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Red Bulls still sorting through stadium naming rights options


HARRISON, N.J. — Red Bull Arena has adopted a new look in 2019, and there are also plans for it to get a new name.

A stadium rights deal, however, does not seem to be immediately in the cards.

It has been reported in recent weeks that the New York Red Bulls are in discussions with several betting companies over a sponsorship deal for Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls have admittedly been in negotiations to finalize an agreement, but general manager Marc de Grandpre told SBI in late March that talks are still ongoing.

“We’ve had some really good conversations with multiple potential partners,” de Grandpre told SBI. “We’re further down the line with some of them, so we hope that something will get done, hopefully, in the next 12 months, if not sooner. That would also, if we get a new naming rights partner, probably trigger some offseason changes into the design of the building or the look of the building in certain areas depending on what that brand wants.”

One other aspect of the business side that de Grandpre and the Red Bulls will continue to work on is the selection of the club’s jersey colors and designs. Uniforms are usually mapped out with manufacturer adidas 24 months ahead of their launch date, so while there is a plan in place for the next couple of years, planning for what follows is an ongoing process.

As for their most recent attempt, the Red Bulls enjoyed notable success last year with the introduction of a red home top. Merchandise sales raised “dramatically” from 2017 to 2018 and performed the best since de Grandpre made his return to the club five years ago.

Still, there is no guarantee the red look becomes the preferred option over the more customary white jersey of years prior.

“We’re always evaluating colors,” added de Grandpre. “… Red may come and go, and white may come and go, and there may be some other colors that may be introduced down the line. We’re just looking as to what looks good and what our fans are going to want.”

Whether they wanted it or not, all of the club’s fans have had to get adjusted this year to mobile ticketing. The Red Bulls announced before the season began that the only way to get into Red Bull Arena going forward was through electronic ticketing, which the club soft-launched during the Concacaf Champions League games in February.

A reason for that, according to de Grandpre, was because mobile ticketing helps “nullify” fraud since it is much harder to make duplicates than it is with paper or printed tickets. He also said the timing felt right for the club after seeing other sports franchises, including local ones, make the transition.

“I think for us it was about we have watched other teams do it and it’s been successful,” said de Grandpre. “The Giants and the Jets have done it in MetLife and we just felt it was the right time for us to just go all mobile as 99 percent of folks out there are living on their mobile phone every day.”

“…It’s really good for us, much safer, and it enables us to have a better understanding of who is in the building.”

The Red Bulls, clearly, are focused on trying to improve the stadium experience this year. They have not only implemented the electronic ticketing initiative as well as installed larger video boards, but they have also tarped off sections, albeit controversially, with the the idea of changing those areas into more communal spaces.

There are more plans in place for the remainder of the year, and the hope, just like with a stadium naming rights deal, is that they give the Red Bulls a push on the business side.

“You’ll just see more emphasis on key games throughout the season to drive the attendance up and some new marketing initiatives in June or July to help bring our story to life for the club,” said de Grandpre.


  1. RBNY morphing into Chivas USA right before our very eyes. NYCFC here is your new home. Enjoy being the sole tenant.

  2. 24 months working on uniforms before their launch date? Are you serious? with what i see 13 days and 6 pack is more then enough.

    “After 24 months of intensive study and analysis, we have decided on BLUE for the RED Bulls.” That will be $1M in consulting fees please.


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