Rochdale fuelled by new Crown Oil naming rights deal

English Football League club Rochdale has extended its stadium naming rights deal with Crown Oil for a further six years.

The fuels and lubricants distribution company, based in Greater Manchester, has given its name to the Crown Oil Stadium since 2016 and will complete a full decade by the expiration of the new deal in 2026. Crown Oil will also continue as the shirt sponsor of the third-tier League One club.

No details were given as to the value of the agreement, but the club described it as a “record-breaking club deal.”

“This is a fantastic commercial deal for both parties, and I would like to thank Crown Oil for their investment and commitment,” said David Bottomley, Rochdale’s chief executive. “Not only are they locally based, but as a family-run business, they share the same vision and values.

“We could not ask for a better sponsor. As always, we look forward to our continued partnership and working together in the future.”

The club said the sponsorship extension has been helped by Crown Oil’s new fossil-free fuel, as it is now using the diesel alternative to help reduce its environmental impact. Crown HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) offers up to a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a substantially longer shelf life.

“We are extremely honoured to continue our partnership with Rochdale and it brings us great pleasure to sponsor the front of shirt and hold the naming rights to the Crown Oil Arena,” said Matt Greensmith, Crown Oil’s managing director.

“We are proud to also supply our renewable clean diesel fuel, Crown HVO, to support the campaign Play Fair Clean Our Air, and would like to wish every success for the season ahead.”

The League One season was halted in March due to the COVID-19 outbreak, with English Football League (EFL) officials and clubs deciding last month that the season would be prematurely ended other than for play-off games.

The EFL is due to meet this week to discuss the next campaign, with September 12 being mooted as a potential start date for the 2020-21 season. It has been suggested that fans could be present when games do return.

In an interview with the Times, EFL chairman Rick Parry said: “The green shoots of recovery are definitely there. I don’t want to pre-empt what the government’s going to say in the next couple of weeks, but the talk about spectators returning, albeit gradually, is definitely ramping up in volume at the moment.”