Telco giant wins naming rights for Perth’s new stadium in 10-year deal

8 November 2017

WA’s new field of dreams finally has a name — Optus Stadium.

The West Australian can confirm the telecommunications giant and the State Government have reached agreement on an historic 10-year naming rights deal rumoured to be an Australian record.

The exact sum of the sponsorship is tied up in commercial confidentiality but sources indicated it was worth more than $50 million over the decade.

The amount is well over the mooted $10.5 million over three years for naming rights to both the stadium and Perth Arena touted by Labor at the March election.

Selling the name to WA’s $1.45 billion taxpayer-funded stadium in the name of Budget repair was hotly contested by former premier Colin Barnett, who said the venue belonged to West Australians, not corporate interests.

The incoming Government also faced a rearguard action from the bureaucracy after Tourism WA argued the marketing value would be higher in retaining Perth in the name, a position Cabinet ultimately rejected.

Sports Minister Mick Murray said the state of the finances meant the Government did not have the luxury of squandering potential income and the sponsorship would go towards continuing running costs.

“The alternative is to borrow even more money or increase the burden of Budget repair on the shoulders of WA households and businesses,” he said. “The value of the deal has far exceeded expectations, delivering a higher-than-expected return to taxpayers — above what we estimated in Opposition and at the start of the tender process.”

Optus product and marketing director Ben White said the sponsorship sat alongside a $275 million three-year investment to expand and improve network coverage in WA. The company would combine the two in an Australia-first Optus Stadium mobile app to “enhance game-day experience” via unique functionality, he said.

“Australians are passionate about entertainment and sport and we are excited to partner with the Government of WA to deliver a truly game-changing experience at the world-class Optus Stadium,” Mr White said.

Attention will now turn to a separate deal for Perth Arena. Bankwest, which lost the race for stadium naming rights but won the consolation prize of “banking partner”, is rumoured to be in the frame for top billing at Perth Arena.