Everton Football Club has confirmed a naming rights partnership with USM Holdings which will see the Russian-based group become the Club’s first ever training ground partner. The initial five-year deal, commencing in January 2017, will see the Halewood training ground renamed USM Finch Farm.
Aside from the naming and branding of the training ground, USM will also benefit from a set of global marketing rights including presence on media interview backdrops, LED advertising at Goodison Park on matchdays, VIP hospitality and player access for brands within the group.
Businesses within USM Holdings include Metalloinvest, the largest mining company in Russia and the CIS and the leading global manufacturer of hot briquetted iron, Baikal Mining Company, which owns one of the largest copper reserves in the world, MegaFon, one of the major telecommunications operators in Russia, and Mail.Ru Group, the Russian internet leader and owner of Russia’s most popular social networks VKontakte and Odnoklassniki.
The group also has stakes in digital companies including Alibaba, JD.com, Xiaomi, Uber, Spotify, Airbnb, Zalando, Flipkart, Ola Cabs, Didi Chuxing, ZocDoc and Klarna, and is a major investor in ESforce, one of the key players in the global e-sports market. The group is also responsible for UTH Russia, one of Russia’s largest media and entertainment groups which features TV channels in Russia and CIS including Disney, CTC, U, Muz TV, Che and Domashny; Kommersant Publishing House, the number one business media organisation in Russia; and Khimki Group, one of the leaders in the Russian property development industry.
Ivan Streshinsky, Member of the Board of Directors of USM Holdings said: “The naming of Finch Farm, and the extensive package of marketing rights, provides USM and the businesses within our group with unique year-round global media exposure. We’ve done considerable research into what this partnership can deliver for us and we’re very excited about the difference this will make as we continue to build our brands.”
Everton Chief Executive and Director, Robert Elstone added: “We are really pleased to welcome USM into our commercial portfolio as training ground naming rights partner. I’m sure that the marketing platform this provides USM and its businesses will help them achieve their growth objectives. It is a significant and exciting deal for Everton as we continue to grow our commercial revenues.
"We’ve invested heavily into our training facilities over recent years and this deal means we can continue to provide top class facilities, which we know plays an important role in attracting the best playing talent, from academy right through to first-team.”