SBD/August 4, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Octagon Announces Deals With A-B InBev, China LPGA Tour

Budweiser is the first U.S. brand to sponsor the FA Cup
Octagon will manage A-B InBev’s agreement with the FA to become the lead sponsor for the FA Cup. Budweiser has been an Octagon client since ’09 when the marketing firm won strategy and activation work around the ’10 FIFA World Cup. Octagon VP Tim Collins said as a result of that partnership, the company “was well-placed to identify other global properties that would suit Budweiser, which led to introductions with the FA.” Collins added Octagon Senior VP/Football Phil Carling’s strong relationship with the FA -- he served as the organization’s Commercial Director -- has helped the agency secure several partnerships with the FA for clients including Nivea for Men and Mars. Budweiser and the FA in June announced Budweiser would replace E.ON as title sponsor of the tournament. The deal reportedly will cover three years, and is worth approximately $12.9M annually. The partnership also marks the first U.S. sponsor for the FA Cup. The FA Cup is broadcast to over 180 countries, providing Budweiser with a global audience for its brand. For its part, Budweiser will be supporting the competition on a global basis and raising awareness of the FA Cup and the brand in key territories. Budweiser Global VP Jason Warner said the brand’s “Man of the Match” marketing platform will make its FA Cup debut, providing fans the opportunity to vote for the official “Man of the Match.” Budweiser used that platform during last year’s World Cup, and Collins said the program was extremely successful “from the voting process that allowed all fans to vote, to the presentation itself where consumers were able to meet their heroes.” Collins said Budweiser aims to “bring fans closer to the game, and the Man of the Match initiative is an excellent example of bringing that to life.” 

LOOKING TOWARD CHINA: Octagon also announced it will serve as the official marketing partner for the China LPGA Tour. Octagon Managing Dir of Golf and Outdoor Events Chris Higgs will coordinate strategy while Octagon Global Events Senior Dir of Business Operations for Asia Jung Jee will lead the development and sales effort under the multiyear agreement. Higgs noted that women’s professional golf in China is in its infancy and in approaching the CLPGA partnership, Octagon plans to “build for the players a platform and a foundation that will allow them to grow organically at a managed pace, but then also take advantage of accelerated growth if it comes.” Higgs believes corporate sponsorship interest in the CLPGA will rise in the wake of golf’s addition to the ’16 Rio de Janeiro Games.
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