Spanish Liga football club Real Madrid has today (Tuesday) unveiled a long-term strategic partnership with Abu Dhabi-owned energy group International Petroleum Investment Company that will aid the redevelopment of its Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
The partnership will enable the two organisations to globalise Real Madrid’s assets – its heritage through the club museum and its footballing ethos through its schools – utilising IPIC’s global group of companies. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but IPIC will become a major sponsor of Real with a statement adding that the commercial arrangements will enable the club to meet one of its “fundamental future challenges” – transforming the Bernabeu into the world’s leading sporting venue.
The agreement will take the ‘Real Madrid Museum, Empowered by IPIC’ to cities across the world, and develop new ‘Real Madrid School of Football, Empowered by IPIC’ training and instructional material for coaches and children to improve their footballing skills. IPIC also becomes the licensee for the Real Madrid Schools of Football in the UAE and other territories to be agreed.
The two parties said the branding, advertising, digital, promotional, image, hospitality, and additional rights are “in keeping with an agreement of this scale, timeframe, and stature”. In addition, IPIC and Real Madrid will develop unique content for digital media platforms.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez said: “As of today, IPIC will become a key partner that shares our values and will help us promote and strengthen the Real Madrid brand throughout every continent, a strategic partnership that in the short and long run will help us be even better. From now on as one of our most important sponsors, they will be instrumental in carrying out a series of crucial projects for Real Madrid’s future. In addition, IPIC’s global leadership and far-reaching international presence enable it to undertake major social investments and community engagement programmes. This marks the start of a long journey and the beginning of a strong partnership that will no doubt prove to be vital for meeting one of our biggest challenges: turning the Santiago Bernabeu stadium into one of the best stadiums in the world, into a unique architectural landmark for the city of Madrid and a symbol of innovation for our country.”
Real has long been linked to acquiring a naming rights partner for the Bernabeu to aid in the financing needed to complete the redevelopment project. Perez said last month that the club was in talks with 10 companies over the naming rights to its stadium. In January, Perez unveiled plans to redevelop the Bernabeu. The proposed facelift included a retractable roof, hotel, shopping complex and leisure centre next to the stadium. The project is projected to cost between €400m ($312.5m) and €500m, but no reference was made to naming rights in today’s announcement with IPIC.
His Excellency Khadem Al Qubaisi, managing director of IPIC, said: “This long-term agreement is designed to provide Real Madrid with the commercial means, not just to build the world’s greatest sports venue, but also to spread Real Madrid’s heritage and football ethos around the globe. IPIC, as a company with expansive global investments including Cepsa, Spain’s fourth largest company by turnover, is the perfect vehicle for such a relationship.”