When we heard of the naming rights deal that Wonga was rumored to have made with Newcastle earlier this week, we thought – oh no – Wonga Stadium, Wonga Park, Wonga Arena or Wonga Dome – they all sound absolutely awful.
Wonga signs now all over the training ground
But it turns out the founder of Wonga, Errol Damelin (he founded Wonga with Jonty Hurwitz back in October 2006) agreed that it didn’t sound right, and he has also been quoted as saying the company never had any intention of calling the stadium after his company – but that they wanted to revert back to the real name of St. James’ Park – which in retrospect was an excellent PR move by Wonga.
This is what Damelin said yesterday about the naming:
“We love sports ourselves. We love football and sports in general. So we totally get heritage and passion and how important that is.” “St James’ Park is a globally recognised stadium.”
“It has massive history and passion around it and we’re just very proud to be able to be in a position to recognise what the fans want.” “This is really a gesture all about the fans. It’s about us recognising that it’s not all about brand. Football is about players and the fans.
“Wonga Dome, or anything like that wasn’t even contemplated.”
That was a good move by the Wonga founder, but since the deal is not supposed to start until next season, there must be some arrangement that the signs can be put up at the training ground now – but not on the shirts until next season.
That would also explain why the St. James’ Park signs will be put back up almost immediately – the stadium naming must start right now and include the training ground.
We wonder how much Sports Direct paid Newcastle for calling the stadium after Mike Ashley’s company for about a year?
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