The significant agreement, due to commence on November 1, 2017, will grant the Bingley-based publishing group a naming rights partnership with the two sporting Clubs. This will see the unique complex, home to rugby league side Leeds Rhinos, rugby union side Yorkshire Carnegie and The Yorkshire County Cricket Club, renamed as the Emerald Headingley Stadium. The stadium will also be named independently as Emerald Headingley Cricket Ground and Emerald Headingley Rugby Stadium.
For Emerald Group this agreement includes stadium naming rights, advertising and opportunities for charities to engage with cricket and rugby for the benefit of the local community. The deal also includes the naming of the new North-South stand – as the Emerald Stand – upon completion of its redevelopment in 2019 and the 450-seater banqueting suite will be called the Emerald Suite.
Leeds Rhinos Chief Executive, Gary Hetherington, said: “We are delighted to have worked alongside our partners at Yorkshire CCC to complete this new arrangement with the Emerald Group. This sponsorship is another vital step in our vision to transform our home once again into an iconic sporting venue with the exciting redevelopment plans set to begin in late summer.
“We are proud to have been associated with Emerald for many years through the their charitable foundation’s support of our own Leeds Rhinos Foundation, which uses the power of sport to change lives and this new partnership strengthens the bond between the two organisations.”
The agreement supports the start of major redevelopment plans. Leeds Rhinos have also revealed that demolition will now begin on the iconic South Stand at the end of August this year followed by the Main Stand at the end of the end of the current Super League season.
Chairman of the Emerald Group, Dr Keith Howard, added: “In our 50th year, Emerald looks forward to an exciting future. As a business founded in Yorkshire, it’s important that we support our local community, so it’s fitting that we’re working with Headingley Stadium to continue to host world-class sport.”