BLACK CATS LOOK INTO STADIUM NAMING RIGHTS

Sunderland has announced the club is considering selling the naming rights to the Stadium of Light.

A sponsorhip deal for the 49,000-seater stadium, which cost £23 million to build in 1997, would help bring in much needed revenue to the club which posted a pre-tax loss of £26 million last year.

Chief Executive Steve Walton told the club website: "The naming rights issue is an extremely emotive thing and it would only be done if it was completely right for the business.

"We'd only do it if it worked and didn't take anything away. There have been a couple of things in that kind of area we have been looking at.

"It doesn't necessarily carry the same emotion (as other clubs) because it's a relatively new stadium, it's only 12 years old. If it was, say, 'The Stadium of Light, powered by somebody or other', and the money was right, we might well do something like that."

Other English football clubs have looked to secure stadium naming rights deals to increase revenues in a difficult financial climate.

Newcastle United met strong fan opposition in the rebranding of St James’ Park earlier this season.

Chairman Niall Quinn also revealed that the club are looking to replace current sponsors Boylesports at the end of the season as they are unwilling to resign.

He said:  "Their business has changed and they're going to go completely online with their advertising and PR. They're also feeling the pinch like the rest of Ireland.

"They've been a real good friend of ours and we have a timeframe where we'll know by the end of the season exactly where we're going."

Posted on 17/03/2010