Britannia Stadium, the stylish name of the Stoke City stadium is no longer used

Stoke on Trent - bet365 StadiumStoke on Trent - bet365 Stadium 22.12.2016: Since its opening in 1997 the Stoke City stadium has had a stylish name – Britannia Stadium. In June 2016 the gambling company Bet365 got a naming-rights deal for the next six years. The company also agreed to redevelop the stadium in 2017. This will mainly concern the increase in capacity by 1,800 seats, achieved by building a corner stand in the east part of the stadium. After the redevelopment, the Bet365 Stadium will hold 30,000 spectators.

In August 1997 Britannia Stadium replaced the old stadium of Stoke City – the Victoria Ground. Stoke City had played there for nearly 120 years, since 1878! It has to be said that this English club, the second oldest club in the world (formed in 1863), has been playing in the present-day Premier League since the 2008/2009 season. In 1997, when the new Britannia Stadium was opened, Stoke City played in the First Division.
   

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Stadium naming rights


It is not very common in England that the stadium naming rights go to a sponsor – this is the case of one third of Premier League stadiums. We can mention the Emirates stadium, the Etihad stadium or the King Power Stadium. Regarding naming rights held by sponsors, it is the German Bundesliga that leads the way – ninety per cent of stadiums bear their sponsor’s name there. On the other hand, in Spain and Italy nearly all stadiums are named after important people in the history of the respective clubs.

In football, as in everywhere else, money is important. If the club lets the naming rights to a sponsor, it will keep bringing them steady money for several years on end and that is why a lot of clubs agree to it. However, it often happens that fans don’t like it and prefer the original, historical name to be maintained. But money usually wins. Yet, there are clubs which would think it impossible to transfer naming rights to a sponsor. Or can you imagine that, say, Liverpool fans would not go to Anfield but to an O3 Game Arena? However, one thing remains – never say never.
 
Foto: Ronnie Macdonald (CC BY 2.0)

This is true for the former Britannia Stadium, now the Bet365 Stadium. Bet365 is one of the biggest gambling companies, which has some 19 million clients in nearly 200 countries. Thanks to this they can afford to invest into such marketing activities. The connection between Bet365 and Stoke City is not a coincidence, as both companies have the same owner.

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