PSG begins hunt for naming-rights partner



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Parc des Princes Image: fifaforums.easports.com

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) football club, has started scouting for a naming-rights partner at the Parc des Princes, the all-seater football stadium in Paris, France, as well as its training center. It is the French Ligue 1 football club’s famous home stadium.

To this end, the club has distributed emails to hundreds of French and international companies to invite expressions of interest. However, the club is not intending to bundle the properties together in one contract.

Construction is scheduled to commence on PSG’s new training center, based in Poissy in France, in Spring 2020. PSG wants to add the training ground naming rights early on in the building process so that the brand is involved from the development stage onwards.

A deal for the club’s stadium is unlikely to be inked before 2024, in keeping with the potential redecoration of the ground, and will see ‘Parc des Princes’ incorporated within the name.

Daniel Haddad, Head of Commercial Strategy at Octagon, which has advised brands on partnership deals with PSG, feels that the best strategy for PSG would be to separate the stadium naming rights and training center properties to maximize the overall value of its top-tier sponsorship opportunities.

Haddad further observed, “A conservative market value for the stadium naming rights, depending on the final asset mix, would be a minimum €10m ($11m) to €15m per annum with a long-term commitment. The unique selling point of Paris and the lack of comparable inventory within the market could push the value north of that.”

“The ‘Paris factor’ would mitigate against the likely inclusion of the old Parc des Princes in the stadium name. The stadium naming rights should be viewed in the broader context of giving a brand the opportunity to own a significant piece of Paris real estate and extend their visibility and association beyond football,” he added.

PSG will be able to effectively communicate the same ‘One City, One Club’ point of differentiation that they use with great success in the wider sponsorship sales strategy. Compare that with Spurs for example, who are selling a London-based proposition at a premium price point with multiple comparable major stadiums in the market; Emirates Stadium, Twickenham, The O2 and the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge. Although not a major Paris 2024 venue (hosting football only) this is another key selling point that can be used to show the longer-term value of the stadium naming rights,” he further shared.

When it comes to the training center, Haddad says that he is looking out for a minimum market value of anywhere from €7m to €10m per year depending on how PSG package the training center rights.

He continued, “The value of this asset is to create a more valuable ‘Premium Partner’ position by providing the brand with a clear narrative in the training and development area as this is not an exposure-driven asset – although digital and content will generate significant media value.”

He opines that the asset will create an “enhanced opportunity” for a sponsor to differentiate from the ever-growing pool of PSG Global Partners.

AON and Manchester United is the-best-in-class example here, although that deal does also include training kit. AXA’s deal with Liverpool is also a good example of how training/development can be used as powerful and credible activation theme in the right categories. There could be an opportunity for PSG to follow this lead and bundle the training centre rights with a premium ‘on-apparel’ position,” Hadded commented.

“In short, it is a good time to be PSG – a clear point of differentiation within the club football sponsorship market, shirt and apparel deals tied up at premium value for the long term, and premium rights to take into a healthy marketplace,” he said.

A naming-rights sponsor has never been there for Parc des Princes. However, PSG Chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi had thrown a hint back in February when he said that “all clubs have a naming deal these days”.

PSG, which is wary of the fact that to strike a deal may take couple of months, said, “We are only at the beginning of the project.”

PSG is reportedly on the hunt for a partner who will serve a twin purpose: The association will give an enriching “experience” to fans as well as the partner will have to be in a position to give significant financial teeth to the club.

As per a report, the naming-rights sponsor would be added to the existing
Parc des Princes name, which would not disappear. The pact will have to be signed off by the Mayor of Paris. The Mayor will have three months time in hand to take a relook at the proposal and could veto the proposal if it does not befit the city’s image.

The city hall will also receive 3 percent of the value of the deal as part of an agreement entered into in 2011 to hand over control of the venue to PSG’s Qatari owners.

The current stadium opened its doors in 1972 and massive revamp work was done earlier this decade to fit in 48,000 supporters into the venue. The first of three incarnations of the stadium opened in 1897 on grounds that were previously used for hunting by members of the French royal family before the fall of the Bastille.

Prior to the Stade de France opening its gates for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, the Parc des Princes was France’s national stadium for football and rugby union.

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