Major companies are now spending more than $550 million a year to get their names on sports stadiums in Europe and the United States, according to a report released Thursday.

The amount of money pouring into European football and US basketball, baseball and hockey stadiums has risen by 21 percent in three years with phone companies particularly keen to get involved, according to the Repucom sports data firm.

Telcoms firms account for about $64 million of the $552 put into stadium sponsorship, said Repucom’s annual report on naming rights.

Fans complain about the lack of wifi in stadiums and telcoms companies are seizing on this.

“More and more telecommunication service providers are using naming rights partnerships with venues to secure their mobile connection solutions as a technology showcase,” said Glenn Lovett, Repucom’s president of global strategy.

“Stadiums and arenas worldwide are upgrading with high-tech internet infrastructure,” he added.

Since the 2012/2013 season, the amount of money invested by telecommunication companies in US stadium naming deals has grown by more than 68% ($20m). European football stadiums have seen a 266% ($16.2m) increase in the same period.

England’s Manchester United has vowed to never to sell the naming rights to its Old Trafford stadium while experts say the club could raise at least $50 million a year.

But London’s Wembley Stadium, now linked with the EE company, intend to ‘make Wembley the most connected stadium in the world’ by establishing high speed connections and wi-fi as well as a Wembley mobile app. – Agence France-Presse

- Advertisement -