Microsoft could attach its name to one of world soccer’s shrines in the near future.
The software giant and Spanish soccer club Real Madrid are in talks over a potential naming-rights deal for the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. Microsoft’s Spanish division confirmed that discussions are under way, Sky Sports reports.
“We have an excellent relationship with Real Madrid and in fact we recently signed an agreement with its foundation,” Maria Garana, president of Microsoft’s Spanish division, told Spanish television channel antena 3. “They’ve raised, as have other companies, renaming the stadium and we’re only talking about this possibility.”
The iconic, 85,000-seat stadium opened in 1947 and is named after former Madrid president Santiago Bernabeu-Yeste.
Current Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is seeking a sponsor to help fund an ambitious, €400 million (£343 million/$551 million) project to renovate the stadium. Emirates Airlines, Real Madrid’s shirt sponsor, is one of the companies with whom the club is also in talks over a naming-rights deal.
Real Madrid could be asking for around €7.4 million (£6.2 million/$10 million) per year to acquire the Bernabeu’s naming rights, according to Forbes. A long-term deal would help Real Madrid defray renovation costs. The nine-time European Cup (UEFA Champions League) winner can use the help of Microsoft or Emirates Airlines, as it reportedly is €541 million (£463 million/$745 million) in debt.
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Photo via Facebook/Estadio Santiago Bernabéu