Karren Brady, the vice-chair of West Ham United, has described the English Premier League football club’s controversial move to London’s Olympic Stadium as a “rebranding” opportunity.
Several incidents of crowd trouble have been reported at the renovated stadium in Stratford, which has become the new home of the club since the start of this season. West Ham previously played at nearby Upton Park.
Brady said at a conference that the club saw the move to a new stadium “as a real opportunity to change the brand values of the club”.
She added: “There was a plan to plug the debt, build the future and create the culture. Rebranding ourselves was really important with our stadium.
“We’re in the London Stadium. We added the word London to our crest because we felt it had real global appeal. Nobody else does it. We are in the heart of London, in the foothills of the financial sector. We have the best stadium – there are some great stadiums in this country but there is only one Olympic Stadium and it’s ours. It’s really had a dynamic impact on the things we can do.”
Brady added that the club has had a “difficult job to do” by accommodating fans due to a groundswell of support.
“We sold the stadium out to 52,000 season-ticket holders,” Brady said. “We have 10,000 under-16-year-olds who come week in, week out. We have completely sold out hospitality. I have 50,000 people who have paid to join the waiting list to be able to buy a season ticket. We have 36,000 members.”