No gripes with Olympic name snub, insist Ricoh

By Matthew Bates 05/04 Updated: 05/04 14:56

TOP brass at electronics company Ricoh insist they are happy with the sponsorship deal despite being sidelined for the Olympics.

Strict corporate advertising rules mean the arena will be renamed the City of Coventry Stadium for the duration of the Games.

It will see all of its signs removed and replaced with those of the Games' official sponsors.

But Chas Moloney, commercial director of Ricoh, told the Observer this week the firm accepted the decision.

He did reveal they had even helped stadium bosses and the city council with the bidding process knowing they would not be involved.

"Would I prefer to have all our advertising up? Of course I would," Mr Moloney told us.

"But we're not shocked about it, we're delighted for the city. The bid team approached us at the time and kept us in the loop.

"We knew any successful bid would see all Ricoh branding replaced with the five rings but our chief executive officer still helped with the process.

"I hope people embrace the Games and maybe some people will still refer to it as The Ricoh?"

The stadium will host 12 Olympic football matches and a qualifying game between Oman and Senegal on April 23 - two days after the Sky Blues play their last home game of the season. All non-Olympic advertising will be removed in just one day.

Ricoh signed a 10-year sponsorship deal for the naming rights of the stadium back in 2005 after Jaguar pulled out and have since then extended it for another 10 years until 2025.

And Mr Moloney admitted the football team's form on the pitch would have a bearing on whether the Japanese firm extended that deal again.

"Our contract is with the arena, the football club are a tenant. But it would be fantastic if they got out of trouble," he said.

"Their future performance would play a small part in whether we renewed our contract but the key benefits are from concerts and other events.

"It's been a bit of a surprise as to how well people have taken to the name but we're delighted people have adopted the term 'The Ricoh'."

It is understood the Ricoh name will remain for the 2015 Rugby World Cup matches.

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