Olympic Stadium’s post-2012 naming rights decision set for May

Officials start the search for the sponsors who want to secure naming rights to the London 2012 Olympic Stadium

olympic stadium
A sponsor will secure the naming rights for the stadium after the Games Photo: Locog/Getty Images

olympic stadium

Legacy Company officials have started the search for sponsors looking to secure naming rights to the London 2012 Olympic Stadium.

While venues will not be branded during the Games – because of Olympic regulations – it is hoped sponsors will be appointed in May for not only the stadium but the Aquatic Centre and Copper Box, a 7,000-seater arena that will stage handball and goalball during the Olympics.

“This is a rare opportunity to become part of one of the most exciting new places in the world. Billions of people will see these venues during the Games, and millions more will visit every year,” said Andrew Altman, chief executive of the Olympic Park Legacy Company.

“We are looking for sponsors who share our vision to create an inclusive Park that promotes healthy living and offers sporting, training and employment opportunities to our local communities.

“The fact that we aim to appoint sponsors before the Games even start is another example of how London is further ahead in planning legacy than any previous host Olympic City.”

London would not be the first Olympic Stadium to sell naming rights. Sydney’s showpiece venue was known as the Telstra Stadium and is currently named the ANZ Stadium after signing a seven-year deal with a leading bank.

But there will be some – most notably the British Olympic Association – who will be disappointed should the venue be forced to drop the word Olympic from its post-2012 title, because of strict regulations protecting International Olympic Committee trademarks from association with sponsors.

BOA chairman Colin Moynihan has already fought a behind-the-scenes battle with those who wanted London 2012’s Olympic Park renamed the Queen Elizabeth II Park after the Games, securing a compromise by which it will be known as the Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park.

However, prudence dictated and reality demanded that naming rights were always going to be awarded to help meet the £5m-a-year running costs of the stadium, especially now the venue is being retained as a public asset.

Legacy Company expect 9.3m visitors a year to the Olympic Park from 2016 – the Aquatics Centre is expected to attract 800,000 visitors alone while the Copper Box will be the third largest arena in London – behind The 02 and Wembley – hosting sporting, commercial and cultural events, along with community sport for an estimated 400,000 annual visitors.

But the 60,000 capacity stadium will be the showpiece of the Park and will host the 2017 World Athletics Championships, although branding regulations around that event insist venues must be clean of any sponsors who are not official partners of the International Association of Athletics Federations.

© Sportsbeat 2012

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