SAO PAULO, April 17 Allianz SE,
Europe's biggest insurer, is in talks to buy the naming rights
to a soccer stadium under construction in Brazil's largest city
Sao Paulo, in what may become the first major soccer sponsorship
deal in the country hosting the World Cup next year.
The German company, which currently owns the naming rights
for stadiums in Germany, Australia, England and France, said in
a statement to Reuters on Wednesday that negotiations with Grupo
WTorre, the building company in charge of the construction of
the venue, are "in an advanced stage."
The stadium, which is expected to be completed by the end of
this year, will host games for eight-time Brazilian title
winners Palmeiras, as well as concerts and other events. Rivals
Corinthians are building their own stadium, which is expected to
host the opening game of the 2014 World Cup, and are also
looking for buyers for the venue's naming rights.
A spokeswoman for Allianz in Brazil declined to comment on
the potential size of the deal, saying terms remain under
discussion. According to local media, Allianz is offering 300
million reais ($150 million) to hold the naming rights of the
Palmeiras stadium for the next 20 years.