Derby County have announced that they will rename their Pride Park stadium as the iPro Stadium in a deal that will generate £7m for the Championship club.
The 10-year agreement was announced on Wednesday, and it will see the name of the sports drink company take over the naming rights of the Rams’ home ground. iPro, which was launched in 2012 following seven years of development and research into sport, leisure, health and fitness, is based in Langley, Berkshire – 130 miles away from Derby – and is owned by the iPro Sports Group.
The move is considered one of the biggest independent deals in Football Legaue history and will generate a significant financial boost for the Rams in their attempts to return to the Premier League, having been relegated in 2008 after posting the lowest ever Premier League total points tally.
Having moved to Pride Park in 1997 from their former home the Baseball Ground, it will be the first time that the stadium will have commercial naming rights attached to it, and they become the sixth team in the Championship to have their stadium named after a commercial business, following the footsteps of Leicester City, Wigan Athletic, Bolton Wanderers , Brighton Hove and Albion and Huddersfield Town.
Rams’ chief executive Sam Rush admitted the club have been exploring potential avenues in order to generate a greater turnover, and claims the club are delighted to reach the agreement with iPro.
"To ensure that Derby County remains as competitive as possible we need to explore all forms of revenue generation,” said Rush.
"Stadium naming rights is a key asset for the club and we are delighted that we have been able to reach an agreement with iPro."
The renaming comes ahead of Derby’s televised match against Blackpool on December 7, which will be their first match at home since the Pride Park name was ditched.
The stadium is rich in history, having been the first ever football ground to be opened by The Queen and Prince Phillip on Jul 18, 1997, and went on to stage its first Premier League fixture against Wimbledon in August that year.