Despite operating since 2010, only now did the Euro 2012 venue get a naming rights partner. Though much lower than in other top Polish venues, the deal is thought to improve Lech Poznan’s budget for the next 5 years.
It’s been open since September 2010 and already hosted many great games, like Euro 2012 and Lech’s Europa League classics against Manchester City or Juventus. Yet, until today the stadium didn’t have a sponsor, earning both the city and host club some criticism over unbalanced operating costs.
Today the club announced they signed a 5-year contract with INEA, largest regional telecommunications provider in the Greater Poland area. Complete value of the agreement hasn’t been released, but is believed to be at around PLN 10 million (€2.4m / $3.2m) over the 5 years, meaning some €470,000 / $630,000 per year.
The sum is over three times lower than those negotiated in Gdansk (PGE Arena) and Warsaw (Pepsi Arena), but specialists believe that early naming rights deals were signed unreasonably high and that current economic situation made contract values plunge.
Starting today the Poznan stadium will be called INEA stadion, which respects the wishes of Wiara Lecha, the club’s sole supporters association. The fans had appealed not to change ‘stadion’ for ‘arena’, which is a recent trend in global naming of stadiums. Also, INEA’s colours are similar to the club’s and the sponsor is a regional brand, adding to its acceptance among the traditional fanbase.
Interestingly, Lech Poznan only signed the deal now, despite negotiating with INEA for almost half a year. The club first managed to win themselves a lower lease cost for the stadium with Poznan municipality. Had Lech signed the deal in late May, they would have to share 30% of the naming rights with Poznan, while new conditions allow the club to keep all of the contracted income to themselves.