We looked through the minutes of the second Fan Forum meeting that was held on Monday night, and quite honestly we didn’t learn too much more about Newcastle and Mike Ashley, that we didn’t already know.
Mike Ashley – free world-wide advertising for Sports Direct
However, we’ll focus on just one question and answer that we think is enlightening.
And the question was fr0m NUST representative Peter Fanning – so we suppose the NUST have been included again in the Fans Forum after being banned after the first meeting for publishing their minutes before the club published theirs.
Here’s the question and answer
Question from Peter Fanning “Do Sports Direct pay the going rate for advertising, their adverts are all over the stadium?”
Answer: The club explained that the advertising boards in question were installed with Sports Direct branding as a showcase for unused space. Sports Direct don’t pay, but it would be sold if other advertisers wanted the space.
That seems to just a ridiculous answer to us – and how do advertisers even know the space taken up by Sports Direct is even available?
Why don’t they put on the advertising boards something like – this advertising space is available – and who to contact.
And who knows the club may get some interested parties enquiring.
The image you get on TV when you watch the Newcastle home games is fa too many Sport Direct.com signs which seem to be everywhere – even along the walls where the two teams gather before they walk out onto the field just before the kick-off.
So this is a less than a good answer – and basically what seems to be happening is that Mike Ashley’s other company – Sports Direct – are getting free world-wide advertising and certainly in the US – this would not be allowed.
Compare this with the Manchester City club naming their stadium The Etihad, and they have a £400M deal over 10 years for that from Etihad Airlines.
But Etihad are owned by the Abu Dhabi government, and the airline has very close ties with Manchester City’s Billionaire owner, Sheikh Mansour, who is himself a member of the Abu Dhabi Royal family.
It would be nice (and it would be fair) if Sports Direct paid Newcastle United say £10M each year, for that word wide advertising they are currently getting for free.
Or another way of pricing it would be to understand what Newcastle will be asking for the advertising – and have Sport Direct paying that amount – backdated to when they started the advertising.
And who knows, maybe our commercial income will rise significantly from the pitiful levels it is at the moment.
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