English League One football club Lincoln City has agreed a three-year sponsorship deal with London North Eastern Railway (LNER), marking the first time its historic Sincil Bank stadium will have a naming rights partner.

The 10,120-capacity Sincil Bank has been City’s home since it opened in 1895 and will now be renamed LNER Stadium. The partnership will give City fans access to special travel offers with LNER. The club said the wider community will also benefit from engagement initiatives offered as a result of the partnership.

Andrew Whitham, head of commercial for Lincoln City, said in a statement: “This partnership serves as indication of the growth that the football club has seen in recent years. LNER has recently demonstrated a real commitment to Lincoln by creating transformational transport links and this commitment is vitally important for the local economy.”

LNER took over the East Coast mainline rail franchise in June 2018 and in October introduced new additional regular train services between Lincoln and London. Suzanne Donnelly, LNER’s commercial director, said: “Having recently launched new direct services between London and Lincoln, we wanted to strengthen our relationship with the local community, help promote the region and encourage more people to travel with us on the thousands of extra seats available each day.”

Lincoln City chief executive Liam Scully said the two parties are looking beyond the initial contract. “It’s a significant agreement,” he said, according to the Lincolnshire Live website. “They go to the peak of our sponsorship tree along with our front-of-shirt sponsors (SRP Hire Solutions) or other partners of that level.

“We talked long and hard about the term. We see this as the start of the partnership with LNER. All the stakeholders see it being extended beyond the three years. We see this as a long-term partnership.”

Regarding the decision to rename the stadium for the first time, he added: “We had long discussions with the club board about it and have consulted with the supporters’ board.

“We do like and respect the opinion of fans around the football club. We love the heritage and history of Sincil Bank but it’s about being objective and understanding what this wider partnership can do, not just financially but also for the city and the fans of Lincoln City.”

Image: Lincoln City FC