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

10:26 am, Saturday, November 12th, 2011 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 52 Comments

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.

Tags: Financials · Newcastle News

52 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Stuart // Nov 12, 2011 at 10:33 AM

    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.

  • 2 geoff777 // Nov 12, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    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.

  • 3 pardew no 1 // Nov 12, 2011 at 10:36 AM

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

  • 4 davybtoon // Nov 12, 2011 at 10:48 AM

    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

  • 5 BiffBaffBoff // Nov 12, 2011 at 10:49 AM

    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.

  • 6 Timmers09 // Nov 12, 2011 at 10:50 AM

    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)

  • 7 Matt Stoddz NUFC // Nov 12, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    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

  • 8 geoff777 // Nov 12, 2011 at 10:51 AM


    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.

  • 9 Phil K // Nov 12, 2011 at 10:54 AM

    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 ?

  • 10 hrocks // Nov 12, 2011 at 10:57 AM

    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

  • 11 Stuart // Nov 12, 2011 at 11:01 AM

    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.

  • 12 Matthew Tom // Nov 12, 2011 at 11:03 AM

    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.

  • 13 Stuart // Nov 12, 2011 at 11:09 AM

    @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.

  • 14 UTD111 // Nov 12, 2011 at 11:09 AM

    Wait a minute……

    They’ve renamed the Leazes End???


  • 15 Lee Dodd // Nov 12, 2011 at 11:10 AM

    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 !!!

  • 16 Rotonda heights // Nov 12, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    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.

  • 17 Munster Mag // Nov 12, 2011 at 11:19 AM

    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….

  • 18 Rotonda heights // Nov 12, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    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.

  • 19 hrocks // Nov 12, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    @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

  • 20 Rotonda heights // Nov 12, 2011 at 11:24 AM

    Tradition doesn’t make something right. ie fox hunting

  • 21 Rotonda heights // Nov 12, 2011 at 11:27 AM

    mathew Tom,

    You sound like Ed Miliband, anti business etc.

  • 22 jettson1971 // Nov 12, 2011 at 11:27 AM

    St James Park Arena or St James Arena ??

  • 23 Sav // Nov 12, 2011 at 11:29 AM

    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…

  • 24 Stuart // Nov 12, 2011 at 11:29 AM

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

  • 25 Stuart // Nov 12, 2011 at 11:34 AM

    @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?

  • 26 hrocks // Nov 12, 2011 at 11:40 AM


    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

  • 27 davybtoon // Nov 12, 2011 at 11:43 AM

    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

  • 28 Jail for Ashley // Nov 12, 2011 at 11:44 AM

    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.

  • 29 Stuart // Nov 12, 2011 at 11:46 AM

    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?

  • 30 davybtoon // Nov 12, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    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

  • 31 davybtoon // Nov 12, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    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

  • 32 Stuart // Nov 12, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    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.

  • 33 Stuart // Nov 12, 2011 at 11:55 AM

    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?

  • 34 hrocks // Nov 12, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    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

  • 35 ToonDownSouth // Nov 12, 2011 at 12:00 PM


    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

  • 36 greekgeordie // Nov 12, 2011 at 12:09 PM

    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

  • 37 roshan MAGPIE // Nov 12, 2011 at 12:22 PM

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

  • 38 roshan MAGPIE // Nov 12, 2011 at 12:22 PM

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

  • 39 boater // Nov 12, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    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 .

  • 40 ShanghaiMag // Nov 12, 2011 at 12:37 PM

    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.

  • 41 thai-mag // Nov 12, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    just heard The Big Yellow Skip company have put a bid in for naming rights, The Big Yellow Skip Arena has a good ring to it

  • 42 nickybutttt // Nov 12, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    SJP is SJP. essense is not changed. most of fan ask for money to board. and board think about it. and seeking how to get the money. and they chooses naming rights that some people is not welcom a little bit. it’s simple. club will give it temporary. we need to back to euro. no relegation. no debts.

  • 43 MacToon // Nov 12, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    For those interested………………

  • 44 boater // Nov 12, 2011 at 12:41 PM

    Greek Geordie – there is no £10m generated and so far, based on every single piece of information bar none… there is no reason to trust Ashley that they are even open to offers.

    Okay, let’s say the PR experts are all wrong, and someone stumps up £10m to defile their own name in the eyes of supporters, and further afield. £35m from a player was pledged for new players in and never was – what the hell makes you think £10 m from a corporate offshoot revenue stream will be?

  • 45 boater // Nov 12, 2011 at 12:43 PM

    Shanghai Mag – you are nuts to believe they will put that hypothetical £10m money back in when a whopping £35m mysteriously never is spent.

    Am I going mad here? FOOOOOOOOOOOOOK SAKE.

  • 46 bills-son // Nov 12, 2011 at 1:20 PM

    Peter Beardsley says the structure and organisation right throughout the club is now on “another level” since Ashley and Llambias took over. He also says the spirit at the club has never been higher. I suppose the likes of boater believes Beardsley is a deluded Ashley ar$e licker as well eh?

  • 47 leazes upper ( moved to the gallowgate ) // Nov 12, 2011 at 1:59 PM

    its a fantastic opportunity for ashley to advertise his s**ty chav filled shops on our stadium and more than likely our shirts for free.

  • 48 bills-son // Nov 12, 2011 at 3:11 PM

    leazes upper – do you mean the s**ty chav filled shops that gave him the £287M he needed to rescue our club from bankruptcy?

  • 49 Satan // Nov 12, 2011 at 7:01 PM

    Bills son, every single thing I’ve ever read from you reduces me to laughter….everyone is entitled to their opinion of course but yours makes me piss my pants every time. you talk about beardsleys statement as if it were gospel…..tell me something; who pays beardos wages? What do you think he would be likely to say? Would anyone come out in public and voice any discontent against their boss? No they wouldn’t would they….. nob jockey

  • 50 solano // Nov 12, 2011 at 8:48 PM

    Ed, I think for the benefit of many fans who live abroad and are not aware of what our present edifice (formerly known as St James’s park) looks like….you should update the aerial photograph to show how tatty commercialism has sullied our stadium.

  • 51 solano // Nov 12, 2011 at 9:09 PM

    There seems to be 2 former Toon legends who have come forward and praised this move by the regime…..Bills-son, points to Peter Beardsley, who is rightly regarded as one of our greatest players in the modern era. Although, I don’t claim to be itk on all things – “in the know” I was informed that meant recently 😉 – I do know that there was very good reason why Pedro was not invited to the recent “Toon Legends” game – he’s about as popular as cancer of the eyeball amongst ex-players and has a history of causing unrest behind the scenes when he was a player and coach, pre-Ashley. His star has of course risen again since Ashley’s arrival, after demotion for bullying in the academy under the former regime. Therefore, it is not surprising that Pedro continues to beat the Ashley drum just as he did in January 2009 when we were staring relegation in the face and he came out with similar drivel about his paymaster.
    The other Toon legend, is Bob Moncur – a thoroughly nice bloke who I have had the pleasure to meet on occasions over the years. Bob has been much more guarded and qualified with his endorsement of the regime, but nonetheless, backed the name change in the last few days. This is a monumental seachange for Bob, who not 2 short years ago was an outspoken critic of Ashley and Co. What has made him change his mind? Well, let me tell you this, as the last man to lift a bit of silver for Newcasle United , Bob has dined out on the fans’ goodwill for 42 years, but is willing to dismiss history because he has fallen on hard times. Let me introduce you to the new club Liaison Officer…..Ladies and Gentlemen….Mr Bobby Moncur! (you heard it here first, smeigels)

  • 52 btnek1664 // Nov 14, 2011 at 11:12 AM

    For me it`s a little like watching somebody on antiques road show selling their grandads precious war medals for £20. It`s wrong some thing`s such as history and heritage are more important than a few quid-the team will never see any of it-our recent history shows that,I`m a realist and know things have to change-as indeed they have-some for worse some for better but SJP is world famous and a massive part of our history-the club is nearly financially self supporting it` self so why now? leave it alone fat lad-its just wrong and not necessary…

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