Birmingham City announce record naming rights deal with Knighthead
Birmingham City have announced a multi-million pound, multi-year naming rights agreement with Shelby Companies Limited, which is majority owned by Knighthead Annuity & Life Assurance Company and certain other minority investors (collectively, “Knighthead”).
Under the terms of the deal, the Club’s stadium will be re-named St. Andrew’s @ Knighthead Park. The Club’s Wast Hills training ground will be renamed The Knighthead Training and Academy Grounds. And a new fan ‘entertainment zone’ @ Knighthead Park, will be built, situated on Club-owned land close to the Tilton and Main Stand at the Stadium. The re-named stadium, training ground, and new fan zone will be launched before the end of the 2023/24 Sky Bet Championship Season.
The value of the agreement is based on an annual sponsorship fee, a Men’s First Team performance-related bonus and a Club wide social media performance-related bonus. For the remainder of the 2023/24 season, the value to the Club with incentives could reach £6,241,666.67*. In 2024/25, the first full year of the partnership, the value to Birmingham City, with incentives, could reach £9,450,000.
Knighthead Park is the first step in the Club’s plan to build a ‘Sports Quarter’ in the heart of Birmingham. The ambition for the ‘Sports Quarter’ is to create a globally recognisable sporting and entertainment location. A beacon of excellence, providing the world’s greatest athletes and performers a platform to showcase their talents. Recreational, mixed-use and other space will be developed for the enjoyment and benefit of the local community.
Chairman of Knighthead and the Club, Tom Wagner, said: “St. Andrew’s @ Knighthead Park is step one in our plan to create a world-renowned ‘Sports Quarter’ in Birmingham. We invested in Blues because of the opportunity to not only transform a football club but to also be a catalyst for change in the city itself. Our ambition is bold. It is for the Club to become a beacon of excellence for Birmingham. We are at an early stage in the journey, but we have already started to capture the imagination of a global audience. It is only going to grow. That is why the timing of the multi-year naming rights partnership is perfect and why it is so important to Knighthead.”
He added: “We continue to invest heavily in the Stadium and training grounds to make them fit for purpose. The process will continue as we pursue the development of the broader Knighthead Park. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to enter into a partnership that will grow the brands of both Knighthead and BCFC, while remaining true to our goal of achieving excellence across both enterprises.”
Birmingham City Chief Executive Officer, Garry Cook, said: “Birmingham is now a global story and the Club is at its epicentre. A worldwide audience has tuned in to what is happening at Blues, they want to find out more, and we have only just scratched the surface of what is possible. St. Andrew’s @ Knighthead Park and the ambitious plan for a ‘Sports Quarter’ will become a proxy brand for Knighthead. It will be world class and a clear statement of intent.”
He added: “Knighthead has invested in Birmingham and is bringing a level of ambition that is going to improve the fortunes of both the Club and the city itself. New thinking and approaches are required for football clubs to grow and compete. Our partnership is an example of this. We look at the football world differently and we know that creating broader awareness and engagement across social and other media platforms will increase our commercial growth opportunities. For Blues, this means the prospect of significant investment, both on and off the pitch. This is the future and yet another massive vote of confidence from Knighthead in Birmingham and in the transformation that we are driving at the Club.”