Saracens have issued a statement confirming that they will be reverting to the original name of the stadium formerly known as Allianz Park.
Until it gains a new title sponsor, Saracens’ home ground will go back to being called Copthall Stadium for an ‘interim period’.
A statement reads: “The stadium has been known as Allianz Park for over seven years and has become home to a number of our partners including the Saracens Foundation, Middlesex University, Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers athletics and the Luna Cinema as well as world-class men’s and women’s rugby.
“The club would like to thank Allianz for their support over a significant period and wish them all the best with their sponsorship of the Women’s Premier 15s and beyond.”
In February Allianz broke off their sponsorship deal with the club a year early. Allianz have been the Londoners’ main sponsor since 2012 but they have now decided to opt-out a year before their current £2 million a year deal was due to elapse in 2021.
How Saracens fare in trying to secure a replacement will be watched with interest. It was in November 2019, shortly after the initial punishments were handed down by Premiership Rugby, that a sponsorship expert warned that the troubled club faced two years of pain as a toxic brand.
Sponsorship industry expert Nigel Currie, a former joint chairman of the European Sponsorship Association, told RugbyPass at the time: “Saracens have become a toxic brand and only time can get them back to where they want to be.
“It’s similar to Rangers in Scottish football who dropped down after breaking various rules. You just have to rebuild and for clubs wanting instant success, it is pretty bad news. There is a danger that Saracens could get relegated from the Premiership and the damage over the next two years will be pretty bad.
“Holding onto their players and their sponsors during that period is the key thing, but having someone like Nigel Wray there is important because you don’t make money out of Premiership rugby at the moment. It’s tough and now a lot a tougher for Saracens and I don’t know if their club sponsor Allianz have some kind of embarrassment clause in their contract.”
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