Chief Executive and President Sam Rush delighted by new naming rights deal.Derby County Chief Executive and President Sam Rush has spoken of his delight after the Rams announced a new 10-year Stadium naming rights deal worth £7 million with global sports drink company iPro.
The agreement is believed to be one of the biggest independent deals by a club in Football League history, and the first game at the newly-named iPro Stadium will take place on Saturday 7th December, against Blackpool, live on Sky Sports.
The 2013/14 season is a watershed for financial constraint in football, as for the first time, all English professional divisions have procedures in place that restrict their spending, and Rush revealed his pleasure at securing a deal that will help enable the club to ‘compete at the top end of the division.’
He told Rams Player:“Since I arrived in January, the Stadium naming rights have been something that John Vicars, the Commercial Team and I have discussed as a key revenue generation area.
“We talked to a number of brands and we feel that we have identified a fantastic partner in iPro. It is a 10-year deal that is worth £7 million, which we believe is one of the largest independent naming rights deals ever to be concluded in the Football League.
“It is a great financial deal for the club to take us forward in this new era of Financial Fair Play and it is critical for us, to ensure we are capable of competing at the top end of this division.
“As well as Financial Fair Play, we have to compete against clubs who have got head starts with parachute payments. We are totally self-funded, and as a result of that it, it is absolutely key for us to explore all revenue streams.
“A huge credit needs to go to the internal Commercial Team here at Derby County for achieving a deal of this magnitude.
“Since the day I arrived, I have been incredibly impressed by the quality of people here, so I would like to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate John (Vicars), Lisa (Biesty) and Ashley (Peden), who have driven the deal forward from our side.”
The agreement will see Derby’s home renamed the iPro Stadium up to 2023, and after 16 years of the ground being named ‘Pride Park Stadium’, Rush hopes the decision will be met with overwhelming support from the Rams’ fans.
Rush added: “We conducted a wide consultation process and have spoken to thousands of fans about the opportunity of a naming rights deal, and the feedback was very positive about a potential change.
“There were certain factors that we took on board, one of which was that the brand had to be right, and I feel we have undoubtedly got that with iPro.
“There might be some sadness at the change of name, but remember, it will still be the iPro Stadium at Pride Park, so ‘Pride Park’ will remain in the address.
“We are all looking forward to the launch on Saturday 7th December, ahead of the game with Blackpool.”
Watch the full interview with Sam Rush on Rams Player.