Japan’s Tokyo Verdy secure much needed sponsorship
Former J-League champions Tokyo Verdy have signed a five-year sponsorship deal with sports retail store and apparel company Xebio.
The sponsorship deal will see the Xebio logo on Tokyo kit and includes naming rights for two regular season home games. The new deal with the sports chain comes at a crucial time for the soccer club, who have been hit hard by the global financial crisis. Last year Nippon Television Network Corp., which held a 98.8 percent stake in the club, withdrew their financial backing.
The J-League told Reuters that Verdy could receive formal approval after a special board meeting on 29th October. The J-League stated: "The board will have to approve Verdy's promotion if they finish inside the top three. They will have to meet the J-League's conditions."
Tokyo Verdy president Hideyuki Hanyu told Japan's Nikkan Sports: "There was no time to wait for a 'white knight' to appear. After talks with Xebio several companies decided to invest. If things go to plan we hope to be able to announce a new administration by mid-November.”
The J-League had ordered Verdy to secure sponsorship revenue of at least US$6.62 million (540 million yen) but they failed to do so. However, Hanyu has outlined an increased budget of 800 million yen.
Founded in 1969, Tokyo Verdy experienced their finest spell in the country’s soccer history between 1983 and 1994, with the club maintaining secure ownership and investing heavily in players, resulting in J-League champions in 1993 and 1994.
With seven league titles, five Emperor's Cups and six League Cups, Verdy is the most decorated football club in Japan, but the team have found themselves plying their trade in Japan’s second soccer division the J-League Division 2 for the third time in four years.
Tokyo Verdy currently sit fifth in the second division and are now looking to claw their way back to country’s top domestic league, which could be helped by the new sponsorship deal.
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