Bath Rugby have taken a leaf out of Arsenal’s book by signing up the firm behind corporate branding of the Emirates Stadium as the Guinness Premiership club pursues its own plans for a £16million Recreation Ground redevelopment.
Local trustees have given permission for a long overdue remodelling of the Rec, the club’s picturesque home since 1894, but that decision is still dependent on agreement from the Charity Commission because of the ground’s peculiar charitable status.
In the meantime, the club have appointed Digital Planet to advise on a more effective branding strategy for the club.
Director Simon Rees, sharing a platform with Bath chief executive Bob Calleja and former England centre Simon Halliday, now a non-executive director of the club, said: "Our job is to help Bath commercialise its brand assets.
"There is lots of commercial opportunity because the club has such a great heritage and a lot of other brands want to be associated with that."
Calleja added: "It is a statement of where we want to go.
"Digital Planet will not only be looking at the commercial side, but also bringing in partnerships."
And Halliday said: "The Arsenal Emirates model is clearly an example to the rest of world sport. We want to be best of our breed.
"But on the field is what it’s about. I want the best players in the world to be knocking on our door."
Calleja said that once the go-ahead was received from the Charity Commission, planning permission would be sought for a 15,000-capacity stadium, incorporating a temporary standing terrace.
He gave two years as a realistic timescale to gain planning consent and complete construction.
The club would play "away" from the Rec for one season during construction.