SBD/1/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

ASIA -- THE NEXT BOOM FOR SPORTS MARKETING

     The current issue of BUSINESS WEEK examines the seemingly
"endless" sports marketing opportunities in Asia.  BUSINESS WEEK
notes, "Now, with the arrival of global sports promoters such as
IMG and 24-hour sports stations, once genteel pastimes such as
badminton, cricket, and table tennis are rushing into big-bucks
competition."  Companies such as Yonex Corp. are paying $2M to be
exclusive supplier for Indonesia's national badminton team.
MasterCard, Pepsi, Gillette, and Canon have all signed four-year,
$2.6M deals to sponsor Asian soccer.  Nike has become equipment
supplier to soccer and basketball teams in China and has started
a series of basketball tournaments for mainland teenagers.  The
piece states, "With government control of the media tight
throughout emerging Asia, sponsoring nationally televised sports
is the easiest, cheapest way to reach Asia's ballooning middle
class of more than 250 million."  New sports channels are also
"raising the financial stakes."  Rupert Murdoch's Prime Sports,
part of his Star TV Asian staellite Tv network, is paying an
estimated $4M annually to carry badminton, and is believed to be
paying $1M for Chinese soccer.  ESPN also plans to be "beaming
satellite signals around the clock" in Asia by year end.  ESPN
recently outbid Murdoch for rights to Indian cricket with a
reported $3M over five years.  IMG is not the only agency taking
advantage of the opportunities in Asia.  Hong Kong's Asia Sport
Group is working to link up federations around Asia to stage
regional tournaments.  IMG Managing Dir/Asia Breck McCormack:
"There is no shortage of opportunities.  It's a question of where
to focus your resources" (Engardio, Shari, et al, BUSINESS WEEK,
8/7 issue).
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Related Topics:

ESPN, IMG, MasterCard, Nike, PepsiCo, Walt Disney

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