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Biggest global brands avoid naming rights deals

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A number of clubs are in the market for naming rights deals, not least West Ham in relation to the Olympic Stadium. Football takes just under a quarter of a global market worth $750m a year, according to data from Sponsorship Today. Multi-purpose venues, which would include the Olympic Stadium, account for 29 per cent.

However, one of the interesting findings from the report was the relative absence of big global sponsors. Simon Hines of Sponsorship Today said, 'If you go through the data, you don't find many big deals from the likes of Visa, McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Hyundai, MasterCard, Samsung, Adidas and Sony etc. You do see a few of the big global sponsoring brands such as Emirates, Barclays and Ford, but on the whole naming rights deals tend to be local or regional in outlook and clearly fulfil different objectives to deals signed with, for example, big international federations.'

The biggest investors in naming rights are financial services, followed by telecommunications, airlines, car manufacturers and energy companies. The biggest deal in the world is Etihad's sponsorship of Manchester City stadium.

The report also shows that within the emerging BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) nations, there is very little naming rights activity. Hines said, 'We've seen two of the world's biggest deals in China and Brazil, but beyond that there is very little activity.'

'Cultural resistance in Brazil, for example, is a huge issue with the media generally refusing to use corporate names. With all of the new stadia projects in the run up to the next World Cup, the focus may well be on Gremio's recently signed $16.7m annual deal with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) for its new 60,000 seat stadium. If fans and media accept that deal, then others could follow in the country.'

'In China growth is likely to be slow but there is arguably more potential in Russia, which is hosting the 2018 World Cup and is, again, building new stadia.'