Elland Road Red Bull Stadium? Leeds in big money talks with drinks giant

LEEDS United are in talks over a lucrative link-up with energy drink giant Red Bull that could lead to the renaming of the club’s Elland Road ground.


It is understood top-level discussions have started between the club and the company about a possible shirt sponsorship agreement.

No-one involved in those discussions is prepared to go on record as to how far reaching any deal could be.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

But today’s revelation is likely to prompt speculation that a stadium naming rights deal could also be under consideration.

Red Bull is already involved with a string of football clubs around the world – the New York Red Bulls and Austria’s FC Red Bull Salzburg play in grounds named after the company.

Asked whether the talks could involve a stadium naming rights deal, highly-respected brands expert Jonathan Gabay said: “It’s not out of the question.

“They would have to be cautious, because the initial reaction of football fans is to resist that kind of move. At the same time, however, I think fans are coming round to the idea that this is the way the sport is going.”

Mr Gabay added: “As a brand, Red Bull is all about the idea of excitement. They would want to be involved with a club which matches that image.”

United have made no public comment but managing director David Haigh is known to have well-placed contacts at Red Bull.

A source close to the talks said: “Red Bull are a huge brand name and a partnership with Leeds would obviously be a really exciting coup.”

Red Bull’s turnover in 2012 was close to five billion euros. The firm’s sporting interests away from football include a Formula 1 motor racing team.

Talk of a new name for Elland Road will stir memories of United’s ground move plans during the chairmanship of Peter Ridsdale.

Leeds chose a site off the A1(M) near Stourton for a new stadium and were in negotiations with a number of major international firms over naming rights before the proposal was scuppered by the club’s meltdown on and off the pitch.

Keep abreast of news from your club, plus complete live match data and stats, with our new FREE apps. Versions for iPhone and Android.