Microsoft Confirms Talks Over Renaming of Real Madrid's Bernabeu Stadium

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistNovember 6, 2013

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 01:  Real Madrid fans arrive at their Santiago Bernabeu stadium before the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Athletic Club de Bilbao at estadio Bernabeu on September 1, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

The Spanish division of Microsoft has confirmed that the American company is in talks with Real Madrid over the renaming of the club's iconic home stadium, the Santiago Bernabeu.

Speaking to Antena 3 (h/t Eurosport), President and CEO of Microsoft Iberica, Maria Garana, said the following:

We are talking. We have an excellent relationship with Real Madrid and in fact recently we signed an agreement with its [charity, Real Madrid] foundation.

They have proposed to us, and to other companies, renaming the stadium, but we are only talking about this possibility.

The report goes on to claim that Emirates Airlines are one of those companies approaching Los Blancos with a view to venue sponsorship, but discussions are as far as things have gone at this point.

Tancredi Palmeri confirmed the rumours:

The news comes just a few months after Forbes' Mike Ozanian revealed that Real Madrid were the most valuable sports team in the world, valued in September at a staggering $3.4 billion. 

The club need that kind of bankroll, too, if they are to be able to sustain the kind of high-profile signings seen in their recent history, of which £85 million man Gareth Bale is just the latest.

It was also Ozanian who reported on initial rumours of a Real/Microsoft link-up in late October, where it is stated that any deal with the technology company would be highly lucrative to the Spanish giants.

Real Madrid can put a considerable percentage of their revenue down to their current shirt sponsorship deal with Fly Emirates, which currently bags them a reported $39 million per year, effective since 2013.

The deal comes as less surprising when one considers that in early October, Pete Jenson of the Daily Mail Online was reporting of Real debt running as high as £457 million, not accounting for the purchase of Bale.

With a stadium sponsorship, the club would be able to rely on just another source of revenue, albeit at the sacrifice of their prestigious ground name.

Agreements to sponsor stadiums are becoming part and parcel in certain sectors of sport and are a growing commodity in football.

However, one has to ask where financial value outweighs sentiment in a deal such as this. The Bernabeu is a footballing landmark that has witnessed some of the biggest events in the sport and is globally recognised as one of the iconic grounds of European football.

One thing for certain is that should Microsoft indeed come to an agreement with the Spanish giants, "geek chic" will be gaining even more momentum.