Beşiktaş and Vodafone sign 15-year sponsorship contract worth $145 mln
Beşiktaş boss Fikret Orman (L) and Vodafone Turkey CEO Gökhan Öğüt attend a news conference where they announce the deal between the two brands.Beşiktaş and Vodafone have inked a 15-year, $145-million sponsorship deal that includes naming rights to the Istanbul football club’s new stadium and jersey advertisements.
Beşiktaş Chairman Fikret Orman and Vodafone Turkey CEO Gökhan Öğüt signed the deal at a ceremony in Istanbul.
“This is not only Vodafone Turkey’s biggest deal, but also the biggest sponsorship deal in Turkish sports history,” Öğüt said at the event.
As part of the deal, Beşiktaş’s new stadium will be called Vodafone Arena for 15 years. The arena will be built on location of İnönü Stadium, which is currently being demolished.
The Beşiktaş-Vodafone deal exceeds Galatasaray’s 10-year $130-million sponsorship deal with Türk Telekom in total worth, but falls behind on yearly income. Similarly, Galatasaray’s stadium was named Türk Telekom Arena and the club wears the Turkish telecommunication company’s name on its jersey.
Orman said Beşiktaş’s board was working hard to complete the new stadium by the start of next year.
During the demolition and construction, Beşiktaş will play most of its home games at Kasımpaşa’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Stadium, while derbies will be played at Atatürk Olympic Stadium.
“Our priority is the stadium,” Orman said. “We need to finish the stadium fast and we want to return to our home next year.”
Beşiktaş is banking on the new stadium, and the sponsorship deal that comes with it, to help it overcome its debts worth around 420 million Turkish Liras.
According to the deal, Beşiktaş will also carry the Vodafone brand on its jerseys starting next season, once its deal with Toyota is completed, for five years.
The sponsorship will also include turning the Vodafone Arena into a “smart stadium,” where fans will be able to turn their match-watching experience into an interactive one, with facilities such as the Internet access or mobile applications, Öğüt said. The stadium will also be used as a center for music, arts and fashion shows.
The new stadium will be used for football and rugby matches if Istanbul successfully lands the 2020 Olympic Games bid, according to officials.