Two London clubs are looking to make bank in the big business of stadium naming rights, but have different takes when it comes to sacrificing history.
Matt Hughes of The Times has the story, claiming that Chelsea has been seeking a name sponsor since 2009 but demands the inclusion of “Stamford Bridge” in the title (Think Mercedes-Benz Superdome).
But Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy reportedly isn’t worried about sentiment in seeking his big money deal. From The Times:
Tottenham, who have spoken to more than 300 companies about possible partnerships, are taking a more pragmatic approach on the basis that retaining references to White Hart Lane would adversely affect the value of any naming-rights deal.
There’s a way to do it which will gain better acceptance amongst fans, and that’s avoiding what Newcastle United did when club (and naming rights sponsor) owner Mike Ashley renamed St. James Park “SportsDirect.com Arena at St. James Park”.
That story is mentioned in the article briefly, but to recap: Newcastle fans were furious with what they felt was a tight-fisted owner hurting the club’s legacy. Chelsea and Spurs have spent a bit more on players, and will probably be more quickly forgiven.
Also, people are just going to call the venues White Hart Lane and Stamford Bridge. So there’s that.