Sponsorships, stadia, and naming rights
The selling of stadia naming rights represents an important source of revenue for football clubs. Football stadium naming sponsors pursue a number of objectives, including building brand name awareness and brand image enhancement. Therefore, gaining acceptance (and adoption) of the corporate stadium name is crucial in generating media and word-of-mouth mentions and in fostering positive associations among fans towards the sponsoring brand. However, where fans see a new corporate stadium name as a threat to the club’s distinctiveness and to their identity as a fan of that club, or where the sponsoring brand carries negative brand associations, resistance is greater. In contrast, if the corporate stadium name represents a high degree of fit with the team and if fans perceive that the sponsorship brings significant benefits to their club then their acceptance of corporate stadium names increases. This chapter will discuss the current state of knowledge on sponsorships, stadia, and naming rights in football, drawing on literature and real life examples. Within the chapter, implications for both sponsors and football clubs as rights holders will be explored.