Derby County have today revealed that iPro are to be the club's first-ever stadium naming rights partner.
The new global sports drink company have entered into a 10 year agreement worth £7 million with the Rams, which will next month see Pride Park Stadium renamed as the iPro Stadium.
The deal itself is believed to be one of the biggest independent deals by a club in Football League history.
Derby will play their first game at the newly-named iPro Stadium when they take on Blackpool in the Sky Bet Championship live on Sky Sports TV on Saturday 7th December 2013.
The Club had been in lengthy discussions with a number of interested parties throughout the year and an agreement has been reached to benefit both parties in the long term.
With the Financial Fair Play rules due be introduced into the Sky Bet Championship this season, the Rams have opted to explore new and ground-breaking commercial opportunities with a view to increasing turnover.
iPro Sport is the new name in global sports brands and is the result of seven years’ development in the world of sport, leisure, health and fitness and designed for sports of all levels and active people of all ages and abilities.
The UK sports and energy drinks industry itself is worth in excess of £2 Billion and stepping into the market, iPro Sport is an exciting, fresh, vibrant brand with iPro Sport Isotonic that is already being used by Derby County’s first-team squad.
The international partnerships and the organisations that they support are wholly driven by iPro’s corporate ethos, which is the foundation of the “iPro” name. Consequently, everything that they do is based upon “Integrity” and “Professionalism” - hence “iPro”.
Rather than relying on sugar to give a temporary energy boost, iPro Sport opts for a combination of complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, alongside a balance of hydration and energy. With the exclusion of artificial colours or flavours, iPro Sport is the healthy evolution of what the body needs from a sports drink.
Derby County’s President & Chief Executive, Sam Rush, said: “To ensure that Derby County remains as competitive as possible we need to explore all forms of revenue generation.
“Stadium Naming Rights is a key asset for the Club and we are delighted that we have been able to reach an agreement with iPro.
“iPro is a challenger brand that is looking to gain significant market share and we believe that the partnership works well for both parties.
“This agreement, which we believe to be ground-breaking, is the culmination of a huge amount of work from all parties.
“I am proud of the hard work that has resulted in a successful outcome and great thanks should go to the club’s Commercial Department and in particular our Commercial Manager Ashley Peden, who should take huge credit for his efforts.”
John Vicars, Chief Operating Officer at Derby County said: “As a Club we started to seriously look at identifying a naming rights partner back in January and gave ourselves a year to find the right brand with whom to partner.
“I am naturally delighted that thanks to the ability of our commercial team we were able to achieve our goal within that time frame. There is clearly a need for a low sugar sports drink within the sports and leisure market and I am more than confident that iPro will fill that gap."
Cliff Bogle, Managing Director of iPro Sport Group, said: “All of us at iPro are delighted to embark on this partnership. As we enter into an exciting new era in global sport, it was important that an endeavour of the scale of stadium naming rights was undertaken with the right club.
“The ethos of Derby County Football Club and the alliance of the club’s ownership group represent a perfect platform for iPro’s penetration into the global sports market, and an opportunity to expand the club’s global brand.
“We look forward to further enhancing the strong relationships that have been forged in order to achieve this ground-breaking announcement.
“All parties have worked tirelessly and closely to ensure that we build the foundations of a long-term partnership, that achieves the global objectives of both the brand and the football club.”
For more information on iPro – please visit: iprosport.com.
Derby County will stage a Press Conference at 9:30am on Thursday morning to formally announce the naming rights agreement – with President & Chief Executive Sam Rush and Cliff Bogle, Managing Director of iPro Sport Group, to answer questions from the media.