Thursday, 19 February 2015

Who will Swansea's new stadium sponsors be? With the current deal expiring this summer, something could well be in the pipeline

Following talk of investment the issue of stadium naming rights and other sponsorship opportunities arose - when will a new sponsor be announced?

With the ongoing off-field stories dominating the headlines, let's have a look at it from a slightly different angle. Many commenters, including myself, have been wondering whether we couldn't attempt to raise a significant sum of money through increased sponsorship deals. 

Granted we're not a massive club but a look at this list below shows we could perhaps do a little better in terms of stadium sponsorship. This is from December 2013, so our deal is still the same one that was in place when this list was compiled:

Cardiff: £0.28 million
Norwich: £0.41 million
Crystal Palace: £0.41 million
Southampton: £0.61 million
Hull City: £0.61 million
West Brom: £0.61 million
Swansea: £0.67 million
West Ham: £0.91 million
Stoke: £1.35 million
Sunderland: £1.52 million
Fulham: £1.52 million
Aston Villa: £1.52 million
Newcastle: £2 million
Everton: £2 million
Chelsea: £5.45 million
Tottenham: £5.76 million
Liverpool: £6.06 million
Arsenal: £6.75 million
Man Utd: £16.93 million
Man City: £18.23 million

Fulham's deal is a surprising one, and was the result of their brief foray into Europe. If we are to finish anywhere near the top ten this season I'd hope we barter pretty aggressively with any prospective sponsor in order to get the best deal possible, and you'd have to hope that given our continued increase in stature we would be able to at least double our current deal.

Do that for, say, a five-year deal and you're looking at a cool £6.5million. Now, if only we can find some super-wealthy company called White Rock...

That is far from the only option too. We've also got two training bases, both of which are surely well placed for a cheeky bit of advertising? On top of being the "official sponsor of the training ground" and perhaps the fields being named after the company, one (Landore) is just off a dual carriageway and visible from the train into Swansea, the other (Fairwood) is on the entrance to Gower. Both not the worst places in the world for brand awareness.

While I'm perhaps dreaming in terms of "on site advertising", other clubs have sponsors for all and sundry so why not us? Bayern Munich are the most successful exponents of Germany's lauded ownership model, and they have sponsors for everything. And I mean everything (link). I'm not for a minute comparing us to Bayern, but my point is that there's nothing wrong with having an official watch provider, or whatever else it may be, if it doesn't hurt the club and puts a bit more money in the till.

My understanding, in terms of the stadium sponsorship, is that the original deal with Liberty Properties was renewed and will expire at the end of this season. If that's the case, the Swans may well have something lined up which will blow the previous deal out of the water. Then again, they may not. Either way, I think sponsorship is definitely an avenue we can explore further - on the official site the partners listed are as follows:

GWFX Main Sponsor - Official Club Partner
Carlsberg - Official Club Partner
Barclays - Official Club Partner
WilliamHill - Official Club Partner
LG - Official Club Partner
Adidas - Technical kit sponsor

There's also a list (link) of businesses who advertise, I assume, on the sponsor boards in the stadium - it's a long list and worth a read - but these are more local and not of the same stature of the deals we should be chasing at boardroom level.

With the club continuing to aim for a top ten finish, we should be aiming for top ten advertising revenue. We've broken the mould for so long in so many other ways, why shouldn't we look to punch above our weight in this area too? With a bit of investment we genuinely could push on, and if the investment comes in the form of sponsorship it's obviously preferable to sacrificing 30% of the club's shares.

While at times we've been held back by our limited off-field stature, and the need to catch up before we can invest elsewhere, sponsors won't care about that. They'll care about sponsoring a top ten Premier League team which, hopefully, we will once again be come May.