Qatari Telecom Denies Report It Is Talking To Liverpool About Shirt, Stadium Sponsorship
Qatari telecom firm Ooredoo has "been linked with a multi-million pound sponsorship deal with Liverpool, which could see Anfield renamed," according to Dominic King of the London DAILY MAIL. Liverpool shirt sponsor Standard Chartered has 18 months remaining on the £20M ($31M) annual deal it agreed to in Sept. '09, and "are currently in talks with the Merseyside club about extending those terms." Ooredoo, which recently appointed Lionel Messi as an ambassador for its brand, has claimed that it has "received a tender from Liverpool and they are eager to become associated" with the Premier League. An Ooredoo spokesperson said, "We want to sponsor the club in full. We want to sponsor the stadium (possibly rename it) as well as the club's kits. Our goal is to reach the Asian markets where the Premier League has an enormous fan base" (DAILY MAIL, 4/28).
BACKING OFF: In London, Tony Barrett reported Liverpool sources said that "any interest remains tentative and no deal is close." However, Liverpool "will be heartened that the controversy" surrounding Luis Suárez "does not appear to have reduced their attractiveness to potential sponsors" (LONDON TIMES, 4/29). ARABIAN BUSINESS' Shane McGinley reported Ooredoo on Monday "denied media reports it is in talks with Liverpool Football Club for naming rights to Anfield stadium." An Ooredoo spokesperson said, "There is no basis for the current speculation linking us to the sponsorship of a Premier League football club. If the situation changes, we will -- as always -- be open and transparent in our communication with the media and with our customers." The move "would have followed in the footsteps of Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways," which gained naming rights to Man City’s stadium and Dubai’s Emirates Airline, which has been associated with Arsenal (ARABIAN BUSINESS, 4/29).