Sponsorship & Marketing

RCD Espanyol ends Stage Front stadium naming rights deal alleging non-payment

Featured image credit: RCD Espanyol

Spanish LaLiga club RCD Espanyol has terminated its five-year naming rights agreement with ticketing group Stage Front citing non-payment and breach of contract.

The Barcelona-based club, which has just achieved promotion, is also taking legal action against Stage Front as it seeks money it claims to be owed.

The deal, agreed in March 2023, was reportedly worth a minimum of €1m per year over five years. However, 2Playbook reports the figure would be closer to €2m now that Espanyol is back in Spain’s top division.

The naming rights deal for the club’s 40,000-capacity RCDE Stadium was agreed as the US-based ticketing technology group sought to build its profile in Europe. It also became a regional partner of LaLiga in the US and official sponsor of the Spanish football association (RFEF) for the 2023-24 season.

Initiate legal action

Espanyol said it attempted to assist Stage Front in its growth project in Europe. However, “failure to fulfil contractual obligations” has led to it terminating the contract after a single year.

The club said in a statement: “Despite the club’s efforts to collaborate with Stage Front in the growth of its project, as it has done with all its sponsors for many seasons, Stage Front’s failure to fulfil contractual obligations has led to the decision to terminate the agreement and to instruct its lawyers to immediately initiate legal actions before the civil jurisdiction with the filing of a civil lawsuit demanding payment of the invoices due and damages caused by the early termination of the contract for breach.”

Espanyol said it is aware that Stage Front is withdrawing all the staff responsible for the activation and monitoring of the contracts they manage in Europe. It claims that Stage Front has ceased all its activities with LaLiga.

Stage Front has been approached for comment.

Under the terms of the 2023 deal, Stage Front was to provide the stadium with its latest technology. Espanyol was to activate as many of its own spaces as possible to give visibility and promote the different options offered by the company.

RCDE Stadium had been without a naming-rights sponsor since the club’s deal with gaming technology provider Power8 ended in 2016.