ESPRIT Arena Germany Becomes Merkur Spielarena
ESPRIT Arena in Düsseldorf, Germany, will be known as Merkur Spielarena going forward, thanks to a naming rights agreement between the stadium’s operator D.Live and Gauselmann Group.
Gauselmann Group is a family enterprise with a 60-year long history in leisure-time entertainment and gaming. Its Merkur business segment comprises the development, production and sales of amusement machines with and without cash prize opportunities, as well as money management machines.
The naming rights deal was signed today, July 13, with effect from Aug. 3, and will be in place for the next ten years. Financials weren’t disclosed.
The rebranding of the 54,600 capacity (66,500 for concerts) stadium is expected to be completed by Aug. 25, when the Bundesliga kicks off, which is Germany’s premier soccer league. The city’s main soccer team, Fortuna Düsseldorf, qualified for the Bundesliga last season.
As part of the deal, Gauselmann Group will also sponsor several sports teams in the city, including Düsseldorfer EG (ice hockey), Düsseldorf Panther (American football) as well as HC Rhein Vikings (handball).
The group employs 13,000 people and has a business volume of around €3 billion ($3.5 billion), which makes it one of the biggest family enterprises in the central German region of North Rhine-Westphalia, where Düsseldorf is located.
While financial details were not disclosed, arena CEO Burkhard Hintzsche said the deal would allow the arena to operate debt-free and economically in the foreseeable future.
D.Live CEO Michael Brill thanked Gauselmann Group founder Paul Gauselmann and his team for their “commitment, pleasant negotiations and the joint vision for the future of Merkur Spielarena.”
Paul Gauselmann said becoming the arena’s naming rights partner was a “onetime offer we happily accepted, because it’s a good match for us as a company in the leisure business.”