COMMENT: Renaming Reebok Stadium is an emotive issue

The Reebok Stadium - soon to be called the Macron Stadium

The Reebok Stadium - soon to be called the Macron Stadium

First published in Sport
Last updated
The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , head of sport

Bolton Wanderers have announced that the Reebok Stadium is to be renamed the Macron Stadium in a new sponsorship deal. The Bolton News' head of sport, Neil Bonnar, reflects on the move.

IT is always an emotive issue when football clubs change the name of their ground.

Something as integral to the identity of a football club as the name of its home being stripped and replaced with a new one is bound to hit home with fans.

The reason is simple. It’s business.

We have seen it at a multitude of other clubs in recent years.

Now it is the turn of Wanderers and it will be interesting to see what the response is from the fans.

Way back in time when teams played in plain coloured shirts, just shook hands when they scored and players earned an average wage, the name of the ground usually reflected the area of the town it was in.

Old Trafford, Anfield, Goodison Park, Maine Road, Burnden Park. If you didn’t know where the ground was, its name would give you a pretty good idea.

It gave grounds an identity, and from that came a tradition.

But times have changed. In those old days players were paid a living wage, not the exhorbitant salaries they are on now.

That means clubs have to find additional revenue streams to pay them, and one of those, unfortunately, is stadium naming rights.

I say unfortunately because it is always sad to see a part of a club’s identity change.

But we live in the real world and clubs need cash.

This deal will bring in an additional revenue stream for Wanderers, and for a club which is £163.8 million in debt it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realise how important that is.

It is a shame to see the end of the Reebok, the only name the fans have ever known the ground by and a company that is steeped in Bolton history.

But that’s business.

Comments (13)

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1:09pm Thu 24 Apr 14

Ernagy2 says...

The company doesn't exist anymore, well only name, as it is part of Addidas. Therefore something had to be done. Since we're desperate for sponsorship money it makes good business sense to find another sponsor and the new company are sponsoring the shirts as well. So no loan company or gambling associations means fans should be happier with this. Better this than call it the "118 Bet" stadium or have some loan company on the badge.
The company doesn't exist anymore, well only name, as it is part of Addidas. Therefore something had to be done. Since we're desperate for sponsorship money it makes good business sense to find another sponsor and the new company are sponsoring the shirts as well. So no loan company or gambling associations means fans should be happier with this. Better this than call it the "118 Bet" stadium or have some loan company on the badge. Ernagy2
  • Score: 20

1:57pm Thu 24 Apr 14

stereo_world says...

I'd have really thought AO.com would have had a say in sponsorship and naming rights, being only round the corner and all. It would have been a much more suitable partnership in my eyes.
I'd have really thought AO.com would have had a say in sponsorship and naming rights, being only round the corner and all. It would have been a much more suitable partnership in my eyes. stereo_world
  • Score: -4

1:58pm Thu 24 Apr 14

stereo_world says...

stereo_world wrote:
I'd have really thought AO.com would have had a say in sponsorship and naming rights, being only round the corner and all. It would have been a much more suitable partnership in my eyes.
EDIT: now I think about it though, if you're getting naming right and kits/trainingwear in one bundle, I suppose it makes sense financially.
[quote][p][bold]stereo_world[/bold] wrote: I'd have really thought AO.com would have had a say in sponsorship and naming rights, being only round the corner and all. It would have been a much more suitable partnership in my eyes.[/p][/quote]EDIT: now I think about it though, if you're getting naming right and kits/trainingwear in one bundle, I suppose it makes sense financially. stereo_world
  • Score: -2

3:07pm Thu 24 Apr 14

Ernagy2 says...

I think people have to realise it's cash in hand at a time when we're in desperate need. Also Huddersfield change their stadium, Newcastle have done it and so have Arsenal. Think some supporters are living in the past and they need to see what is going on around them.
I think people have to realise it's cash in hand at a time when we're in desperate need. Also Huddersfield change their stadium, Newcastle have done it and so have Arsenal. Think some supporters are living in the past and they need to see what is going on around them. Ernagy2
  • Score: 7

4:50pm Thu 24 Apr 14

filthy6 says...

Never be as good as the JD Stadium
Never be as good as the JD Stadium filthy6
  • Score: -10

7:10pm Thu 24 Apr 14

Harold 1 says...

How about The Zimmer Stadium ?
How about The Zimmer Stadium ? Harold 1
  • Score: -3

8:24pm Thu 24 Apr 14

Big Stu says...

Ernagy2 wrote:
I think people have to realise it's cash in hand at a time when we're in desperate need. Also Huddersfield change their stadium, Newcastle have done it and so have Arsenal. Think some supporters are living in the past and they need to see what is going on around them.
I tell you what's going on around you.... The club is being led by a complete and utter baffoon at board level.

Naming rights aside, we shouldn't be up to our necks in this much financial ***t... 11years in the Prem & what have we really got to show for it? A load of white elephants and a chairman raking in half a million a year.

Utter garbage.
[quote][p][bold]Ernagy2[/bold] wrote: I think people have to realise it's cash in hand at a time when we're in desperate need. Also Huddersfield change their stadium, Newcastle have done it and so have Arsenal. Think some supporters are living in the past and they need to see what is going on around them.[/p][/quote]I tell you what's going on around you.... The club is being led by a complete and utter baffoon at board level. Naming rights aside, we shouldn't be up to our necks in this much financial ***t... 11years in the Prem & what have we really got to show for it? A load of white elephants and a chairman raking in half a million a year. Utter garbage. Big Stu
  • Score: 6

8:48pm Thu 24 Apr 14

Ernagy2 says...

filthy6 wrote:
Never be as good as the JD Stadium
/except it isn't called that is it? It's called DW Stadium
[quote][p][bold]filthy6[/bold] wrote: Never be as good as the JD Stadium[/p][/quote]/except it isn't called that is it? It's called DW Stadium Ernagy2
  • Score: 3

9:55pm Thu 24 Apr 14

Comment777 says...

Reading what has been reported about the business dealings of those engaged in the running of Bolton Wanderers I believe the stadium should be re-named the Machiavellian Stadium...
Reading what has been reported about the business dealings of those engaged in the running of Bolton Wanderers I believe the stadium should be re-named the Machiavellian Stadium... Comment777
  • Score: 3

12:59am Fri 25 Apr 14

wanderer1874 says...

I's certainly a shame, though to be fair we kept to our 'roots' in keeping reebok shirt and stadium sponsors for as long as any partnership. At the end of the day though nothing lasts forever and things move on...
I's certainly a shame, though to be fair we kept to our 'roots' in keeping reebok shirt and stadium sponsors for as long as any partnership. At the end of the day though nothing lasts forever and things move on... wanderer1874
  • Score: 1

1:39am Fri 25 Apr 14

AdamPA says...

Money is money at the end of the day but I'd have preferred a bigger name if I'm honest. Maybe Macron will get bigger as a result of this sponsorship deal but I've never heard of them and when I explain the name of the the stadium to people now I'll have to give them back story whereas Reebok was a household international brand already.

I guess it's better than what was touted a few years back ie Patak stadium et al. At least it's still a sports brand and not quick quid or one of those vile payday loans companies.
Money is money at the end of the day but I'd have preferred a bigger name if I'm honest. Maybe Macron will get bigger as a result of this sponsorship deal but I've never heard of them and when I explain the name of the the stadium to people now I'll have to give them back story whereas Reebok was a household international brand already. I guess it's better than what was touted a few years back ie Patak stadium et al. At least it's still a sports brand and not quick quid or one of those vile payday loans companies. AdamPA
  • Score: 1

9:10am Fri 25 Apr 14

Alfranco says...

What gets me, is when someone asks (EXCUSE ME CAN YOU TELL ME WHERE'S THE Reebok stadium). I'll have to let them know its not called the Ree - "BOK". Its changed its now called the Macc - "RON" stadium... The reason I'm saying this is everybody but everybody knows it as the BOK, Why because every football fan of BWFC say it simply because they are used too say "I'M OFF TO THE BOK MATE, I'LL SEE YOU DOWN THERE" (NO-ONES GONNA KNOW WHAT THEY MEAN, WHEN THEY SAY I'M OFF TO THE RON). Another reason NOT EVERYONE WILL BUY THE B.E.N. BECAUSE OF THE PRICE 65p. Fair play but thats too much for me too keep forking out these days. So now the only way they are gonna know now is either by the internet or by word of mouth...
What gets me, is when someone asks (EXCUSE ME CAN YOU TELL ME WHERE'S THE Reebok stadium). I'll have to let them know its not called the Ree - "BOK". Its changed its now called the Macc - "RON" stadium... The reason I'm saying this is everybody but everybody knows it as the BOK, Why because every football fan of BWFC say it simply because they are used too say "I'M OFF TO THE BOK MATE, I'LL SEE YOU DOWN THERE" (NO-ONES GONNA KNOW WHAT THEY MEAN, WHEN THEY SAY I'M OFF TO THE RON). Another reason NOT EVERYONE WILL BUY THE B.E.N. BECAUSE OF THE PRICE 65p. Fair play but thats too much for me too keep forking out these days. So now the only way they are gonna know now is either by the internet or by word of mouth... Alfranco
  • Score: -3

9:47am Fri 25 Apr 14

stereo_world says...

Cheers for the -2 downvotes there by the way. It must kill you that someone's making a relevant non-racist observation. Congrats.
Cheers for the -2 downvotes there by the way. It must kill you that someone's making a relevant non-racist observation. Congrats. stereo_world
  • Score: -1

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