French Rugby Club Announce Landmark Naming Stadium Rights Deal
May 26, 2011
French rugby union club Lyon Olympique Universitaire (LOU) has sold the naming rights to their new temporary stadium to insurance company Matmut in what is a first for the nation’s rugby clubs.
LOU’s new 8,000-seater modular venue, which will begin hosting matches in October 2011, will be known as the Matmut Stadium and prominently feature the company’s colour from the new season. The contract will run for five years, with Matmut paying US$1.4m annually for the privilege.
Matmut is already a major sponsor of LOU, who recently won France’s Pro D2 to gain promotion to the Top 14. The naming rights deal, announced days after the club’s promotion, marks a strengthening of that agreement.
The provisional stadium, which will also include thirty corporate boxes, will be constructed adjacent to the current site of LOU’s training ground at Venissieux. The team will play at the venue until their expected move to the Lyon Gerland Stadium – currently home to soccer team Olympique Lyonnais.
LOU, who this season played at the Vuillermet Stadium, are the first French rugby team to sell the naming rights to their stadium, and the second professional sporting club in France to sign such an agreement.
A statement released by LOU read: “Like most major French rugby clubs, LOU thus have the equipment to succeed in both a sporting sense, and an economic sense following the accession to the Top 14. The Matmut Stadium will be suitable for not only the professional players, and but also for the host partners, supporters of the club and the public.”