Fallen English rugby union giant Saracens has secured a sponsorship deal through which US financial services group StoneX will become its new stadium naming rights partner.
StoneX’s London-based subsidiary, StoneX Financial, has entered into a four-year contract that will see Copthall Stadium renamed StoneX Stadium, with the company also becoming Saracens’ main shirt sponsor.
City Index, the London-based subsidiary of Gain Capital which was acquired by StoneX in July 2020, will be featured as lead partner on both the men’s and women’s kits. Saracens said the partnership represents “a significant vote of confidence” as professional rugby continues to face major challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, while the club itself seeks to rebound from the fallout caused by a salary cap scandal.
In October, Saracens announced that its home ground would revert to its former name of Copthall Stadium after Allianz stepped aside as the venue’s sponsor. The stadium had been known as Allianz Park for over seven years but in February the German financial services company opted to end the deal early.
The termination of the deal came after Saracens was hit with a 105-point deduction by Premiership Rugby for breaching salary cap regulations, condemning the club to relegation to the second-tier Championship.
Allianz also served as the main sponsor of Saracens but its deal concluded in October as the 2019-20 season drew to a close. The deal was reportedly worth £2m (€2.2m/$2.7m) a year and had been due to expire in 2021.
Sky News said the StoneX deal represents an increase in value compared to the Allianz contract, adding it is record breaking for Saracens and UK professional rugby. Saracens said the agreement will help to ensure that the club retains its elite management and players, while maintaining its leading academy. It will also help to support the proposed development of the stadium’s West Stand.
Lucy Wray, Saracens CEO, said: “This is a major moment for the Saracens family. The partnership heralds a fresh start for the club after a hugely challenging year and having met some of the people at StoneX and City Index, I can safely say that they share our ambition and values.”
Philip Smith, CEO of StoneX Financial, added: “For both organisations, the phrase ‘pounding the rock’ is ubiquitous and is one that both our traders and Saracens players can relate to. Hard work, patience and dedication to our clients is at the core of our value proposition as a global financial services organisation. These values are shared by Saracens Rugby Club, and are exemplified by their high performance culture and commitment to player welfare as well as their fan base.”