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Tottenham closing in on “world’s largest” naming rights deal

Need to find a company for your stadium rights? Look to Vegas!

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool FC - Premier League Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is an absolute marvel in the sports world. It took a lot longer than anyone expected for it to become reality, but now that it’s up and running, it’s the envy of just about everyone. Ever since its completion last year, Daniel Levy has been searching high and low for a naming rights deal that lines up with having arguably the best stadium in the world.

This week in Las Vegas, the International CES convened for the 53rd time, hosting all of the largest technology and consumer brands in the world. Over 180,000 attendees made the trip to see the latest and greatest. I’ve been an attendee of the show myself six times, and it’s quite the experience. I bring this up because thanks to a tip from Twitter user @94now, Tottenham Hotspur had a presence at the show for the purpose of finding a company who wants to sign on for that naming rights deal. The Bloomberg Business of Sports podcast had Ben Sturner on this week, and he is CEO of Leverage Agency. His company has been commissioned by Tottenham Hotspur to broker the deal. The Tottenham portion of the podcast starts at around 25:30 and has some interesting tidbits:

[Sturner] I’m here with Tottenham, and we’re talking to a lot of the global brands here for the stadium naming rights. We are the agency on record for them. They have the NFL there, they have rugby, music concerts, EPL and Champions League. It’s a massive stadium, with 63,000 seats, but it’s very innovative. Technology is incredible with 5G, and we are looking for a partner with that. Similar to like Metlife Stadium in New York, we’re doing in London.

[Bloomberg] Will that be the most expensive stadium naming rights ever?

[Sturner] Ever. It could be! It can be the most valuable.

The International CES is the perfect place to pitch this idea. Name a technology brand and it is almost certain to have a presence at the show. LG, Samsung, Panasonic, Motorola, Sony...the list goes on. Given we’ve all been concerned with the idea of having Facebook Stadium or Amazon Stadium with past rumors, signing on a worldwide tech company like any of the ones I named above is far easier to handle, even if the name is going to be boring like LG Stadium.

There’s a little more information in that podcast, including how Sturner pitches the idea of a company spending over £400m to have their brand sponsor the stadium. Also, checking out Leverage Agency and their list of clients, they also represent other sports entities that include Major League Baseball, World Tennis Association, Schalke 04, Nitro World Games and several other large brands.

Past reports have put the value of the naming rights anywhere from £400m-£500m over the course of a 30 year agreement. Having that kind of cash alone makes paying off the stadium far less of a hassle while being the named company in a stadium that hosts so many different events has to be attractive for growth. Sturner’s words sound like someone who is getting close to a deal, but he doesn’t name drop anyone for obvious reasons. The club has taken their time with finding the right partner, and they seem to think Sturner is the man to get the job done for them.