Newcastle United owners make major investment as big name sponsor rumours intensify

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Newcastle United’s owners are continuing to make major business moves ahead of next season.

Rumours of Newcastle United’s next major sponsor are continuing to circulate as we enter the final weeks of the season; rumours which can be attributed to the increased activity of the club’s owners.

From launching their own airline to expanding into media, the latest news is United’s majority owners have increased their stake in gaming company EA.

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Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) now owns nearly 25 million shares in the US publisher, equating to a 9.4% stake.

Owner = Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) — rumoured net worth = £320billionOwner = Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) — rumoured net worth = £320billion
Owner = Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) — rumoured net worth = £320billion | Getty Images

EA is a longstanding partner of the Premier League but the gaming giant could be a potential contender for Newcastle United’s next sponsor.

Many Newcastle fans have been speculating about a future front-of-shirt sponsorship deal as the Magpies deal with FUN88 will expire this summer. The club were granted an early release from the deal- after compensation- so the club could chase a more lucrative backer.

The FUN88 deal was made in 2017 and was due to last until the end of the 24/25 season.

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Owner = Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) — rumoured net worth = £320billionOwner = Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) — rumoured net worth = £320billion
Owner = Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) — rumoured net worth = £320billion

But PIF’s connection to the gaming industry doesn’t stop there. According to Bloomberg, the Saudi’s have invested a whopping $38 billion into the industry in the hope to become the next hub for the gaming industry and diversify the economy away from oil.

Earlier this year they increased their shares in Ninetendo to 7.08%. PIF also hold stakes in Take-Two, the creator of Grand Theft Auto and Capcom, the developers of Resident Evil and Street Fighter.

So, Newcastle United and gaming are now heavily intertwined. But before fans get their hopes up, I don’t think the connection will result in higher FIFA ratings for Toon players.

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