Scottish Rugby Union Considering Selling Naming Rights for Murrayfield Stadium

January 3, 2012

The Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) are contemplating selling the naming rights for Murrayfield Stadium.

SRU chief executive Mark Dodson revealed that he will looking into what the union owns with the Murrayfield board and staff in the coming weeks and establishing what sponsorship value some things at the ground might have, buy in a bid to bring new money into the sport.

“We have inventory here that we’ve never used or put out there,” he said, “and one of the things we’re looking at in the first quarter of next year is to look at our inventory across the piece, both at [pro] club level and international level, attaching values to that and seeing what it is we want to sell. We might not sell the naming rights to Murrayfield, but we may. Everything is possible.”

It is an idea which has been looked into in the past. Phil Anderton, the former Coca-Cola executive who became SRU chief executive in 2004, offered the stadium to sponsors while marketing director in 2001 but found no takers at any worthwhile price. Gordon McKie, Dodson’s predecessor, had no luck either. But Dodson believes there could be new interest as the game improves, and does not fear a backlash from supporters who cherish the historic Murrayfield name.

“It would still be ‘something Murrayfield’. It is not a new stadium like the Emirates [Arsenal FC’s stadium], that started off as the Emirates. This will always be Murrayfield, but I believe there will be people who would want to attach their name to this and that would create a value.

“I’m not saying we’re doing it, but we will look at it and the whole of the inventory that we have around this estate.

“We have to put inventory out there with values and try and sell it, and that’s why we’re going to spend a good amount of time in the New Year studying that.”

Join the iSportConnect debate on the pros and cons of renaming Murrayfield here