Sponsorship & Marketing

Stage Front hits back over Espanyol naming rights deal

Featured image credit: RCD Espanyol de Barcelona/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size

Stage Front has fired back at RCD Espanyol, claiming that breach of contract in specific relation to ticket sales was behind the termination of the stadium naming rights deal between the US ticketing technology company and the Spanish LaLiga football club.

Espanyol, which was last season promoted back to the top division of the Spanish game, last week announced the termination of its five-year partnership with Stage Front citing non-payment and breach of contract.

The Barcelona-based club said it was also taking legal action against Stage Front as it seeks money it claims to be owed. The deal, announced in June 2023, was reportedly worth a minimum of €1m (£845,317/$1.08m) per year but was said to be set to rise to closer to €2m following Espanyol’s return to LaLiga.

In a statement reported by multiple Spanish media outlets, Stage Front has now responded on the matter stating it was forced to terminate the contract on June 14 in specific relation to breaches of terms connected to ticketing sales for what was formerly known as Stage Front Stadium.

Stage Front said: “It was Stage Front, on June 14, 2024, that was forced to terminate the contract based on the essential breach… by the RCDE.

“More specifically, on the breach of the obligation to allow the sale of a minimum number of tickets at an equally minimum price of around €50, exclusively through Stage Front’s ticket sales technology platform, something that was part of the essential agreement by which Stage Front agreed to formalise the contract with the RCDE.”

Espanyol had been without a stadium naming-rights sponsor since its deal with gaming technology provider Power8 ended in 2016. At the time of last year’s announcement, Stage Front said it would use the partnership to turn the stadium into a “benchmark” for the events industry worldwide, enabling the facility to become profitable. Stage Front had held existing links to Spanish football as a partner of LaLiga North America.

The company set out to improve the ticketing and VIP experiences for all events held at Stage Front Stadium, which has a capacity of 40,000. The partnership also included a strategic collaboration for Stage Front to “energise” the stadium and make its facilities profitable by positioning it as a reference for shows and events on a global scale.