22/07/2010 - 00:00

Grounds for sale

22/07/2010 - 00:00

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THE level of branding and corporate naming rights sponsorships at Western Australia’s various sporting stadiums is driving debate between avid sports fans and bean-counting corporate leaders.

Grounds for sale

THE level of branding and corporate naming rights sponsorships at Western Australia’s various sporting stadiums is driving debate between avid sports fans and bean-counting corporate leaders.

While some consider it sacrilege to even consider parting with an arena’s historic and emotive name, such as the Melbourne Cricket Ground, others are more focused on the potentially lucrative national and international marketing and branding opportunities.

Regardless of the code you follow or the team you barrack for, many Western Australians have an opinion about the naming rights of their team’s home grounds.

Most notably is the ongoing mystery surrounding the future of the state’s premier sporting arena, Subiaco Oval. Whenever the issue is raised in the local media, however, a tirade of objections from one side, and support from the other, usually follows.

Sources suggest the rumoured price tag of about $1 million for Patersons Securities to secure the naming rights at Subiaco is about right (how does Patersons Park take you? Or Patersons Securities Stadium perhaps?) and the process is well under way with extensive talks continuing between the WA Football Commission and the Perth stock broking firm.

Apparently it’s only a matter of time.

West Australian Football Commission CEO Wayne Bradshaw has said the WAFC was exploring options to fund the growth of football in the state, including the possibility of naming rights sponsorship of Subiaco Oval, however nothing has been confirmed and details are still being discussed.

“It is important that the community understands that over 80 per cent of the WAFC’s revenue comes from Subiaco Oval,” Mr Bradshaw said.

“Without these funds, the WAFC could not invest in the ongoing development and growth of the game.”

That being said, some of the more established-cum-veteran quarters of the WAFC feel that the sale should never, and will never, take place with Subiaco Oval and its original name to remain as is.

But what is the big deal?

It’s money in the bank for these often-struggling clubs and league organisations in return for a bit of paint and lighting on the outside of a park.

And there already has been a collection of branding deals done at the WAFL level with Leederville Oval renamed Medibank Stadium, Lathlain Park now better known as EFTel Oval, Bendigo Bank Stadium the new Rushton Park, and the former Bassendean Oval now Steel Blue Oval.

Changing codes and last month private health insurer, nib, beat out a number of national organisations to secure the naming rights under a five-year deal to the state’s rectangular stadium, which was known as ME Bank Stadium (previously Perth Oval).

So if Subi turns corporate, what’s next on the chopping block? The yet-to-be-completed Perth Arena? The struggling WACA, perhaps? Or maybe the Carine Junior Football Club will soon run out onto the Atlas Iron Oval (formerly Carine Open Space)?

Don’t hold your breath.

 

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