Virgin territory for Newcastle?

Posted on November 24th, 2011 | 46 Comments |

Virgin Money to sponsor Newcastle United?
Dressed for Middlesbrough
Is there any truth in the rumours that Virgin Money are in talks about sponsoring Newcastle United by way of the shirts and stadium naming rights?

According to a site called ‘Marketing’, Virgin are in talks with Newcastle United about a possible shirts and stadium sponsorship deal. The rumours about such a deal have been bubbling along for a while but I’ve never been sure how much strength there is in them.

Of course it was Virgin Money who took over Northern Rock, our previous sponsors, and I did just wonder if assumptions had been made because of that.

The ‘Marketing’ site stresses that no deal has actually been struck but they feel that Virgin Money are a likely fit for such sponsorship. They cornered an ‘executive’ from ‘brandRapport’ in the middle of his cheese sandwich and he had this to say:

Virgin Money could benefit enormously from taking on the Newcastle shirt sponsorship. The passion and loyalty of the Newcastle fans is legendary and the fans could definitely see it as a very positive move and confirm Virgin Money’s commitment to the area.

The Newcastle shirt is one of the most iconic, most recognised and highest-selling shirt in the Barclays Premier League.

Assuming any of this is true I wonder how much Virgin – or any other interested company – would be willing to pay. A lot of the sponsorships held by current Premier League clubs were set up back before the bankers bust the world economy, so any comparisons we make against them will have to be adjusted according. However, in 2002 Manchester United secured nearly £303m over 13 years with Nike (£23.3m/year) for the shirts alone; in 2004 Arsenal got £100m over 15 years from Emirates for the stadium naming rights (£6.7m/year); and Chelsea supposedly negotiated a £10m/year shirts deal with Adidas in 2006.

I’m presuming we’d be considered a slightly lesser catch to a prospective sponsor than any of those teams. Add in the fact that the world is now poor and we’ve all had to sell our shoes and I reckon getting £10m/year for both shirts and stadium naming rights will be a push.

I know some fans think the ‘Sports Direct Arena’ is here to stay as free advertising for Ashley’s tat, but I tend to think he’d take a sponsorship deal if the money’s right.

If Virgin Money did sponsor us, I wonder if we’d be ‘The Virgin Arena’ or ‘The Virgin Money Arena’? Not that it matters to me as I’ll still be calling it St James’ Park, come what may.

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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46 Responses

  1. First thoughts on manure game.
    Assuming their fittness –

    Simpson, Saylor, Colo, Raylor
    Cabaye, Guthrie, Jonas
    Demba Ba

    a fluid, solid & skillful 4-1-3-1-1 formation with a Tiote-Cabaye-Guthrie-HBA diamond to control midfield, Jonas falling back or attacking as needed, HBA & Ba keeping well away from our penalty area (!)
    This could get us a result!

    0-1 for arguements sake!


  2. The ‘Virgin Money’ rumours are for shirt sponsorship only, nothing to do with the stadium renaming rights, as Ashley is supposed to be in talks with ‘Nike’ regarding the Stadium renaming rights & also the kit suppliers, which I’ve read would be £10/season, so we never know, we might get around £15m/season for both. :)

  3. Toon69 says:

    November 24, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    “Ashley is supposed to be in talks with ‘Nike’ regarding the Stadium renaming rights & also the kit suppliers, which I’ve read would be £10/season, so we never know, we might get around £15m/season for both.”

    Aye Toon69, according to unsubstantiated stories in the Express, and Anal Oliver in the People. I think that both stories are shite though and that £15 million figure is just way out. Even if someone did want to take on the poison chalice of naming rights, the combined figure for that and shirt sponsorship would be nowhere near that figure.

  4. to be honest the boss of virgin money has already said that renaming St. james Park was wrong. so i don’t think the will go for the renaming rights. unless it was to re-name th re-name

    but if there is any more of a reason to have people queuing at your door it will be an ideal situation for virgin re-naming the sports direct arena back to St. James Park.

    i for one would switch my piggy bank to Virgin for that alone.

    it would probably be one of the best moves a bank could make to secure millions if not billions of pounds and it would be in my opinion an instant winner.

  5. Supermac @ 4

    Good see a post actually about football!

    I think Obertan is now fit. If so he will certainly want to play against his former employer. Therefore, I think Pardew will play 4-4-2:

    Simpson, Saylor, Colo, Raylor
    Obertan, Tiote, Cabaye, Jonas
    HBA, Ba

    Tiote is not certain and if he fails a fitness test I then expect Guthrie to play instead. I also think Best is out injured. I think ManU is the type of team that Ben Arfa will play well against as they play a quite open game.

    I think we could get a result here.

  6. Stephen C says:

    November 24, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    “i for one would switch my piggy bank to Virgin for that alone.”

    Aye Stephen, but would you pay £40 for a shirt that has “Virgin” written all over the front?

  7. Kamar – I thought Obertan might not be fit until Chelski, but he could indeed cause sparks v his old team.
    But I have a gut feeling that Guthrie+Tiote+Cabaye could be a great combination and should be given a fair try, with Tiote lying deep and Guthrie & Cabaye side by side linking with HBA in front – with Gosling as their sub backup.

  8. “workyticket says:
    November 24, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    That was the best picture caption for a while BTW Hugh.”

    Aye. Nice one Hugh.

  9. Worky last time i wore a shirt with virgin on the front it worked a treat.

    although it didn’t work as well as the t-shirt i had with “spank the monkey” on the front.

    me and all the girls with virgin on the front of their t-shirts did a swap.
    i cant say what for like that would be in contravention of my anti-kiss and tell rule.

    and i would pay £20-£30

  10. sirjasontoon says:
    November 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    saddo says:
    November 24, 2011 at 12:12 pm


    Jealousy gets you nowhere Sir Jason, nowhere.

    and you cant beet 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and fith like i was last week.

  11. I’d settle for a Virgin shirt providing 5under1and’s new sponsors were that office cleaning company called Scrubbers !

  12. Steve Bruce insists their poor home form is ‘not psychological’ – he’s right – it’s suicidal !

  13. Stephen C says:

    November 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    “Worky last time i wore a shirt with virgin on the front it worked a treat.

    although it didn’t work as well as the t-shirt i had with “spank the monkey” on the front.”

    That wouldn’t surprise me at all in Newcastle Stephen.

  14. must admit the Stadium of Mole Staion Nursery sounds very apt and appropriate for Sunderland.

  15. Hugh
    Great picture caption, funny !
    Unfortunately the subject is a bit boring.

    Hopefully we can find a shirt manufaturer that can design a strip with vertical black and white stripes, not the ugly ,what appears to be a cross in front, with a tail showing short stripes at the back, the design presently in use.
    Gotta be the ugliest ever.

    Oh! forgot about the mustard stripes !

    As for the present away strips, uninspiring, bland, lack both style an imagination.

    If we are to get the Virgin logo, which we are all aware of, then instead of the current blue, we may have to add a bit of red to the strip, numbers perhaps ?

    Question is are Newcastle fans, man enough to wear a shirt with the term Virgin displayed across the front ?

  16. Wish someone like him would just buy the whole club….get rid of the Cockney Kernts for good,retain our heritage and possibly build a new stadium in the van allan belt and call it Space James’s Park.
    Everyone is a winner!

  17. If ‘virgin money’ sponsor the shirt, it’ll say ‘virgin money’ not virgin.
    They are a co. in their own right, just one of many virgin/branson co.’s.

  18. On the subject of strips or shirts
    Watched the game between Milan and Barca.
    Yes the once proud Citizen owned Catalan side, now portraying the oil rich Qatar Foundation logo across the front of their shirts.
    Sold out by their current boss Sandro Rosell.
    However they do still portray the UNICEF badge, the sublime alongside the ridicules.
    Ah well! perhaps if we have the misfortune to miss out on the Virgin or Nike swooshes, uncle Mike will portray something like Doctors without borders or Amnesty International logos, doncha think ?

  19. Lonsdale Shirts,Sports Direct Sponsor….it’s all about showcasing Chuck…..get with the program :lol:

  20. Clint
    Dont split hairs, the word Virgin accompanied by whatever is still the word Virgin and knowing the bare shirtless macho image portrayed by many Geordies.
    The question remains, how many are man enough to wear a shirt with Virgin front and center ?
    I guess if Virgin get the logo deal, there will be a significant increase in the number of Geordies going shirtless, yuk,yuk !

  21. chuck,

    i’m merely pointing out the fact mate.

    But as you rightly point out, macho Geordie boys divn’t wear shirts anyway, it’s for puffs, as they say.

  22. It’s a bit rich not allowing for hair splitting anyhoo mate.

    That’s de rigeur ain’t it?

  23. CLiNT FLiCK says:

    November 24, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    “Geordie boys divn’t wear shirts anyway, it’s for puffs, as they say.”

    No, it’s for fat bastards who already have a lard overcoat and divven’t feel the cold Clint. Geordie or not, all the fat bastards I know can go out in December with just a shirt on when I’m freezing my Geordie knackas off ’cause I’m like a greyhoond.

  24. A greyhoond? I didn’t think we had them up here. I’ve seen a few whipets mind yee.
    Any one heard any news on guthrie. Aprently he hasn’t trained all week.
    Looks like the 4-5-1 dream team is out the window.

  25. powergenitalia ! yes, has to be!

    Does anyone remember middlesboro’s brilliant shirts (I think in the late 70s) when they added a white band across the chest of their red shirts – they looked like a team of thugs playing in wonderbras

  26. Guthrie problems ? I’ve not seen any reports. Hope he’s fit, he’s been a revelation this year.

  27. We (AP) should be keeping our team selection close to our chest ’til just before the game.
    Just like fergus is playing mind games about rooney.

  28. Clint – if Rooney ever sees those Scrubbers shirts he’ll give Bramble a dose of his own medicine
    I think its time I called it a day!

  29. Clint
    Divin kna like, have to look in the rule book when Workie decides to write it.
    But your right, splitting hairs, if not de riguer, is certainly commonplace and should be ruthlessly stamped out.
    Course on the other hand…….