Microsoft reportedly in discussions for rights to name Real Madrid's stadium

Microsoft seems to want to get soccer fans interested in its brand and today, a new rumor claims that the Microsoft name could be placed on the stadium of Real Madrid which, by some accounts, is the most valuable sports team in the world, The report comes from Spain's El Confidential, which claims the company is in very early discussions with the team that could result in Microsoft buying the naming rights to Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

The report, which cites unnamed sources, even claims that Microsoft chairman Bill Gates is part of these negotiations, although we are skeptical that Gates would have such direct involvement. However, the story adds that Microsoft and Real Madrid already have a partnership that has Microsoft supporting the soccer team's foundation that helps promote education through sport in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Real Madrid is looking to revamp Santiago Bernabeu Stadium and is currently planning to open the new facility in 2016. The story says that if the talks between the team and Microsoft are successful, that will be the start of Microsoft's stadium name agreement, which could be worth as much as $10 million a year to the team.

Microsoft is rumored to be developing a reality sports TV series centering on street soccer for its Xbox One console and pre-orders of the console in Europe, Australia and New Zealand will get a free downloadable copy of FIFA 14.

Source: El Confidential via Forbes | Image via uggboy/Wikipedia

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31 Comments

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Why do you guys say you doubt Bill Gates has any involvement. HE SITS ON THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS. For what something like this will cost. that would mean the board would have to vote on it. Which means Bill will have very direct involvement. If he likes the idea he can convince the board its a good thing.

Do you think he wasn't involved in the acquisition of Skype? What about the exFAT lawsuits? What about negotiations with Android phone makers?

Do you even know what happens in a company? Because obviously you have no idea.

Microsoft is the primary sponsor of the MLS's Seattle Sounders FC. I think the $10 million figure is a gross underestimate. Microsoft reportedly now pays the Sounders $8 million/year for the jersey sponsor rights and to have the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field.

My bet is that any naming rights will be with the Xbox brand, and nothing more.

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Edited by knighthawk, Oct 26 2013, 2:08pm :

Bad... I know they need money, but overall it is bad, since they require branding that does not resonate with people

In toronto, they had Skydome - perfect name for the stadium that can open its roof...
Now they have Rogers Center - a name that does little other then advertise the Rogers company. It is not descriptive and it is confusing, since Rogers not a company you normally associate with sports.

Rogers was stupid to name the Skydome what they did, but not all companies are that dumb

Let's go over the history of the naming rights of the Saddledome for a different way to name things: Starting with Olympic Saddledome, it was renamed to the Canadian Airlines Saddledome then to the Pengrowth Saddledome and finally to the Scotiabank Saddledome

You'll notice that no one ever got rid of the Saddledome moniker, they all knew how big a backlash that would be to their brands

Rogers, on the other hand, is a bit like the Honey Badger, they just don't care

Edited by Sraf, Oct 26 2013, 5:37am :

Sraf said,
Rogers was stupid to name the Skydome what they did, but not all companies are that dumb

Let's go over the history of the naming rights of the Saddledome for a different way to name things: Starting with Olympic Saddledome, it was renamed to the Canadian Airlines Saddledome then to the Pengrowth Saddledome and finally to the Scotiabank Saddledome

You'll notice that no one ever got rid of the Saddledome moniker, they all knew how big a backlash that would be to their brands

Rogers, on the other hand, is a bit like the Honey Badger, they just don't care

Yeah, it's pure arrogance.. however is they wanted people to mention rogers, they won... If purely out of self gratification.

Hope others are smarter and keep the main name like you exampled

I can just see it -- Microsoft Windows Stadium Live. it will follow Microsoft's convention of adding "Windows" into the name of everything that has nothing to do with Windows.

Estadio Lumia.

Windows Phone sells well in Europe because of the Nokia name, which will become "Lumia" in 2014.
This would be the perfect way to make the Lumia name known in Europe.

snailguy said,
Estadio Lumia.

Windows Phone sells well in Europe because of the Nokia name, which will become "Lumia" in 2014.
This would be the perfect way to make the Lumia name known in Europe.

I'm sure fans of Barcelona would love that, considering that "Estadio Lumia" means literally "Bitch Stadium" in Spanish.

I think they will have to pay much more to be the name of the stadium of the most valuable sports team in the world.

Basically, how DARE Microsoft seek naming rights - like any other business. Companies of all sorts have done these sorts of "naming rights" deals - Verizon alone has no less than four, AT&T has three (merely in Texas), even a company as non-consumer-focussed as Qualcomm has one (San Diego, CA). If Microsoft IS involved, good for them.

Funny. Reading your comment through, I took it as the opposing argument. Seriously, how dare Microsoft seek naming rights for a football stadium. Countless other corporate entities no matter their focus are encroaching upon the not only the integrity of the professional sport, but the sanctity of the grass roots.

Until I hit - Good for them!!

PGHammer said,
Basically, how DARE Microsoft seek naming rights - like any other business. Companies of all sorts have done these sorts of "naming rights" deals - Verizon alone has no less than four, AT&T has three (merely in Texas), even a company as non-consumer-focussed as Qualcomm has one (San Diego, CA). If Microsoft IS involved, good for them.

Nobody is complaining about it so take a chamomile tea.....
Said that I think MS should also consider investing some money to improve the quality of Bing services in Europe; it would surely generates a better return.

Luc2k said,

That's brainwashing for you.

So you might enlighten me and show where, in the article, there is a criticism about MS and the alleged operation?

Fritzly said,

So you might enlighten me and show where, in the article, there is a criticism about MS and the alleged operation?

I was referring to PGHammer's need to defend MS when, as you stated, there was no criticism.

Luc2k said,

I was referring to PGHammer's need to defend MS when, as you stated, there was no criticism.

Oops, my apologies; I saw my post quoted and I thought it was referred to me.