Turkish Super Lig club Besiktas has signed off on a 15-year shirt sponsorship and stadium naming rights deal with Vodafone which will be worth US$145 million to the club.
Tuesday’s announcement came after Besiktas signed a memorandum of understanding with the telecommunications company in June. As part of the deal, the Istanbul club’s new stadium will be called Vodafone Arena for 15 years. The Istanbul club played its final game at the 32,000-capacity İnönü Stadium, its home since 1947, on May 11. The stadium is being demolished and rebuilt 23 metres north of its current location in the heart of the city. The construction of the new 40,000-seat stadium is expected to finish in 2014, with work having started on the demolition of İnönü Stadium in June.
Under the terms of the deal, Besiktas will also carry the Vodafone brand on its shirts for a five-year term, starting next season, once its current deal with Toyota finishes. “This is not only Vodafone Turkey’s biggest deal, but also the biggest sponsorship deal in Turkish sports history,” said Vodafone Turkey CEO Gokhan Ogut, according to the Hurriyet Daily News. Besiktas’ city rival Galatasaray has a similar shirt and stadium naming rights deal with Turk Telecom that is valued at $130 million over 10 years.
Besiktas chairman Fikret Orman said the club is determined to complete the new stadium by the start of next year. “Our priority is the stadium,” said Orman. “We need to finish the stadium fast and we want to return to our home next year.” The Vodafone deal will also see Besiktas’ new home transformed into a ‘smart stadium’ utilising the company’s technology, with the agreement set to tackle the club’s debt of about $215.5 million. Club officials added that the new stadium will host football and rugby sevens games should Istanbul win its bid for the 2020 Olympic Games.