The English Football Association (FA) has insisted it will not sell naming rights to Wembley Stadium amid fresh reports that a deal has been struck with telecommunications company EE.
The Telegraph newspaper reported on Friday that the FA has concluded negotiations with EE and will announce a deal whereby the historic stadium will become known as ‘Wembley Stadium in association with EE’, ‘Wembley Stadium supported by EE’ or another similar phrasing. However, Press Association Sport reported an FA spokesman stating: “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.”
Despite the FA’s denial, speculation regarding some form of naming rights deal has gathered pace in recent months. The addition of a corporate brand to the historic Wembley name would prove a highly controversial move, but would provide a lucrative revenue stream with the English Football Association (FA) still repaying the debt that it took on to build the £757 million facility. The FA is engaged in a similar partnership with Budweiser for the FA Cup.
The FA is reportedly seeking around £8 million per year for a lead partner for Wembley. Carlsberg and Umbro currently serve as top tier founding partners of Wembley, with Betfred, Walkers, Coca-Cola, Mars and National Express also sponsoring the stadium. EE is the first company in Britain to offer superfast 4G mobile services alongside fibre broadband. EE was born from two major mobile brands, Orange and T-Mobile, which joined forces in 2010.