even born then. What’s the big deal about 3 litle words. We’re still NUFC. Some people are just so predictably anti everything. Nobody cares about the Etihad or the Emirates etc etc.

  • Munster Mag

    Nov 12, 2011 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #17

    Stuart i wont call u an idiot mate, but i think the geordies are being taken for a ride here big time. I cant believe you will let the media world know ur ground as Google Park or Sports Direct Srena or whatever. For such a small sum of money too?? Remember, Lansdowne Road is now known as the Aviva by an awful lot of fans, young and old. And lansdowne was the oldest rugby ground in the world….

  • Rotonda heights

    Nov 12, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #18

    mathew Tom,

    if ashley was intent on raping our club, why has he given us interest free loans. Go and look at the audited accounts and you’ll see you really are talking out of your proverbial. everything is accountable. Ashley got raped by Shepherd.
    Ever since I think he has had balls of steel to get us where we are now.

  • hrocks

    Nov 12, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #19

    @Matthew Tom didnt we all stand up against the corporate interests in the save our seats campaign under the last regime. Hall and Shepherd priced me out of my seat which i paid to have for 10 years. They also gave me the opertunity to own a share of the club i love, then when we were almost bankrupt took a massive payout from ashley to line there own pockets. Whoever owns us will shaft us. Mckeag, Hall, Shepherd and Ashley all have done this. NUFC history dictates were are here to be shafted but i just hope we can have some football on the pitch

  • Rotonda heights

    Nov 12, 2011 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #20

    Tradition doesn’t make something right. ie fox hunting

  • Rotonda heights

    Nov 12, 2011 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #21

    mathew Tom,

    You sound like Ed Miliband, anti business etc.

  • jettson1971

    Nov 12, 2011 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #22

    St James Park Arena or St James Arena ??

  • Sav

    Nov 12, 2011 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #23

    Pity Ash/LLambias did not consult a top Public Relations expert at the same time they consulted a marketing expert. Had they done so they would realise they have done untold damage again.
    I would be surprised if a smart fella like Alan Pardew would have said the same. Just when he’d got the children off to sleep….
    Meanwhile, at the ‘Your Name Here Arena’, I’m glad to see Newcastle City Council have told them that the St.James’ Park signs around the city, as well as the Metro station are staying put.
    The daft part about this place-naming malarky (and it IS malarky) is that a stadium is not a shirt, which will have fallen to bits before the sponsorship deal is over. Instead, are we to have the ground renamed every 4 years when the sponsorship licence has ended, a new gimmicky name and sponsor found and we have to change the maps and road signs and get used to renaming St James’ all over again? Where new grounds have major sponsors names attached, I think the sponsors generally input a lot more than labelling rights, but help pay for the structure – for example 25% of construction in the case of Dublin’s Aviva Stadium. 8 million for 4 years is neither practical nor even a particularly impressive deal, commercially for Ash/Llambias to have pulled off. In fact, I’d have thought one of the features of ‘Branding’ is consistency. New companies love to buy up older, established brands with tradition attached and keep the name. If 130 years of St. James’ Park being in the heart of Newcastle city has no ‘cache’ then I don’t know what has.
    But life at the ‘Your Name Here Arena’ goes on…

  • Stuart

    Nov 12, 2011 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #24

    @Matthew – Have you even read my comments? I’m totally against the new name.

  • Stuart

    Nov 12, 2011 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #25

    @Rotonda – I did say one or two players, I know Colo’s wages would not add up to £10m, surely you see my point though.

    How do you think the extra £10m a year will make a difference?

  • hrocks

    Nov 12, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #26


    they have consulted a top PR firm. The remit was ” we are doing well on the pitch and the locals are quiet. We have not been back or front page news in any tabliod for a while. We have milked carroll, barton, nolan and jose to death. what can we possibly do to piss off our fan base who are the life blood of the club ”

    ashley pays between 8 and 10m a year for this advice

  • davybtoon

    Nov 12, 2011 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #27

    Why won’t we find a sponsor for 10 mil a season course we will I hav heard at least 4 experts say we will, u lot r deluded if u think a top sponsor won’t want to come n sponsor u really think a sponsor gives a toss what 50 to 100 thousand geordies think when goin b exposed to an audience of billions of ppl with pl footie

  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 12, 2011 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #28

    Bit of a repost here but hoping that somebody could explain it for me.If, as somebody pointed out Ashley can write off tax bills with advertising costs,why doesnt he charge SD an absolute fortune for the shirt sponsor and leave the stadium name as it is.

  • Stuart

    Nov 12, 2011 at 11:46 AM

    Comment #29

    davybtoon – What exactly do you think 8 to 10m a season is going to achieve?

    Seriously, I’m looking for an answer. If it will make a big difference then ok, I can get over the name change. But can you honestly see it being anything other than a drop in the ocean?

  • davybtoon

    Nov 12, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #30

    U also think a top sponsor arsed about a few street signs n metro station they will jus say we’re happy for street signs n metro n st James to say on the wall at the steps as good will gesture to get on fans side

  • davybtoon

    Nov 12, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #31

    Stuart of course it will the we got ba, cabaye, tiote, marveux, best, Simpson n Williamson all for less than 10 mill the way were scouting it will make a huge difference

  • Stuart

    Nov 12, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    Comment #32

    Those players cost alot more than 10m if you take into account all the fees we dont here about davy, such as signing on fee’s and agent fee’s.

    Just Ba himself cost around £3m even though he was a free transfer.

    £10m a year is nowt but pocket change for a prem team.

  • Stuart

    Nov 12, 2011 at 11:55 AM

    Comment #33

    Of course thats also assuming the money will go into buying new players. I mean, the 35m wasnt so what makes you think this will?

  • hrocks

    Nov 12, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #34

    dont know how accurate this is

    just keep scrolling down the list to find us. we will have a one off cost for signage then the following years will be money for nothing. I think an extra 10m will make a lot of difference

  • ToonDownSouth

    Nov 12, 2011 at 12:00 PM

    Comment #35


    Can’t imagine the 35m has gone anywhere to be fair. I think we’re just incredibly careful about any unnecessary expenses. I can see it being used over a few windows, as it’s not like Ashley’ll be putting any more money in himself

  • greekgeordie

    Nov 12, 2011 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #36

    Here we go again, St James’ Park is there to stay on his own right, the name changing is only a temporary future, as long sponsors pay the £8-10 Million as quoted per year. I say lets take the dosh and use the money wisely. This kind of money could give us a Cabay or Tiote every summer, the big six are there waiting for the right moment to take any of our players as they please, and the only way we can fight them off is by joining them, and misplaced tradisions and socialistic pride do not win trophies. See you all on the 3rd December at ST JAMES’ PARK

  • roshan MAGPIE

    Nov 12, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #37

    there are reports that we are in for bojan that made of laugh

  • roshan MAGPIE

    Nov 12, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #38

    there are reports that we are in for bojan that made me laugh

  • boater

    Nov 12, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    Comment #39

    davybtoon, et al.

    It takes my breath away that you lot are so glib about the dispensing of SJP’s heritage. Like with the summer you’re on here lecturing financial prudence like the NUFC accountants. I happen to be a fan that pays to go to games. Are you?

    We are the first club to prostitute our name, and best of all for NO MONEY… there is no benefit whatsoever apart from to Sports Direct- so the argument about our prudence is hypothetical until the name is sold – bit like the argument about our new striker, or the selling of the club, and ashley’s other many, many lies .

  • ShanghaiMag

    Nov 12, 2011 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #40

    If we can get £10 million that is an increase of £7.5 million compared to now.

    Assuming that the club continues current path of going after free transfers and cheap transfers that would pay for 2 free players next summer with £1million signing bonus and £52k a week.

    2 players (1 RB, 1 CF??) from the French, Dutch or Belgian leagues who accept £52k a week would be a great addition to the squad.


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