Lille: The name Decathlon Arena is grafted onto the Pierre-Mauroy stadium, for 1.2 million per year
The Lille braderie before the hour? The elected officials of the metropolis of Lille (MEL) voted, this Friday evening, the long-awaited allocation of the naming of the Pierre-Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve d’Ascq, near Lille, in the North. For 1.2 million euros, the northern sports brand, which employs 5,000 people in the MEL, will be able to put its name on the facade of the sports enclosure for five years.
“Fixing our name to the emblematic Pierre-Mauroy stadium is a choice of heart, which marks our attachment to our territory of origin”, assured Arnaud Gauquelin, CEO of Decathlon, in a press release. The brand also benefits from the sales with this drop in the financial ambitions of the MEL.
From 3.5 million to 1.2 million per year
For two years, the local authority had been looking for a reliable partner after the last sponsor, Crédit Mutuel, had thrown in the towel. “The official convention provides that the name of use remains the Pierre-Mauroy stadium, in particular during sporting events such as the Rugby World Cup or the Olympic Games”, underlined Eric Skyronka vice-president in charge of sports at the MEL. .
In any case, this new naming contract seals, for five years, a financial soap opera that had lasted for fifteen years. In 2008, when the stadium had not yet come out of the ground, Martine Aubry, then president (PS) of the urban community of Lille, wanted to keep control of the partnership file and hoped for an obol of 4.5 million per year. A figure fairly quickly revised down a little to around 3.5 million.
Despite its proposal to 2 million, the Partouche casino brand had been sidelined by Martine Aubry. For its part, Decathlon, already approached at the time, did not wish to commit to the football segment alone. Since then, the stadium has shown its ability to host other sporting events such as rugby, basketball, handball and tennis.
“only one offer was serious”
Nine years ago, for lack of a candidate, the Grand Stade was therefore baptized Pierre-Mauroy, in tribute to the former mayor (PS) of Lille and president of the Urban Community, after the death of the latter.
At the beginning of 2021, another attempt to make the name of the stadium profitable. One hundred and six companies had been contacted by the local authority. “Six of them expressed a keen interest,” assured the MEL at the time. Finally, “only one offer was serious”, noted Eric Skyronka. And it will now be necessary to write Decathlon Arena-Stade Pierre-Mauroy. It might take up space on the tickets.
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