Istanbul football club Beşiktaş announced in August that it has signed a $145-million deal with British telecommunications group Vodafone, making it the country’s biggest ever sponsorship deal.
The deal includes shirt sponsorship for five years and sponsorship of the new Beşiktaş stadium, expected to be completed next year and named the Vodafone Arena, for 15 years. The agreement couldn’t have come sooner as Beşiktaş has debts estimated at around €100million.
The new Vodafone Arena will be built on the site of the club’s current stadium, as well as the site of some ancient ruins which are being demolished to make way for the project. It will have a seating capacity of 42,000 and would be a major venue for the 2020 Olympics if Istanbul is announced as host for the Games on 7th September.
The Vodafone Arena will be the first stadium built as a collaboration between Vodafone and Cisco. Mirroring a number of new stadiums in Europe and America, it will include Cisco’s cutting edge StadiumVision system, which integrates broadband for mobile devices and Wi-Fi networks, and includes different sized HD screens placed around the stadium, enabling fans to watch interviews, live broadcasts and promotions.
Vice President of Vodafone Turkey Gökhan Öğüt said: “It is a big pleasure and exciting to sign such a big agreement in Turkish sports history with Beşiktaş. Beşiktaş is the one of the oldest clubs in the country and our purpose is to contribute to Beşiktaş in a way that a global brand can, with a new stadium located in one of Istanbul's most valuable places.”