SBD/October 8, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Newcastle United To Ink New Shirt Sponsorship Deal With Wonga Short-Term Loans Company

Naming rights for Newcastle's stadium reportedly not involved in the deal
London-based short-term loans company Wonga is “set to become the new shirt sponsor” for EPL club Newcastle United after the club “decided to drop Virgin Money at the end of the season,” according to Keith Weir of REUTERS. Wonga “already sponsors Scottish Premier League club Hearts and English second-tier team Blackpool.” A source, who did not provide financial details, said that the "deal being negotiated is for shirt sponsorship only, rather than also including naming rights to Newcastle's stadium.” Weir notes the “prospect of the term Wonga -- slang for cash -- featuring in the club's stadium name had prompted fresh criticism on fan forums.” EPL rules “allow a company to sponsor the shirts of more than one club, meaning a promotion for Blackpool back to the top flight would not impede a deal with Newcastle” (REUTERS, 10/8). In London, Ben Martin notes Wonga “has come in for criticism for the high interest it charges on loans.” The deal comes as “new figures show the Office of Fair Trading has stepped up its scrutiny of the payday lending industry” (London TELEGRAPH, 10/8).
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