Stadium naming rights – it’s been described by some as football’s largest unexploited financial opportunity.
Selling the name of your stadium to the highest bidder is something some clubs have got on board with over the years. Livingston have the Tony Macaroni Stadium, St Mirren Park is supposed to be called The Simple Digital Arena – however, most people still call it St Mirren Park and if you’re really old – you might still call it Love street – even though they’ve long moved from that particular area of Paisley.
Stadium naming rights could be lucrative and a club like Celtic have worldwide appeal – especially when they’re playing on the European stage. There would be a lot of business’s interested in seeing their company’s name on the marker in an official UEFA graphic before a tie between Celtic and Lazio, Bayer Leverkusen, and anyone one day again, Barcelona.
Inside football world claim around only 30% of stadiums in the perceived ‘top five’ leagues have sold their naming rights to this point.
The two big sponsorships in the top five leagues come from the financial sector as well as the car industry.
It’s commonplace in the USA but there’s a reluctance in European football to do it.
So why has the club not tapped into this market?
There could be numerous reasons but the biggest one we’ve found, speaking to many different clubs is the backlash from fans. Tradition plays a major part in our game and for many, the thought of their stadium being renamed to a hollow corporate entity would be a step too far.
The need for clubs to push the envelope and provide new sources of income is great – especially at a club like Celtic.
The board and the fans relationship is basically non-existent at the moment. You wouldn’t win a prize for guessing the reaction if Celtic were to come out and say they were signing a lucrative deal to rename the stadium.
Our editor polled over 2k fans on social media and the resounding result was 63% saying no to renaming Celtic Park.
Would you be in favour of Celtic selling the naming rights to the stadium for a sizeable fee?
It would be interesting to see the response.
There will be traditionalists vs people who wouldn’t mind because they’ll still call it Celtic Park.
— Craig (@CraigCelt) September 23, 2021
The impact of the last 18 months on football clubs will continue to show and we’ll likely see more sponsorship deals for stadiums pop up.
Would it be wise of Celtic to go out into the market and secure big business?
Ultimately, Celtic Park is what Celtic fans call it, some still call it Parkhead, others Paradise and then there’s just plain old Celtic Park.
Raking in a substantial amount of cash while we still call it Celtic Park doesn’t seem like the worst idea but I know it would still leave many uncomfortable.