A total of £447,000 (€503,000/$591,000) of taxpayers’ money has been spent as part of the ongoing search to secure a naming rights partner for London Stadium, according to the BBC.
London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), owner of the centrepiece of the 2012 summer Olympic and Paralympic Games which is now home to Premier League football club West Ham United, is said to have paid the IMG agency £260,000 in 2013 to assist in the search. Fellow agency ESP was then given £187,000 when retained by LLDC’s subsidiary E20 for 16 months from March 2015.
In May 2017, telecommunications company Vodafone pulled out of a proposed deal to acquire naming rights after being said to be on the verge of agreeing a six-year deal worth £20m. Indian conglomerate Mahindra was also said to have showed interest at an earlier date.
“Two deals with global brands came close to being delivered but this is an extremely competitive and narrow market which requires significant time and effort to identify the appropriate brands able to enter into such major commercial deals,” an LLDC spokesman told the BBC.
The first £4m per year of any deal would reportedly go to the LLDC, with anchor tenant West Ham sharing any revenue above that.
The LLDC spokesman added: “A naming rights deal is an important element of the long-term success of the London Stadium and E20 has taken some of the best advice available to help secure a sponsor. We have worked hard to promote the London Stadium as a multi-use venue and our experience to date is that this is very appealing to potential sponsors.”
In December, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced that his office would take control of London Stadium after publishing a detailed report into the scale of mismanagement of the venue by his predecessor, Boris Johnson.
The report noted that the mismanagement had led to the taxpayer accounting for an annual loss of around £20m for the venue.