It has now been 14 months since the (then) new owners of Newcastle United replaced Mike Ashley.
On October 7, 2021, they inherited a club that had a one-way ticket to the Championship on the pitch.
Meanwhile, the owners of Newcastle United took over a football club that was an absolute joke commercially. Somehow, at a time when the commercial revenues of all other major Premier League clubs have been growing massively, Mike Ashley managed to leave NUFC with the same level of commercial funds as when he bought them 14 years earlier Association.
This ‘miracle’, largely due to Mike Ashley and his other business interests benefiting at the expense of Newcastle United. The overwhelming publicity at St James’ Park, the training ground, on the club’s social media, at every pre- and post-match press conference, every time a new player is signed, Sports Direct and Ashley’s other brands take center stage. Mike Ashley even gave Sports Direct naming rights at St James’ Park without paying a dime.
Anyway, we are now in a very different NUFC era with very different Newcastle United owners.
It’s about the long-term development of this club, both on and off the pitch, rather than trying to maximize the short-term gain for the owner(s) at the club’s expense…both footballing and commercial.
Already in August (2022) The Athletic informed us about the situation of the shirt sponsors. Shirt sponsorship is of course one of, if not the biggest, opportunity to raise the money needed to ensure a football club progresses quickly.
They revealed Mike Ashley had signed Newcastle United to a new six-year deal of around £9million-a-year for shirt sponsorship back in July 2020. The length of this deal was kept secret at the time and considering the (now) new owners of Newcastle United were actively trying to buy NUFC at the same time, one can’t help but feel that Ashley wasn’t exactly the best was interests of the football club longer term…
Anyhow, when The Athletic revealed that this FUN88 deal had been signed to take us through the summer of 2026, The Athletic also revealed that Newcastle United’s new owners had managed to strike a deal with FUN88 to significantly reduce the remaining term of this Ashley Agreement.
Instead of ending in summer 2026, it would now be summer 2023, three years away. lit
With shirt sponsorship being one of the key areas where Newcastle United’s new owners would hope to generate far greater commercial revenue for the club, staying tied to such a deal until 2026 was a nightmare. To put it in perspective, the new owners announced a new sleeve sponsorship deal with NOON.com worth £7.5 in June 2022, compared to receiving just £9m from FUN88 for the main shirt sponsorship deal million pounds per season.
While an ever-growing number of smaller sponsorship deals have been announced regularly since the arrival of Newcastle United’s new owners, the big ones (shirt sponsor and potential new shirt deal – if Castore also agrees to cut their Newcastle deal…) still coming out.
However, interest was piqued last month when, after clearly commercial photos were taken both at St James’ Park and below on Newcastle Quayside, the club made an official announcement (see below) regarding SAUDIA, Newcastle United’s latest commercial deal , made.
However, rather than becoming the new shirt sponsor, Newcastle United announced they will be working with SAUDIA as the club’s ‘official tour airline partner’ ahead of the NUFC team’s upcoming warm-weather break in Saudi Arabia (Eddie Howe and the players fly today from). .
It is therefore interesting that The Athletic, who clearly have the inside track on this, have given us another update on the owners of Newcastle United and their efforts to generate the kind of commercial revenue that can significantly help increase the upward trend rate to keep pushing at NUFC, on and off the pitch.
They report that Darren Eales (CEO) and Peter Silverstone (CCO – Chief Commercial Officer) have been in talks with various potential partners for multiple sponsorship deals.
When it comes to the major shirt sponsor, The Athletic say that both Amanda Staveley and Darren Eales have been in talks with various companies at home and abroad. They add that Amanda Staveley has been to other parts of the Middle East, not just Saudi Arabia, to hold meetings with various candidates for the position of major shirt sponsor.
The Athletic report that according to their information, Newcastle United owners and club executives are increasingly confident they can land the right headline sponsor AND that the club’s current success on the pitch, currently third in the Premier League if we heading towards Christmas will help secure an agreement at a far higher level than would otherwise have been possible.
As well as owning a 10% stake, Amanda Staveley was awarded a new contract for an ongoing hands-on role at the club, a “consulting arrangement” meaning a paid role where she is the primary liaison between CEO Darren Eales and other senior staff, with the owners/board of Newcastle United. Part of that, of course, involves why she does the legwork on behalf of club ownership to make her way to meetings with potential new sponsors.
Newcastle United official announcement – 16th November 2022:
“Newcastle United have teamed up with Saudi Arabia’s national airline, SAUDIA, as the club prepare for a warm-weather training camp in Riyadh in December this year.
SAUDIA will be the club’s official tour airline partner as the team travel to Saudi Arabia where they take on Saudi Pro League champions Al-Hilal Football Club as part of the 2022 Diriyah season.
The team will travel as part of the partnership aboard a SAUDIA chartered flight to and from Riyadh, in a collaboration where the airline will also launch the partnership’s official digital hub; saudia-newcastleunitedfc.com – allows fans to win exciting prizes and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
Commenting on the partnership, Peter Silverstone, the club’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “While Newcastle United embarks on an exciting and ambitious journey to expand our global reach and fan base, we are also very focused on growing our fan base and our fan base in Expand Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Middle East.
“Our goal is to become the most supported English Premier League football team in Saudi Arabia. a country whose population includes a large, young, passionate and highly engaged football community.
“We are delighted to partner with SAUDIA as our official airline partner and look forward to working with them during our trip to Riyadh and for the remainder of the 2022/23 English Premier League season.”
Khaled Tash, Chief Marketing Officer of SAUDIA Group said: “We are committed to bringing the world to Saudi Arabia and that includes partnering with global sports giants to further develop our landscape.
“We hope to form a cultural bridge between Saudi Arabia and the world as we believe our culture has the potential to transcend borders, inspiring and connecting guests from around the world in new and meaningful ways.”
SAUDIA connects guests to Saudi Arabia from more than 100 destinations around the world via its state-of-the-art hub at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah and other key terminals across Saudi Arabia.
More information on the club’s training camp and how to watch the game live will be confirmed in due course, while nufc.co.uk, NUFC TV and the club’s official social media channels will provide fans with exclusive content throughout the journey will ask.’