£1.5M For Naming Rights To St. James’ Park – About Right

The Mail on Sunday is reporting that Wonga is paying £1.5M a year for the naming rights of St. James’ Park, and that’s close to our estimate of £2M we made recently.

£1.5M a year to have this sign put back up – not bad

That’s not a big surprise to us, because Wonga is getting very little out of the deal – it’s not as if the stadium is called Wonga Stadium where the company’s name is used during matches and the like, and they get all the resulting publicity.

In fact the deal Mike Ashley made was to get Wonga to pay the club £1.5M a year over four years to change the name back to St. James’ Park from the name of his company, so nobody should be surprised it’s a small amount being paid – it’s a little surprising that Wonga paid that much.

We had estimated around £2M out of the £8M a year Wonga is paying the club to have St. James’ Park back on the stadium.

When you think of it – that’s some business deal by the club.

Derek Llambias had been hoping to get up to 10M a year on the naming rights, but that would be some company who could come in and name the stadium say Nike Park, and get all the resulting publicity.

The Mail is saying the club undersold the naming right but you cannot have it both ways, and the Mail are comparing apples and oranges.

They are talking about the naming rights of the stadium, which is to have another company’s name put on the stadium – and the naming rights that Wonga signed up on their contract of four and a half years, is to have St. James’ Park back as the name.

They’re not the same thing.

Would you have liked Newcastle to get say £5M a year from Wonga to have it called Wonga Park, or just £1.5M a year to have it called St. James’ Park?

As far as business goes – £1.5M is a great deal for Newcastle to have somebody pay them to have the stadium named St. James’ Park – something it had been since 1892 until about a year ago.

Comments welcome.

Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and +1 us on Google+:

You can also reach Ed at admin@nufcblog.com


11 comments so far

  • catchy in norway

    Oct 21, 2012 at 8:25 AM

    Comment #1

    How about a cynicle view and they pay nothing for the naming rights but for lamb ass to look good he throws that into the deal for free,

    This is not wongas problem so why would they bail cashly out? When all he would have had to do was change it back him self, but if he did with out getting cash he might look weak, this way is a win win for him

    I don’t like all three if them,

    Our team might be strong today, but his tactics will be weak,

  • jonny-intense

    Oct 21, 2012 at 8:28 AM

    Comment #2

    Although I was appalled at the renaming if the stadium in the first place, you have to hand it to the man. Getting a company to pay to revert the stadium name is an astute piece of business, leaving nearly everyone happy. The icing on the cake after the international break would be a hat-trick from the Mackem Slayer! However, a hard fought 0-1 will do for me!

  • Grafton83

    Oct 21, 2012 at 8:29 AM

    Comment #3

    It’s a complete joke that anyone is paying naming rights at all. The ground is St James Park, always has been always will be.

    How MA and DL have managed to pocket £1.5m for this is quite bizarre. I am grateful to Wonga for their kindness, it was very good of them to return the name but naming rights should only be for new stadiums or completly rebuilt ones.

    Although it raises some money for the club each year it is not worth the cost of losing part of the clubs identity, heritage, culture, soul, whatever you want to call it.

  • Big Pappa Cissé

    Oct 21, 2012 at 8:30 AM

    Comment #4

    Money well spent 😉

  • jonny-intense

    Oct 21, 2012 at 8:33 AM

    Comment #5

    Catchy, why would wonga come out and say they’d done it then? They wouldn’t just cover the board’s arse. They are a cash rich company on the look out for good will. What better way to do it than to do something for the most populous part of probably their strongest catchment area? Unless you’re being ironic?

  • roshan MAGPIE

    Oct 21, 2012 at 8:44 AM

    Comment #6

    for all Indian nufc supporters our derby game will be shown live on espn at 5-55 pm

  • Rotonda heights

    Oct 21, 2012 at 8:49 AM

    Comment #7


    We could even have a cynical view!

    Before I read what Ed has put, I thought that even taking out the the ethics and morals, Wonga wasn’t a great deal financially. But of course Ed makes the very good point that it isn’t called the Wonga stadium as grosse as that would have been.

    However, it’s still peanuts for a team who pulls in 50000+ home crowds compared to the Uniteds and Liverpools who get 30 times that much in sponsorship. Really surprised we’ve never tried to sign an Asian player.

    Really hope we’ll go back to 433 or 4231 today but you know it’s going to be hoof in a 442 with Cabaye still sitting deep. I just don’t know what is going in Pardew’s head at the minute, but if he keeps it up I can see some of our ” purples” leaving.

    You can still keep Ba happy centrally in a front 3 or a lone striker with Cisse on the bench, but something has to change with our only decent performance being against Bordeaux in you’ve guessed it a 433.

  • jesperfuglsang

    Oct 21, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    Comment #8

    Ed, I would put it this way; for £1.5M a year MA and DL have pissed off a lot of people and fans and not mention a whole community.

    If you want to do that at least have the common courtesy to do it for a lot more (I can’t help feeling cheap)

  • check the toastie

    Oct 21, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    Comment #9

    Wonga have not given any money to NUFC for Stadium renaming, anybody believing this nonsense must still believe in Santa Claus.

    It is a PR exercise, the fact Wonga have gave us a decent deal to sponsor our shirts must have come with a condition that the stadium would not carry another companies sponsor, ie Sports Direct or anyone else, thus Ashley has gone back to St James Park. It is a conditiion of the Shirt sponsorship rather than a stadium naming issue.

    Ashley tried to promote the stadium renaming as a good idea, however clearly nobody is interested as the ground still gets called St James Park generally, barking up the wrong tree there Fatty was.

  • ArtyH

    Oct 21, 2012 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #10

    Not bothered either way as its officially back to St James Park again, not sure how anyone can grumble now its not Sports Direct anymore. Money wise I think it was part of the deal anyway just to get the fans off M.A’s back .

  • jonobbad

    Oct 21, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #11

    Wow I actually agree with check. 100%


You must log in to post a comment.