Brazil top-flight São Paulo FC ink plum deals



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Brazilian Série A football club São Paulo will redevelop Image: São Paulo FC (Facebook)

The Brazilian association football club São Paulo FC and the Brazilian conglomerate WTorre entered into an agreement to renovate the former’s home ground – the Morumbi Stadium in São Paulo, Brazil.

‘ge.globo.com’ stated that the deal was struck recently and provides for the modernization of the site by the end of 2030, the year of São Paulo’s centenary.

The São Paulo Futebol Clube, commonly referred to as São Paulo and sometimes anglicized as Saint Paul, is a professional football club in the Morumbi district of São Paulo, Brazil, founded in 1930. It plays in Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, the top of the Brazilian football league system.

The 66,795-capacity Estádio Cícero Pompeu de Toledo, widely known as Morumbi or MorumBIS, is a football stadium located in the eponymous district in São Paulo, Brazil. It serves as the residence of the São Paulo FC.

São Paulo, Brazil-based the WTorre is a Brazilian conglomerate that provides engineering services, construction, real estate development, infrastructure, and logistics solutions. The company was founded in 1981 by Chairman Walter Torre Junior and has completed developments totaling nearly 10 million square meters.

‘ge.globo.com’ further stated that according to the partnership plan, Morumbi will have a capacity to accommodate 85,000 spectators during matches and 100,000 for shows. The club also signed a contract with the American multinational entertainment company LiveNation and plans to host 20 major shows by 2025.

As per the contract signed with WTorre, the club will have the autonomy to veto show dates, prioritizing football games.

The construction company has been handed down six months to present the project that will be approved for renovation, which will also come armed with a modular amphitheater for 20,000 people and a parking lot for 2,000 vehicles.

WTorre will pick up the tab for redevelopment of the above venue, as per the deal entered.
 

Live Nation Deal

The American multinational entertainment company Live Nation has reportedly agreed to an exclusive deal with São Paulo FC to run concerts at the Brazilian football club’s Morumbi Stadium.

‘IQ’ stated that the agreement, which is yet to be officially confirmed, is for five years and will see the club receive R$60 million (€11.2m), plus additional commercial income.

Beverly Hills (US)-based the Live Nation Entertainment is an American multinational entertainment company that was founded in 2010 following the merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster. It promotes, operates and manages ticket sales for live entertainment internationally.

São Paulo is also home to two other Campeonato Brasileiro Série A stadiums – the Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras’ 43,713-capacity Allianz Parque and the Sport Club Corinthians Paulista’s 49,205-capacity Neo Química Arena, but does not currently house an indoor arena.

‘IQ’ further stated that Live Nation is partnering with the Oak View Group (OVG) and GL events (French entertainment and medium enterprise) on the development of a brand-new 20,000-capacity arena in the City, which has a population of 12.4 million. The Arena São Paulo project was announced in 2021, but its launch date remains under wraps.

Los Angeles (US)-based the Oak View Group (OVG) is a global sports and entertainment company that manages sports venues. The company was founded in 2015 by Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff. The OVG’s mission is to disrupt the sports, live entertainment and hospitality industries. The company offers arena and stadium alliance, consulting, sponsorships and partnerships, venture capital, and global facilities.

The state-of-the-art building will host live events such as concerts, sports, family entertainment, and more. It will be located within São Paulo’s premier entertainment destination, the Anhembi District.

Said Wesley Cullen, OVG’s VP of International Venue Development, “São Paulo doesn’t have an indoor arena at all, which is hard to believe. It’s the fourth-largest City in the world and the largest in this hemisphere, the wealthiest City in Latin America. It is illogical not to have an arena – but it doesn’t even have an old one. So, it is really nice to have the opportunity to fill a void in the market and offer something new to the fans and the performers.”

Cullen has promised the arena will be music-forward, with no sports team initially in residence, and with sustainability at the top of the agenda – “This will be the greatest arena in Latin America, with a design worthy of the City and the location.”
 

Naming Rights Deal

The Brazilian soccer giants São Paulo FC have announced a record deal with the US multinational food conglomerate Mondelez for the naming rights to the club’s residence – the Estadio Cícero Pompeu de Toledo Stadium.

‘Sportcal’ stated that the stadium, commonly known as Morumbi, will now be known as MorumBis for the next three years, with the name a portmanteau of Morumbi and Mondelez’s chocolate-covered wafer brand, Bis.

The Mondelez International, Inc., stylized as Mondelēz International, is an American multinational confectionery, food, holding, beverage, and snack food company based in Chicago (US). Mondelez has an annual revenue of about $26.5 billion and operates in approximately 160 countries.

‘Sportcal’ further stated that Mondelez is reportedly paying as much as R$25 million ($5 million) per year for the naming rights to the stadium, a record fee for a Brazilian arena’s naming right. The Estadio Cícero Pompeu de Toledo has never had a naming rights sponsor before, having opened in 1960.

The rights’ record value has been propelled not just by the rabid fan base of São Paulo, but also by the fact that the venue plays host to several other types of events, notably major music concerts.

The announcement comes alongside the reveal that the naming rights to their peer team – the Esporte Clube Bahia’s home ground – the 48,902-capacity Itaipava Fonte Nova Arena in Salvador, Brazil – have also been sold.

The stadium, owned by the State Government of Bahia, had previously been sponsored by the beer brand Itaipava but will now instead be covered by the gambling firm Casa de Apostas for all soccer matches and music concerts held at the venue.

The brand is paying a reported R$13 million per year until the end of 2027 for the naming rights to the stadium, far below that São Paulo commanded but more impressive considering Bahia’s lower standing in the Brazilian game. In 2023, the club was taken over by the soccer investment fund City Football Group, a move that likely increased its bargaining power on the naming rights matter.

The City Football Group Limited (CFG) is a holding company that administers association football clubs. Headquartered in Manchester (UK), the group is owned by three organizations, of which 81 percent is majority-owned by the Abu Dhabi United Group, 18 percent by the American firm Silver Lake and one percent by the Chinese firms China Media Capital and the CITIC Capital.

Bahia and São Paulo are part of a wider trend of Brazilian clubs pursuing stadium naming rights deals to grow commercially.

In 2020, São Paulo’s cross-City rivals Sport Club Corinthians Paulista agreed to a long-term naming rights deal with the pharmaceutical giant Hypera Pharma, reportedly worth as much as R$17 million per year over its 20-year length.

The other Brazilian soccer clubs to have undertaken such partnerships include the current Campeonato Brasileiro Série A champions Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras, the 2021 winners Clube Atlético Mineiro and the 2019 Copa do Brasil (knockout football competition) winners Club Athletico Paranaense.

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