SBD/Issue 88/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Deals & Dollars: Man U's Check Mate; Isl Responds To Reports

INTERNATIONAL SOCCER: The Official Manchester United (Man U) "Champions" chess set "will be unveiled" this weekend at London's toy fair, marking "the latest merchandise spin-off from the snowballing football brand," according to Daniel Rogers of London GUARDIAN. The chess set retails at around US$39.46 and will "pitch" the '99 European Cup winning side against "the famous" '68 team. The game was created by "lifelong" Man U fan Matthew Webb. Trademark Toys plans to produce 250,000 chess sets. The game will go on sale at the end of June (London GUARDIAN, 1/25)....The Premier League's Chelsea club agreed to a four-year, US$35M sponsorship deal with Emirates Airline. The Emirates Airlines logo "will adorn" Chelsea jerseys. Chelsea Chair Ken Bates said, "We are an international team and an international club so we wanted a more high-profile international commercial partner. Emirates will help promote Chelsea to a much wider audience." The deal is "second in value" in the Premier League only to Man U's US$43.8M deal with Vodafone (Matthew Garrahan, FINANCIAL TIMES, 1/25)....Switzerland-based ISL yesterday "issued details of its World Cup rights sales, a move apparently aimed at countering the damage done to its image by it attempts to cancel or re-negotiate major rights contracts in tennis, basketball and motor racing." ISL said that "it has already 'exceeded considerably' its initial sales target of [US$604M] for the sale of [TV] rights for next year's soccer World Cup in Japan and South Korea" (SPORTCAL.com, 1/25).

NOTES: N.Y.-based Scarborough Sports Marketing (SSM) announced a deal with the NHL to provide sports measurement data and consumer information (SSM)....The AFL and af2 have announced a partnership with Ford Truck to become the official and exclusive automotive and truck partner of the two leagues through the '02 season. The partnership has both national and local components (AFL)....American Express Brokerage will be the title sponsor of the '01 Hobey Baker Award, which annually honors the top player in U.S. men's collegiate hockey (Hobey Baker Award)....CA-based Archipelago will serve as an associate sponsor of IN-based Team Green's Team Motorola for the '01 CART season (Team Green)....Nashville-based Gibson USA has signed a deal as the official guitar of the Predators (Predators).

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