Report Claims FA Nearing Naming-Rights Deal For Wembley Stadium, FA Denies It
The FA has agreed to a deal for Wembley Stadium to be renamed to "incorporate mention" of new sponsor, mobile phone provider EE, according to Joe Hare of the London TELEGRAPH. The FA has concluded negotiations with EE and will announce a deal in which the stadium will become known as “Wembley Stadium in association with EE,” “Wembley Stadium supported by EE” or another similar construction. The "imminent renaming of arguably the most famous sporting venue in the world will dismay those who feel it should be ‘above’ commercial deals." The FA "made it clear" during talks with potential sponsors that naming rights, which would have rebranded the stadium as, for example, the EE Stadium were "not for sale" and that Wembley had to "remain part of the name" (TELEGRAPH, 1/17). A FA spokesperson said, "It's no secret that we've been in the market for a lead partner, but throughout we've maintained that no naming rights are available and this point remains" (REUTERS, 1/18). ESPN reported the FA has "issued a statement insisting it will not sell naming rights to Wembley Stadium." The statement read, "There are no naming rights available for Wembley Stadium, and there is nothing to report about any rights deals being signed with any company at present" (ESPN, 1/18).