American Express has signed a multi-year naming rights agreement for the new, state-of-the-art Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club stadium at Village Way, Brighton.

The venue will be known as the ‘American Express Community Stadium’ when it opens in summer 2011 under the agreement with The Community Stadium Limited, a subsidiary of the Brighton and Hove Albion Group.

As well as being the long-awaited new home for the Albion, the 22,500 capacity American Express Community Stadium, has attracted huge interest from fans, the public and the Brighton & Hove business community who eagerly anticipate the project’s completion next year.

In addition to outstanding sporting facilities, the stadium will be used to promote community engagement in the local area, by enabling young people and adults to learn new skills and gain qualifications which will be of long-term benefit to the local community and economy. To this end, the stadium will run an on-going series of innovative learning initiatives and social inclusion programmes, many of which will be delivered via Brighton & Hove Albion’s much respected Albion in the Community programme.

Michael Edwards, Senior Vice President, at American Express, comments: “We are delighted to be part of this collaboration with the Club on what will undoubtedly be a major destination for Brighton & Hove. As the City’s largest private-sector employer, this partnership underscores our long term commitment to the area and builds upon our thirty-year heritage of supporting local community initiatives”.

Tony Bloom, Chairman of Brighton & Hove Albion added: “This is a landmark deal. We are very proud of our new stadium and to have such a prestigious global brand prepared to put its name to it shows just how good it is. American Express is committed to the local community and is the perfect partner for us. I would like to thank them for their support.”

This latest partnership forms part of American Express’ ongoing good citizenship programme in the Brighton & Hove community. The Company runs a wide and diverse range of philanthropic initiatives in Sussex, encouraging involvement from its large employee base in the region. In addition to its sponsorship of the Brighton Festival, the Brighton Marathon and the Stonewall Walk, the Company funds a number of local charities via the Sussex Community Foundation Grants Scheme.

The American Express Community Stadium will house the important charitable arm of BHAFC known as Albion in the Community and provide many opportunities to extend the work of the charity in areas of education, skills training, health and social inclusion.

Construction of the stadium commenced in December 2008 and is due for completion at the end of May 2011, ready for the start of the 2011/12 Football League Season. The project is costing £93 million and is being finished to an extremely high specification which, once complete, will rival many facilities in the Premier League.