SBD/January 27, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Barclays Considers Ending EPL Sponsorship As New Management Reviews High-Profile Pacts

Barclays might "end its long-running relationship" with the EPL when its current sponsorship deal expires in '16, according to a source cited by Max Colchester of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The British bank is "weighing its options ... amid a broader review of its sponsorship of high profile events," which include the ATP World Tour Finals in London, the South African rugby team, a series of golf tournaments and golfer Phil Mickelson. The bank also holds naming rights to Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Barclays' sponsorship of the EPL dates back to '01. Under its current three-year deal signed in July '12, the EPL sponsorship is worth $66.2M per season. Several of the bank's "flagship sponsorship deals were brokered" under former CEO Bob Diamond as the bank "sought to raise its profile both in the U.K. and abroad." However, following Diamond's departure in '12, the bank's new management has "sought to present the bank in a more sober light and cut costs" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/27). In London, Kamal Ahmed cited several Barclays execs as saying that the sponsorship "had 'zero value' in the UK." The execs are "concerned that rapid price inflation for sports rights will mean a much higher amount will be determined by the Premier League for the next three-year deal." The TV rights battle between BSkyB and BT is "driving up costs," and Barclays officials are "concerned that there will be a knock-on effect" (London TELEGRAPH, 1/26).
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