SUNDERLAND are in talks to sell the naming rights of the Stadium of Light – and are using their Netflix documentary to attract would-be sponsors.
SunSport understands the Black Cats have been speaking to an energy company and a betting firm about a possible money-spinning deal.
And the club are highlighting the global reach of the popular Sunderland ‘Til I Die series in the marketing material they are sending to potential partners.
Owner Stewart Donald revealed earlier this season that he was open to the idea of renaming their ground to create a new revenue stream.
And Sunderland are now actively looking for a sponsor for the Stadium of Light, which has never had a name change since it opened in 1997.
SunSport has seen the literature the club have recently emailed to advertising and sponsorship brokers as they look for extra income.
The vibe I get is that they (the fans) aren’t particularly attached to the name
Sunderland owner Stewart Donald
The nine-page brochure flags the club’s hit Netflix show as a major selling point for companies, noting the streaming service’s 130 million subscribers.
It then mentions naming rights as an option for “brand exposure” – offering clients fixed stadium branding, matchday perimeter advertising and branded match tickets and season cards.
And the document also promises the stadium name will be used in media coverage of the Black Cats – and when a music concert is held there.
A Sunderland spokesman last night confirmed: “Talks are ongoing, but they are of a commercially sensitive nature and, as such, they will remain private until such time that it is appropriate to release further information.”
‘THE FANS SHOULD HAVE A SAY’
Sunderland supremo Donald has previously admitted he would consult fans before any name change – but did not think they would be upset.
Speaking in October, he said: “I think the fans should have a say on whether they’re comfortable with it.
“The vibe I get is that they aren’t particularly attached to the name of the stadium.
“It’s not a sacred thing like some of the other grounds.
“I think it’s something that we could do without upsetting the fans, so from that perspective, there is potential for us to do it.”
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But former Black Cats chairman Bob Murray, who oversaw the club’s move from Roker Park to the Stadium of Light, disagreed.
He said: “In an age when so many stadium names are not distinctive or where naming rights have been sold solely for commercial reasons, the name Stadium of Light remains unique and inspirational and sets Sunderland apart.
“I chose not to sell the naming rights during my chairmanship as I felt the stadium name should belong to the club and its fans rather than a corporate entity.”