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Gloucestershire Business News

Shock as Gloucester Rugby kicks The Shed's iconic name into touch - NEW COMMENTS

Gloucester Rugby has today controversially announced that the iconic Shed stand at Kingsholm has been renamed.

In a move that could anger diehard fans, it will be known as the Greene King Shed as part of a deal with the UK brewer and pub retailer.

It follows an announcement yesterday that one of Gloucester's other stands will be sponsored by an online bookmaker.

The Shed is a terrace stand famous throughout the rugby world for hosting some of the club's most dedicated supporters and for its unique atmosphere due to its proximity to the pitch.

Greene King's association will run for seven seasons from the beginning of the 2017/18 campaign, including pouring rights for Greene King's portfolio of leading and seasonal beers at Kingsholm.

Gloucester Rugby's commercial director Mike Turner said: "We're very pleased to welcome Greene King to our family of Official Partners.

"Real ale is always a popular product on matchdays, and the introduction of Greene King's iconic beer range at Kingsholm is yet another step taken in enhancing the matchday experience for our fans."

The new partnership will see Greene King products available in 11 bars around the stadium as well as in a dedicated real ale bar located near Gate One.

Each home matchday will incorporate a 'Festival of Real Ale' within the stadium where at least four Greene King beers will be available during any one game, including the likes of Greene King IPA, Old Speckled Hen and Abbot Ale as well as a rotating selection of the brewer's seasonal and speciality ales.

Joe Parks, Greene King on trade sales director, said: "We've been an avid champion of rugby at all levels for many years and we'll be bringing this same commitment to Gloucester Rugby.

"Our investment in bars around Kingsholm as well as increasing the beer range available will give fans more choice and an even better home ground experience, and we look forward to growing a great relationship with the club and its supporters over the seasons ahead."

Punchline has been angered by the decision to change the name of the Shed and we're absolutely sure many fans will feel the same.

For the Shed's name to be kicked into touch like this must feel like a real hammer blow for supporters who have spent their hard-earned money cheering on their heroes.

We can only hope the club has earned a significant amount of money from the deal to make it worth the backlash coming its way from fans.

We wonder too how pubs around the ground, who have kept fans fed and watered for years, will feel about the decision to hold a so-called Festival of Ale and the potential impact it will have on their businesses.

What next from Gloucester Rugby? Why not sell the naming rights to Kingsholm? Is this on the cards too?

What do you think? Email mark@moosemarketingandpr.co.uk 

Picture credit: wikimedia 

Readers' comments:

Simon Hewer: It's still called the Shed, always will be unless they knock it down. I don't see a problem.

Kieran O'Donoghue: This has come as a real shock and allowing anyone to hijack the iconic Shed brand is a potential marketing and PR disaster.

"Can you survive the Greene King Shed?" just doesn't have the same ring, does it?

I know rugby clubs are commercial operations these days but surely there must be an alternative or compromise.

The club should consider the value of the fans versus the value of the sponsorship deal.

To have done this without a consultation shows that decision makers at Kingsholm are sorely out of touch with fans.

I wonder what the loss in season ticket renewals would have been if they had announced this a few months ago.

Steve Norman: A good and interesting article about The Shed. I thought it was balanced and gave a good view, as well as an editorial opinion.

The point about the Festival of Beers is a good one. It may affect the local pubs, though hopefully not too much.

In regard to The Shed, though, I think Gloucester are fine.

The corporate non-communtiy thing to do would be to knock The Shed down or relocate altogether at a purpose-built stadium on the outskirts of the city or even further a field.

The Shed will remain an icon and still be known by all as that, regardless of sponsorship.

Another point is that Gloucester are one of the best supported clubs in the country, but its revenues are not as high as in other cities and clubs.

Gloucester do need to maximise their assets to try to keep up with the Have's.

The West Country is not the richest in the world, so for the club to use the stadium as best they can (community projects as well as corporate meetings and gigs) is to their credit.

Attracting talented players is as important to the the club as is bringing on young talent. players coming to the area is as much about money as it is living in Gloucestershire and playing for the club.

So, raising the extra money this way doesn't seem to be the biggest crime to me.

Having said that, I watch Gloucester at home once a season now and have only been in The Shed a dozen or so times in my 49 years, so it's easy for me to say.

But if Gloucester go down or have to move, that would be a bigger travesty.

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