Hammers Cannot Rename Stand For Now!

Following on from the naming of the Billy Bonds stand there has been a bit of a clamor to lobby for the Betway stand to be renamed the Sir Geoff Hurst stand, this is not going to happen for several reasons. The most pertinent of which is that Betway as the club's sponsor insist on having a stand in their name as part of their deal with the club, although this situation may well change in the future due to the impending legislation regarding sports sponsorship by betting companies, particularly sponsors of elite football teams.

To some it is a matter of opinion as to whether Hammers are an 'elite' club, but given the fact that the club is in the top twenty of the world it is safe to assume it will be affected by any changes in the law, it won't just effect West Ham. As of the beginning of August 2018 Nearly 60 per cent of the clubs in England's top two divisions will have gambling companies on their shirts this season, nine of 20 in the Premier League and a staggering 17 of 24 teams in the Championship. Back in 1998, not a single Premier League club’s shirt was sponsored by a bookmaker, and the first was not until 2002 when Fulham agreed to promote Betfair, since then there has been an explosion of activity from the Betting companies.

Currently in the Premier League, but not for long for two of them probably, there are seven teams who are directly sponsored by Gambling companies: Burnley, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Huddersfield, Newcastle, West Ham and Wolverhampton Wanderers. It is worth noting that Fulham, West Ham and Wolves all spent over £100 Million in the transfer market ahead of this season, and in the case of Fulham it shows that even with such sponsorship things can go awry.

The hammers hierarchy are well aware of the potential changes in the law and to that purpose have been actively seeking more 'acceptable' sponsors from other areas of industry, this season West Ham has become a bigger global brand due to interest from South America both for Chicharito and Felipe Anderson, not forgetting the General that is Fabian Balbuena. US electric car maker Tesla is one of the companies believed to be in negotiations with the club, the sponsorship numbers will be very little compared with Chevrolet's deal with Manchester United but realistically clubs receive so much money from their TV rights that having an attractively named sponsor for slightly less money is preferable to having the name of what is realistically a great cause of misery and social disintegration emblazoned across their shirts.

Hopefully the club will choose wisely, and hopefully act ahead of the event (gambling sponsorship ban) instead of reacting to it too late, proactive rather than reactive being the order of the day. A similar rule change hit formula one years ago when tobacco sponsorship was banned, some teams went to the wall whereas others prospered, key to their prosperity was having the right product at the right time for sponsors to buy in to. Manuel Pellegrini's big club mentality, and to his credit David Sullivan's vastly reduced profile, have made West Ham a far more attractive proposition for 'quality' sponsorship than in the past. A few more tweaks to the London Stadium, and we might have to get used to calling it the Tesla Dome' or something similar! Whatever happens though, that fourth stand will not get renamed after a former player, it's worth too much money. - Ed



Dartford Bhoy's picture

Tesla, quality brand, modern, futuristic, in keeping with moving forward and not always looking back.... Love it

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andycarrollstyle's picture

Tesla would be a good brand to be associated with - providing they don't go bust and Elon Musk keeps his mouth shut

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