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Capital Sports Media acquires Galatasaray sponsorship rights

Galatasaray play behind closed doors in the heavily disrupted and recently completed 2019-20 season (Photo by Mustafa Ciftci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Turkish Süper Lig club Galatasaray has agreed a deal with specialist sports investment firm Capital Sports Media to sell, manage and service its sponsorship rights.

SportBusiness understands the firm has acquired the rights to develop and manage the club’s advertising inventory at home games, including LED perimeter boards, some inventory embedded into live broadcast coverage of matches, 3D carpets and other in-stadium assets.

Tim Mangnall, chief executive of Capital Sports Media, told SportBusiness: “It’s quite a complex structure because there are quite a number of areas we are going to be focusing on in terms of helping them also develop out their media assets, bringing them more in line with clubs in the Premier League and really helping Galatasaray implement the best technology and the best structure to give the best to their commercial partners.”

As part of the deal, he said the company would seek to introduce digital overlay technology at the club to broaden its sponsorship inventory and allow it to sell the same assets to multiple international brands.

In the short term, however, the club will announce six new sponsors for its LED perimeter boards before the next Süper Lig season starts behind closed doors on September 11.

SportBusiness understands Capital Sports Media has already finalised four of these deals with international brands and the remaining two are close to completion and will be announced in due course.

Alongside this, Mangnall explained that the company would look to grow the club’s appeal in international markets and “change the landscape of sport in Turkey”.

Uncontrolled spending on players by some of the biggest clubs in the country’s 18-club Süper Lig have left them with large debts which were exacerbated by a collapse in the Turkish currency. Turkey’s “Big Three” clubs – Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray and Besiktas – have had to increasingly focus on younger, lesser-known talent having fallen foul of Uefa’s Financial Fair Play rules in the past.

Uefa imposed a one-year ban on Galatasaray during the 2016-17 season after the club failed to comply with the break-even requirement in the FFP regulations during the monitoring period in the 2015-16 season.

“The Turkish market for too long now has been plagued with financial issues from FFP to clubs not utilising their commercial partnerships in the right way and also commercial partners being concerned about the less-developed way of working in terms of the structure with a number of these clubs,” said Mangnall.

“Galatasaray have recognised that a change in the market is needed so we’re going to be bringing in new international brands sponsors and partners.”

Dorukhan Acar, a member of Galatasaray’s board said: “We feel now is the right time to embrace a change in the way we operate and interact within the sport. Not only with our hugely loyal fans here in Turkey but also on football’s global stage. After a long search, we believe we have found the right kind of investment partner, offering a fresh perspective and impetus that can only benefit our great club from both commercial and sporting perspectives.”

Capital Sports Media claims to deliver incremental revenue growth to rights-holder clients through targeted investment and by matching brands with sports properties. The firm boasts a strategy and consulting division, a sponsorship activation arm and a public relations division to generate earned media for rights-holders.

The firm will soon open a new office in Turkey having had to delay plans because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Prior to working with Capital Sports Media, Galatasaray agreed a one-year extension to its stadium naming rights deal with Türk Telekom worth TL30m ($4.9m/€4.3m).

The Türk Telekom Arena replaced Galatasaray’s former Ali Sami Yen stadium in 2011, with the former state-owned telco reportedly paying between $110 and $115m for the naming rights and main shirt rights over 10 years before renewing the deal.