Bolton’s major sponsors have thrown their long-term association with the club into doubt by announcing plans to pull their headquarters out of the Reebok Stadium.
The sportswear firm of the same brand name was taken over two years ago by Adidas and are planning to relocate.
They were one of the first companies successfully to exploit naming rights in English football, entering into the association with Bolton when the club moved from Burnden Park in 1997.
The naming was not popular originally but has worked its way into the game’s lexicon and has been followed by other successful commercial naming rights deals at such as those at Arsenal and Hull.
Reebok, who are also Bolton’s main shirt sponsors, will continue with their deals but doubts about renewals when they expire in 2016 will be raised if they move away from the town.
Reebok, who have been in Bolton for more than a century, lease 42,000 sq ft of space over three floors in Reebok Stadium’s north stand, from which they run their marketing, sales and product departments.
Around 160 jobs will go in the planned move. A spokesman for Reebok’s parent company said:
It’s a proposal at this stage but it’s our intention to relocate the offices based at the Reebok Stadium to Adidas offices in Stockport, with some workers being offered a transfer to the global group HQ in Canton, near Boston, Massachusetts.
The plan is currently in the consultation process and we will be holding one-to-one interviews with all staff. This has not been an easy decision but we are handling it in the best way we can.
A spokesman for Bolton Wanderers’ stadium, said:
We have a long-term lease agreement with Reebok which runs over several years and it’s up to them to come to us and negotiate with us regarding their plans.
Story courtesy of The Daily Mail.