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SBD Global/March 5, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Rangers Agree To Sell Ibrox Naming Rights To Sports Retailer Sports Direct

The naming rights to Rangers Ibrox stadium are expected to be sold to Sports Direct.
Scottish Third Division club Rangers have "agreed to sell their stadium naming rights to sports retailer Sports Direct," according to STV. Rangers CEO Charles Green said that the deal "would be finalised in the coming weeks, with artist’s impressions of how Ibrox would look under the changes expected to be released on the club website." Sports Direct majority shareholder Mike Ashley owns a stake in Rangers Int'l Football Club, while his firm has "entered into a joint venture as the club’s official merchandising supplier." Green: "We have now decided that Sports Direct will be the partner (for stadium naming). We had representatives from Sports Direct up for a fans’ forum a couple of weeks ago. We also had Derek Llambias of Newcastle United sharing his experience of how that helped his club (STV, 3/4). In London, Ewan Murray reported that Green believes Rangers supporters are "more relaxed over the issue than before." Ashley has experience of renaming a stadium at Newcastle. There, "fans were bitter in their complaints about St James' Park being titled the Sports Direct Arena." It has "since been returned to the original name" (GUARDIAN, 3/4).

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