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'Sports Direct University' (AKA Newcastle) cunningly pranks its students

Rarely for an April Fool, this one was pretty funny...

Employees at Newcastle University Students’ Union tried their hand at some April Fool’s revelry yesterday, announcing that the naming rights to University buildings had been sold, as part of an initiative aiming to “generate new revenue streams”.

This included a change of name of the organisation itself, to the ‘Sports Direct University’ – a reference to the controversial (since undone) renaming of St. James’ Park in 2011. The iconic Newcastle logo was apparently replaced by crane in the dead of night – luckily for us however, a keen-eyed photographer did somehow manage to catch the University in the act, in suspicious daylight.

In an article on the Students’ Union website, university ‘spokesman’ Ru Joking described the developments as “a fantastic opportunity to bring in some money”, adding that the University was apparently making full use of the opportunity.

The famous King’s Hall would henceforth be prefixed with ‘Burger’, while the Robinson ‘Fruit Shoot’ Library would undoubtedly endeavour to maintain student hydration throughout the upcoming examination period.

Despite the subtle clues (photo by L. O’Ling) and, upon closer inspection, rather shabby photoshopping, some students were in fact fooled by the stunt. One (no doubt otherwise discerning) student tweeted to the University: “YOU GOT ME! I SERIOUSLY FREAKED OUT OMG :DDDD”.

Did your Students’ Union have a go at some April Fool’s Day banter? Does it put Newcastle University to shame, or simply embarrass you in its failure? Let us know in the comments below and we'll see if we can't find a few poor souls who were fooled...

Robert is a second-year studying Politics and Media at Newcastle. He doesn't mind whether you follow him or not.