Virgin Money confirmed on Wednesday that they had signed a two year sponsorship deal with the club.
This may be a surprise to many as Virgin Money had previously stated that they were not going to look into sponsoring the club immediately although they did insist that it was something they would look at for the future.
It sees Newcastle’s eight year deal with Northern Rock end and Virgin Money to sponsor the shirts for the remainder of this season and the forthcoming 2012/13 and 2013/14 seasons. It had seemed that Newcastle had failed to attract a new sponsor for the shirts when Derek Llambias stated that he needed to inform Puma of the new sponsor so that the shirts could be produced.
Derek Llambias spoke to the official website and said: “We’re delighted to secure this new deal with Virgin Money and we look forward to enjoying a mutually beneficial partnership over the coming seasons. It is an excellent deal for both parties and we’re very happy to have them on board.”
Jayne-Anne Gadhia, Chief Executive at Virgin Money also spoke to the club website saying: “Now that Virgin Money and Northern Rock are united as one business, it gives us great pleasure to continue the shirt sponsorship of Newcastle United Football Club.
The Northern Rock sponsorship started in 2003 and it is an important link to the North-East which we are pleased to continue. Combined with our sponsorship of the Virgin London Marathon and the Edinburgh Festival ‘Fringe on the high street’, the shirt sponsorship of Newcastle United Football Club embeds our involvement in the communities we serve.”
Newcastle have obviously been able to attract a sponsor to the club in a relatively short period of time which stops the shirts from being brandished with Sports Direct. However the new logo seems out of place on the shirt as there is a gap between the stripes and the outline of the box. It isn’t very impressive but it has solved the problem of not being able to find a new sponsor.
Gadhia added: “The first 10,000 supporters with 2011/12 season shirts that bring them to the Club shop will receive a free Virgin Money update to their shirt. Availability of this new branding will be posted on the club website but is expected at the end of the week.”
The new sponsorship deal seems to give Virgin Money another way in which to advertise their business and to the relief of many fans stops Sports Direct from being used on the shirts. Financial details are sketchy at best, but to me the key words in all of this are the ones used by Ghadia of Virgin Money.
“It gives us great pleasure to continue the shirt sponsorship of Newcastle United Football Club.”
Continue? That, combined with the fact that the deal has two years to run, like the old Northern Rock deal had, suggests to me that the financial difference between the deal with Northern Rock and the new deal with Virgin Money are one and the same.
Today’s papers claim that the deal could be worth around £20 million to Newcastle United over the two years, which at £10 million a year seems like quite good money to me. It’s a damn sight better than having Sports Direct on there for nothing, anyway.
It’s a good bit of publicity for Virgin Money and it started off on the right foot last night with us beating Manchester United with their logo emblazoned on the front of the shirts we were wearing. Not bad publicity at all.
Is this the start of something good? Or is it the continuation of the old deal?