The big Newcastle United sponsorship deal that's in the pipeline
It’s not just the team at Newcastle United which is on the up.
After more than a decade of stagnation, the club’s commercial revenues are also on the rise. The club this week announced new partnerships with Saudia, Saudi Arabia’s national airline, and drinks firm Monster Energy.
These deals are important, as the club, working within the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability rules, must increase its commercial income if its to continue to invest in the squad.
Commercial revenues flatlined during Mike Ashley’s time as owner, but Darren Eales, Newcastle’s chief executive, last month claimed that firms were “lining up” to be involved with the club.
“We’ve got so many compelling things about us,” said Eales. “There’s going to be – and there already is – a line of companies that are excited to be part of this story.”
More deals will be unveiled in the coming months, but the biggest is many months away from being finalised and announced by the club.
United’s front-of-shirt deal with FUN88 will end next summer, and the identity of the club’s next main sponsor has already been the subject of much speculation.
The club, which appointed Peter Silverstone as its chief commercial officer a month ago, has been sponsored by FUN88 since 2017. Newcastle’s deal with the sports betting and online gaming firm was extended two years ago by then-managing director Lee Charnley, though the length of the agreement was never disclosed.
United’s new owners are understood to have held discussions with the company over ending the arrangement early, enabling the club to secure a new, higher-paying shirt sponsor for the 2023/24 season.
The club, 80%-owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, has been tipped to get a Saudi Arabian firm, like Saudia or Saudi Aramco, on its shirt next season, but a non-Saudi sponsor is understood to be a strong possibility.
Since last year’s takeover, Newcastle’s Premier League position has been elevated – and so has the club’s stature.
United went into the World Cup break in third place, and the club is in a very different place now when it comes to negotiations with potential sponsors at home and abroad.
The next deal will significantly strengthen the club’s hand in next summer’s transfer market – and further underline the progress being made off the pitch.