Yanmar Signs On As Naming-Rights Sponsor For Both Cerezo Osaka's Stadiums
Engine manufacturer Yanmar has signed a 500M yen ($5M) five-year naming rights deal for the two stadiums used by J.League Division 1 side Cerezo Osaka. On March 1, the 15,000-seat Osaka Nagai Second Stadium, used occasionally by Cerezo for smaller games, will become Yanmar Field Nagai, while the 50,000-seat Nagai Stadium will be renamed Yanmar Stadium Nagai. The two stadiums are owned by Osaka City, which will receive the naming fees. Cerezo started life as a Yanmar company team, and the Osaka-headquartered manufacturer remains the club’s main shirt sponsor and a shareholder, though it did not disclose what percentage of the club it still owns.
COUNCIL COLLECTS FEE: Spokespersons from Yanmar and Cerezo declined to comment to SBD Global on why the company was going to pay 100M yen ($1M) a year to the city council rather than increasing direct financial support to the club, which has just made a record signing. Uruguayan forward Diego Forlan, who has played for ManU and Inter Milan, recently joined Cerezo for $5.8M a year, a J.League record. He made his debut on Tuesday, in Cerezo’s season opener, a 1-1 draw with Korea’s Pohang Steelers in the Asian Football Confederation’s Champions League, a competition which Yanmar also sponsors. The first game at the renamed stadium will be March 1, when Cerezo takes on J.League defending champions Hiroshima Sanfrecce.
Gavin Blair is a writer in Tokyo.