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Archive for category: Newcastle United sponsorship deals.

Putting lipstick on a pig called “Wonga”

August 23rd, 2013 | 26 Comments |

Wonga loan Shark.
Wonga: Ticking the boxes for fans?
My latest ‘blog on metro.co.uk is now up!

Entitled “Is Wonga really Newcastle United’s greatest ever sponsor after only five weeks?” I reflect on the words of Newcastle United’s Financial Director John Irving, who recently said the following at a meeting to reassure Newcastle United fans about the club’s controversial sponsorship deal with Wonga:

“From a commercial impact, Wonga have had the money on the table and have been a lot more aggressive.

“It’s massively important to have people on board that want to get involved with us in terms of what we do with the fans and the foundation and what we do with the younger players.

“Wonga have only really been here five weeks and they have actually done considerably more than anyone ever has done in terms of investment and support.

“The gates have been unveiled… they renamed the stadium back to St James’ Park. Wonga tick the boxes. (more…)


The lending game: Newcastle United and Wonga

August 14th, 2013 | 34 Comments |

Wonga loan shark.
Wonga: Sinking their teeth into the North East.
A radio programme which is well worth listening to if you’re a Newcastle United fan is BBC Radio Four’s “the Lending Game,” a 40 minute look at Wonga’s controversial sponsorship of Newcastle United.

This is what the online blurb for the programme says:

“As Wonga moves into the mainstream with its sponsorship of Newcastle United, is the so-called payday lender responding to, or shaping, changing attitudes on money and morality? Chris Bowlby goes back to his teenage home on the Tyne to look at the rise of Wonga through the lives of the Toon Army.”

Amongst other things, it contains a fairly revealing interview with Newcastle United financial director, John Irving, who told Chris Bowlby that the clinching factor for working with Wonga was the company’s desire to “work with us on fans, the Academy and the Newcastle United Foundation,” who work with the Wonga customers of the future, youngsters from underprivileged families in the North East. However, the interview with Irving is abruptly halted later in the show by a female press officer (possibly Wendy Taylor) when the interviewer brings up controversial subject of former refusenik, Papiss Cisse, who was still in discussions with the club over wearing the shirt when the programme was being made. (more…)


Do Wonga actually pay anything for St James’ Park naming rights?

July 31st, 2013 | 70 Comments |

Wonga.
.
“It’s a big statement by Wonga to say: ‘We want the naming rights and we’re going to give it back to the fans and the community’.” gushed Derek Llambias.

Alan Pardew also chimed in, exulting:

“Getting the St James’ name back is fantastic. It is a clever move in terms of getting fans in a good place.”

“For so long, Llambias and owner Mike Ashley were associated with taking unpopular decisions (“We started off poorly,” he admits) but the announcement of a controversial deal with Wonga yesterday was significantly sweetened by news about the stadium name.” purred the Journal’s Mark Douglas.

Yet the sums just do not seem to add up. It was trumpted by Llambias that the new sponsorship deal with Wonga would be the club’s “biggest-ever commercial deal.” and when asked if the total deal amounted to £8 million per season, he acknowledged that sum was “not far off.” £6 million of this is going into the main shirt sponsorship side of the deal. As I pointed out in this earlier piece, this is actually slightly below the mean figure of £7.36 million for Premier League shirt sponsorship. However both Wonga and Llambias have made much of the fact that a further £1.5 million will go into the club’s Benton Academy and the Newcastle United Foundation, where Wonga will be getting involved with future customers local youngsters from underprivileged families. (more…)


Papiss in our time?

July 31st, 2013 | 19 Comments |

Papiss Cisse in new Wonga shirt.
Papiss in his new W(r)onga shirt and “Sisse” boots.
It seems there’s a grand conspiracy to make me look like a complete arse at the moment.

Just before I finally had my most recent blog, “We’re still in the dark about Cisse and Wongagate” published on metro.co.uk, Cisse came out and spoke for the first time on his war on Wonga, saying:

“It has been a very difficult time for me and the Club, and also for the fans. I have had some useful discussions with my Club, my family and Islamic teachers in the last few weeks. After a huge amount of thought and reflection I have made the decision to follow my teammates and wear the kit.

“Now I think it is important for the team and the fans that we concentrate 100 per cent on football. Although I did not go to Portugal on the training camp, I was back here working hard on my fitness and preparing for the start of the new season. Since then it has been great to be training with my teammates again. I feel great and ready to go, and cannot wait to be out there against St. Mirren on Tuesday and to play my part for the team.” (more…)


Why Wonga just isn’t worth it

July 20th, 2013 | 43 Comments |

Papiss Cisse holding Toon shirt.
Na! I’m not wearing it if it’s got Wonga on!
In a piece I wrote on here back in October of last year I asked the question “Wonga and Newcastle United – Is it worth it?

Apart from the damage to the club’s dignity and self respect, not to mention it’s “brand value” because of associations with downmarket Sports Direct and even worse, Wonga, we are now seeing another kind of damage caused by the latter. Of course, I am referring to the current situation with Papiss Cisse and his refusal to wear a Wonga branded shirt.

The way things stand currently, the club could lose one of it’s most valuable players, not to mention last season’s joint top goalscorer before the first season under wonga’s sponsorship has even started. However in this piece I will look at what the club is receiving in return.

“The best deal we’ve ever done…”

Newcastle United’s ex-managing Director, Derek Llambias, described Wonga’s sponsorship as “the best deal we’ve ever done” and when asked if it was worth around £8 million per season, he replied that figure was “not far off.” (more…)