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SBD Global/April 11, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

EPL Seeking New Referee Uni Sponsor With Expedia's Deal Set To Run Out This Summer

EPL Sales & Marketing Dir Richard Masters said that the league is "seeking a new sponsor for its match officials' uniforms starting in the 2013-2014 campaign after its deal with Expedia Inc. expires this summer," according to Ravi Ubha of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Masters added, "It's a different sort of sponsorship within football, and I think it represents value given the breadth of coverage." The annual cost of sponsoring the officials is "believed to be" just over $1.5M. Masters "wouldn't say how many potential sponsors" the EPL is currently talking to. FIFA "gave the green light to sponsor advertising for referees in domestic leagues in 2001, but it remains forbidden in FIFA competitions such as the World Cup." FIFA also has "strict guidelines on where branding can be placed -- only on shirt sleeves, as opposed to the chest region that many clubs sell to their primary sponsors -- and what kind of brands are permitted." Expedia Senior Marketing Dir for Europe, Middle East & Africa Andrew Warner said that the company's partnership with the EPL referees was "primarily a matter of latching onto the Premier League's broad exposure in Asian markets" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/10).
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