SBD/July 25, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Chevrolet Hopes To Expand Global Presence By Signing Four-Year Deal With Liverpool

EPL club Liverpool has signed a four-year deal with Chevrolet in which the U.S. car brand will become its official automotive partner. The deal, running through the '15-16 EPL season, includes signage at Anfield, inventory within Liverpool's online and offline editorial outlets, and player appearances, among other assets. Chevrolet is also serving as an official sponsor for the club's ongoing pre-season North American tour, which includes matches last Saturday in Toronto, tonight in Boston, and Saturday in Baltimore. Financial terms were not disclosed. "This landmark partnership once again demonstrates the value of Liverpool's international appeal," said Liverpool Managing Dir Ian Ayre. "Partnerships with blue-chip brands like Chevy will help ensure the long-term growth and success of our club, both on and off the pitch." Chevy also recently signed a sponsorship deal with Manchester United, while GM's U.K. brand Vauxhall Motors has a deal with the English FA, under which it gets sponsorship of the national team's practice jerseys (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal). In Boston, Greg Turner notes the deal "gives the U.S. auto brand massive visibility in global soccer." The deal was formally announced yesterday ahead of tonight's AS Roma-Liverpool friendly at Fenway Park, and Chevrolet VP/Marketing Chris Perry said, "Even this press event, with (team captain) Steven Gerrard standing in front of the Chevy bow tie (logo), will be broadcast to countries around the globe" (BOSTON HERALD, 7/25).

DROPPED CALL: MARKETING magazine's Sarah Shearman reported U.K.-based telecom company O2 is "dropping its sponsorship" of EPL club Arsenal. The company began its relationship with Arsenal in '02, first as a shirt sponsor and "more recently as a secondary partner," after Emirates took on the primary role. O2's sponsorship "concludes at the end of this month." It is unknown whether there will be a replacement. O2 Marketing & Consumer Dir Sally Cowdry said that the brand "will now focus on its sponsorship of the England rugby team and its Priority Sports programme." However, O2 will maintain an association with Arsenal thanks to a "recent tie-up with Nike" (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 7/24).

TWO IS BETTER THAN ONE: EPL club Stoke City will become the first soccer team in the U.K. to have "double-decker electronic advertising boards" around the perimeter of the field. The move will "increase advertising revenue" at a time when potential TV audiences could top 4.4 billion worldwide (THISISSTAFFORDSHIRE.co.uk, 7/21).
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