Adidas enters naming rights market with Paris 2024 venue

German sportswear and equipment manufacturer adidas has formally concluded its first venue naming rights partnership for the new arena being developed at Porte de la Chapelle in Paris for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Adidas has signed the deal, an initial five-year contract, renewable for a further seven years, with SAE POPB, the operating company which also manages Paris’ Accor Arena and Bataclan venues.

Reported to be worth around €2.8m (£2.38/$2.84m) per year, the deal has proved to be divisive. Campaigners had asked for the arena to be named after Alice Milliat, a pioneer of women’s sport in France, and the addition of a brand had sparked fierce debate in Parisian political circles.

However, the path to the formal confirmation of what is now the adidas Arena was paved earlier this month when Paris City Council approved the deal with 33 votes for, 17 against and 26 abstentions.

The venue, previously known as Arena 2 at Porte de la Chapelle, will be one of only two new permanent venues developed for Paris 2024, where it will stage badminton and rhythmic gymnastics during the Olympics and Para badminton and Para powerlifting during the Paralympics.

With a capacity of up to 9,000, the adidas Arena will host concerts and sporting events throughout the year and will be the new home of domestic top-tier team Paris Basketball, following the Games.

Beyond the Arena and directly connected to it, the complex will include a living space covering more than 3,000m² which will host hospitality, sports and entertainment events, and the likes of pop-up stores, open to all throughout the year.

Mathieu Sidokpohou, managing director for Southern Europe at adidas, said: “This is the first time a building has been named after adidas in the world. Giving our name to the Arena is a unique opportunity for us.

“The brand wants to create exclusive experiences for its spectators but above all make a concrete commitment to local residents, in particular by promoting access to sport for young women, as part of the legacy of the values upheld by Alice Milliat. We will also offer an ideal venue in terms of equipment, training and support facilities to allow athletes to practise their sport in the best possible conditions.”

In May 2020, French industrial group Bouygues landed its second major contract in the space of a month for the 2024 Games, with the City of Paris announcing that it would lead a consortium to develop adidas Arena.

Bouygues Bâtiment Île-de-France is heading up the design, construction and technical operation of the venue, alongside architectural companies SCAU and NP2F.

The contract was awarded by the City of Paris, which stated the selected project was ranked in first position because of its architectural, landscape, functional and environmental qualities as well as its commitments in terms of energy efficiency and the quality of its maintenance program, with the arena designed to have an initial operating life of over 10 years.

Commenting on the adidas deal, Nicolas Dupeux, managing director of SAE POPB, said: “We are proud and honoured to have signed a unique naming contract on the French market with adidas.

“The adidas and Arena teams are driven by the same creative passion and pursuit of excellence. We share a common vision of sport: dynamic, open to all and inclusive. We are happy to have partnered to offer this new destination, a genuine beating heart of Greater Paris, committed to a high performing environmental programme and sparking collective emotions through sport, culture and entertainment.

“To meet the highest standards of an Olympic and Paralympic site and the need to revitalise north-eastern Paris, the adidas Arena will benefit from a determinedly forward-looking infrastructure, mindset and services.”

Image: SCAU/NP2F