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Rangers offers ‘virtual matchday’ sponsorships for new season

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Scottish football club Rangers has put a number of ‘virtual matchday’ sponsorship packages up for sale in the expectation that next season’s action will start behind closed doors.

The club announced the new inventory following the announcement of the 2020-21 Scottish Premiership fixture list, which has set an August 1 start date for the new season.

The offering is based primarily on the production of over-sized banners covering seats usually taken up by spectators.

All the club’s home games at Ibrox Stadium will be shown live on RangersTV, the online club TV channel, in the UK and around the world, providing a visibility platform for the new sponsors. Some matches will also be aired by domestic rights-holder Sky, the pay-television broadcaster, as part of its new five-year rights contract.

Scott Williams, head of commercial partnerships at Rangers, said: ‘’With all eyes on RangersTV for the live coverage, there are a number of new in-stadia advertising opportunities including TV-facing static advertising boards and the opportunity for brand exposure on oversized banners, located in the Sandy Jardine, Broomloan and Copland stands at Ibrox.’’

The virtual matchday and match ball sponsorship packages will also include on-screen branding and promotion through social media, RangersTV and the chance to pick the ‘Man of the Match’ and have a Zoom call with the player after the game.

There will also be advertising opportunities within the RangersTV broadcast including in-game, pre-match and half-time branding opportunities.

The branding of oversized banners has already been sanctioned for existing English Premier League club sponsors under measures taken by the league to enhance the look of broadcast coverage in stadiums without fans since the restart on June 17.

As reported by SportBusiness, the Premier League allowed clubs to reserve up to 25 per cent of branding space on lower-tier wraps for sponsors. The Rangers offering takes the concept a step further by selling similar space to new sponsors or advertisers.

The Glasgow-based club has installed a new LED system around the mid-tier of the stadium for the use of major sponsors. This was meant to go live at the start of 2020 but was delayed.

The 2019-20 Scottish Premiership season was cancelled in May because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sky subsequently reached an agreement with the Scottish Professional Football League over compensation for the truncated 2019-20 season and gave its backing to clubs to live-stream their home matches to fans when the 2020-21 season begins.

Scottish Premiership clubs are to live stream their home matches on their own websites and online TV channels, offering a ‘virtual season ticket’ for the 2020-21 season. Several Scottish Premiership clubs, including leading sides Celtic, Rangers and Aberdeen, already provide live streaming of their home matches to viewers outside the UK and Ireland on a subscription or pay-per-view basis.

Rangers have said that fans who buy season tickets for the 2020-21 campaign will be given free access to the live streaming. Most Scottish clubs will also offer access to domestic viewers on a pay-per-view basis as well.