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SBD Global/July 11, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Management Companies Line Up To Woo Murray When XIX Contract Expires

Tennis player Andy Murray is “going to become the battleground for an increasingly powerful struggle between the big sports management companies eager for his blessing,” according to Neil Harman of the LONDON TIMES. Murray’s contract with XIX Entertainment expires at the end of the year, and the “big boys are sniffing around.” XIX Entertainment owner Simon Fuller was seated next to Murray’s mother Judy from the Wimbledon quarterfinals “onwards,” and that position “smacks of a significant strategic offensive.” Murray recently signed a $1.55M deal “to wear Rado watches,” but it is “believed in the marketing world that not enough has been done to encourage more leading companies to get involved with a player who was on almost every front page across the weekend and again yesterday morning.” It is “understood that IMG and Lagardère have made significant pitches to the Murrays in recent months and that XIX knows this and is concerned that it may soon lose its only tennis asset” (LONDON TIMES, 7/10).

SILVER LINING FOR SPONSORS: MARKETING MAGAZINE’s Noelle McElhatton wrote that Murray's failure to win Wimbledon “should not cause adidas’ marketers any sleepless nights -- this is one cloud that has a silver lining." Murray following the match "stunned the Centre Court crowd when he cried bitter tears of disappointment" after losing to Roger Federer." With that “outpouring of passion, Murray delivered a more valuable form of gold to his sponsor: authenticity” (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 7/10).
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