Wembley Stadium

London, UK

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“Wembley is the most successful sports marketing exercise carried out in the UK. This is the new age of football.”

"Wembley is the most successful sports marketing exercise carried out in the UK. This is the new age of football. People will go to Wembley to be wined and dined and enjoy the football. Those buying into Club Wembley range from an average plumber who has got some spare cash to people on The Sunday Times Rich List."
The Sunday Times, 4th June 2006

The Project

  • 90,000 seat new stadium on site of Wembley Stadium
  • Developer: Wembley National Stadium Ltd (WNSL)
  • Cost: in excess of £800m which was the most expensive stadium project in the world at the time

Project Finance:

  • UK and local government grant
  • Capital contribution and additional commitments from FA
  • Bank loans totalling in excess of £420m

Product structuring process utilising results of research analysis included:

  • Volume, segmentation and pricing
  • Securing of critical attractive long term content schedule (including introduction and conclusion of staging agreements with FA (30 years), and Rugby League and Football League (each 20 years))
  • Elimination of competitive product (principally single event corporate hospitality)
  • Refinement to stadium design (including establishment of exclusive concourse, access and egress)
  • Identification and securing of additional benefits for seating packages (including catering, access to exclusive train service)

WNSL had previously failed in its attempts to secure bank lending, principally because the business plan failed to provide and justify compelling long term bankable revenues capable of sustaining borrowings.

Whilst Andrew Hampel, CEO of ISG, was employed at IMG, he offered assistance in developing a more compelling business plan through IMG's expertise in the premium seating sector.

Comperio Research, then a division of IMG, was responsible for conducting research, analysis and advice into the feasibility, structuring and potential returns from a premium seating programme. This included approximately 500 targeted interviews, numerous focus groups and comparative evaluation with competitive product offerings. Steve Moore led the product definition process.

A full research report and analysis, including product definition and revenue projections, was integrated into a new business plan. WestLB, as lead bank, secured £426m of bank lending. Richard Cheesman was part of the team at WestLB. Financing arrangements required an initial term of appointment expiring 20 years after stadium opening and exclusive responsibility for and commitment to the project, but no financial guarantees.

Role:

  • PSL (premium seat licensing) concept introduced to UK market
  • Sales and marketing of 160 boxes and over 15,000 seats
  • Over 100% of revenue targets achieved despite construction delays and negative publicity for project producing contracted revenue of in excess of £600 million.

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About ISG

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ISG is the market leader in forecasting and maximising revenue from seating in stadia and arenas, and enhancing the spectator experience. ISG's uniquely experienced senior executive team has been responsible for generating more than $2 billion in revenues at more than 15 projects.

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