Wembley Stadium and EE have finally put pen to paper on a six-year deal that sees the telecommunications company become the first ever lead partner of the venue.
After many months of negotiations, a statement released on Wednesday said the new partnership aims ‘to make Wembley the most connected stadium in the world – ensuring it sits alongside the most technologically advanced stadiums across the globe for years to come.’
Over the course of the deal, EE will make a ‘multi-million pound investment’ in the technological infrastructure at Wembley Stadium, which has a capacity of 90,000 and plays host to the England national soccer team.
Upgrades will include mobile ticketing solutions, enhanced mobile network access and super-fast Wi-Fi for spectators, while a free mobile app has been launched to coincide with the announcement.
Though the deal is not strictly a naming rights agreement, the venue will be referred to officially as Wembley Stadium connected by EE. In addition, EE will be represented in a new composite logo for the venue.
The deal, reported by the Daily Mail newspaper in January to be worth around UK£2 million a year, was brokered on behalf of the Football Association (FA) in collaboration with Wasserman Media Group. It is thought that negotiations were ongoing for over two years.
“We have diligently taken our time, in collaboration with Wasserman, in sourcing a technology brand that shares our enthusiasm and commitment and EE will help to make the Wembley fan experience the best it can be,” said Peter Daire, The FA’s group head of sponsorship.
As part of the partnership EE will also become a supplier to England’s senior men’s soccer team and The FA Cup domestic knockout competition. The company’s customers, meanwhile, will benefit from exclusive ticketing and marketing initiatives from late March onwards.
“At EE, we are always looking for new ways to enhance digital lives across the UK and this groundbreaking deal allows us to extend the same vision and passion to the country’s national stadium,” said Olaf Swantee, the chief executive of EE.
“Over the coming months, we will announce an exciting programme of upgrades and innovations to the existing infrastructure at Wembley that will ensure the stadium offers visitors a world class spectator experience for many years to come.”
EE, a 50:50 joint venture between Deutsche Telekom and Orange S.A., is the largest mobile network operator in the UK. It has around 700 retail outlets and 28 million customers.