SBD/July 9, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Despite Loss, Appearance In Wimbledon Final Could Boost Andy Murray’s Marketing

Murray currently has a five-year, $15.5M deal with adidas
Andy Murray becoming the first Brit in 74 years to appear in Wimbledon final lifts him "into a different league” for sponsors, and while he lost to Roger Federer yesterday, it “will not deter companies swamping him with sponsorship deals,” according to James Melik of BBC NEWS. brandRapport Sports Marketing Dir Nigel Currie said, "Reaching the final is quite an achievement and will only help to shape and enhance his brand." He added, "His appearance in the final has lifted Andy's profile and takes him into a space where global brands will start using him to promote their products. For a brand to be associated with him at a time when he might actually make a conversion and win one of the major tournaments is pretty exciting." Melik noted it is “widely assumed that a successful sportsman or sportswoman can double their on-court winnings with the amount they earn with sponsorships, but that varies greatly depending on the individual.” Former Wimbledon champion Boris Becker said, "Some players are very successful on the court and very unsuccessful off the court, including endorsements" (BBC.co.uk, 7/8). In London, Philipson & Kinder noted Murray has a $15.5M (all figures U.S.) deal over five years with adidas and “earns at least” $3.1M a year from RBS. A sports agent said the match “could easily mean” $155M for Murray. The agent said, “All of Murray’s current contracts will have substantial bonuses for being the Wimbledon champion. I would imagine most of them would contain a clause with a [$1.55M] bonus” (London TELEGRAPH, 7/8).

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY: Virgin Group Chair Richard Branson has revealed that his health clubs "turned down the chance to support Andy Murray.” Branson “posted the story on his blog and referred to Murray as 'the one that got away.'” In London, Lucy Kinder noted Murray, and his mother Judy Murray, approached Virgin Active “to ask for sponsorship nine years ago but the chain of health clubs did not want to back the Scot” (TELEGRAPH.co.uk, 7/8).

WARDROBE MALFUNCTIONS: Murray slipped several times during yesterday's match against Federer, and ESPN’s Patrick McEnroe noted during the changeover between the third and fourth sets, Murray was "delivered another pair” of adidas shoes. However, Murray “threw them down right next to his bag.” ESPN’s John McEnroe said that was a “good move” by Murray’s coach, Ivan Lendl, who did not want Murray "to come up with any excuses because he’s like, ‘See, if I had sneakers that I could run in,’ then he doesn’t even change them. He keeps the same ones on.” ESPN's Chris Fowler noted Murray also “had problems with the shorts, the tennis ball coming out of it three times. It cost him two points in a match earlier at Wimbledon.” John McEnroe added, “Rough tournament for adidas” (“Wimbledon,” ESPN, 7/8).

INDECENT EXPOSURE: MARKETING magazine's John Reynolds wrote Serena Williams broke "sponsorship rules at Saturday's women's singles finals by taking her Gatorade bottle into the post-match press conference." All England Club rules state that players "are not allowed to show non-sponsor drinks brands during the Wimbledon fortnight within the grounds." Evian is the "official bottled water of Wimbledon while Robinson's is the official soft drink." Williams was reprimanded by the AEC for the breach, and Wimbledon "managed to edit TV pictures so that the Gatorade logo was not on show" (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 7/9).
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