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Ryanair put in bid for sponsorship rights of... the Colosseum

Could the Roman monument have become known as the O’Leary Bowl or the Ryanair Rodeo? Not now, it won’t.

Ryanair bids for Colosseum image rights
Ryanair bids for Colosseum image rights
Image: (Via Flickr/Daniel Hoult)

IRISH AIRLINE RYANAIR has lost out to a sponsorship deal for… wait for it… the Colosseum.

Just like the sponsorship of Lansdowne Road (Aviva Stadium) and the Grand Canal Theatre (sorry, the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre), the rights to the ancient Roman monument, the Colosseum, were up for grabs.

Ryanair was one of two competitors who lost out on the deal after Diego Della Valle, the owner of the shoe and leather goods company Tod’s, won the sponsorship bid.

The Art Newspaper reports that the deal has been hampered in controversy since last March when the national heritage organisation, Uil Beni Culturali, appealed against the deal that was brokered between Della Valle and Rome’s mayor, Gianni Alemanno.

The court froze the agreement between Della Valle and Alemanno this January but a few days later, the heritage organisation withdrew the appeal.

The deal hit another stumbling block last October when the consumers association, Codacons, also appealed to the regional administrative court.

They claimed there was a breach of competition regulation at the expense of Ryanair and Fimit, two of the other competitors in the sponsorship deal.

The arrangement stated that for a €25 million donation towards the restoration of the Roman heritage site the sponsor would hold the rights to the buildings image for five years.

The Telegraph reported that the sponsorship deal would allow sponsors to “promote their image” but that any advertisements would have to be compatible with the integrity of the Colosseum. Advertising banners would be restricted to the stone entranceway and would only be up to 2.5 metres in height.

Following appeals from the consumer group who went to the courts to stop  the deal going through, Tod’s founder Diego Della Valle threatened to pull out of the deal in January.

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Reuters reports that the company only wanted to proceed with the deal if it was crystal clear and could be done quickly.

Culture Minister Lorenzo Ornaghi asked Della Valle to reconsider.

The campaign to repair Italy’s neglected archaeological treasures with private money was introduced to Italy when it fell on hard economic times when the government were forced to ask the private sector for help to look after their beloved archaeological sites.

The regional administrative court in Italy has postponed Codacons appeal hearing until June 20.

Speaking to Ryanair stated the case was ongoing adding:

Ryanair does not comment on or engage in speculation.

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