Currency Crisis Sinks RPL Transfer Market RTL To Tighten F1 Broadcasts In '15 NRL Forced To Backflip On Power Grab DEL Sets New Attendance Record CFG Launches City Football Japan Executive Transactions Chinese Opinion Split On World Cup Bid Names In The News Possible Solution Emerges In Spain Wigan Athletic Chair Dave Whelan Resigns
SBD Global/December 24, 2013/Year In Review 2013Print All
The SBD Global staff compiled the top sports business stories for '13 by region to be published in the final four Global editions of the year. Here are the top stories from the U.K.
HEINEKEN CUP RUNS DRY: English Premiership clubs confirmed their exit from the Heineken Cup late in the year, likely putting an end to what had been rugby’s most prestigious tournament since its ’95 inception. The unions of France, Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Italy -- but notably not England -- recently issued a joint statement saying they backed European Rugby Cup and the plans for a revised competition under its control. However, that was not enough to convince the English clubs to go back on their stated desire to leave and set up an alternative competition.
BT BATTLES SKY: BT achieved what the Financial Times called “its biggest sporting coup yet” when it beat out Sky for the right to show Champions League football in a $1.4B deal. BT launched two new channels in June and began broadcasting the first of 38 live Premier League matches following a $1.2B acquisition of EPL rights in ‘12.
ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: After months of negotiations, EPL West Ham secured the future of London’s Olympic Stadium by agreeing to a 99-year lease of the venue beginning in ’16. Local and national government pledged an additional $98M to the $305M conversion cost to help transform the venue into a 54,000-seat football stadium. In late December, however, London Legacy officials said West Ham must share the stadium with Leyton Orient.
SCOTTISH REBRANDING: The Scottish Professional Football League underwent a complete rebranding in ’13 with new division names, a new logo and a new merged setup. The divisions were called the Scottish Premiership, the Scottish Championship, Scottish League 1 and Scottish League 2.
END OF AN ERA: ManU Manager Alex Ferguson stepped down from his post in May after 26 years at the helm, ending one of the most decorated managerial eras in British football. Ferguson won 13 English league titles, two European Cups, five FA Cups and four League Cups as well as the FIFA Club World Cup. ManU’s revenue rose from £25.2M at the end of the ’92-93 season to £335 in Ferguson’s final season as manager.
SBD Global takes a look at the top global sponsorships from '13.
RUSSIAN ROULETTE: The financially-stricken Sauber F1 Team revealed in July that it signed a multi-million dollar partnership deal with three Russian investors: the Investment Cooperation Int'l Fund, the State Fund of Development of North-West Russian Federation and the National Institute of Aviation Technologies. Only days later it was revealed that the three Russian companies, which all have links to the Russian government, will invest a reported $499M and therefore erase the team’s reported debt of $112M. However, the joy of the anticipated rescue did not last very long. In mid-August, it was reported that the NIAT board voted “in overwhelming fashion” against the large investment. Reacting to rumors that the deal was falling through, Sauber said in August that it had already received money. Since then, it has become very quiet surrounding Sauber and its Russian investors.
SIGN ON: Real Madrid announced in late September that it is seeking a stadium naming-rights partner to help fund stadium renovation costs, which are expected to exceed €400M ($541M). Real already received interest from current team sponsors Audi and Emirates for a stadium naming-rights deal. The most intriguing offer for the club’s Santiago Bernabéu stadium has come from Microsoft. The company confirmed in early November that it is “discussing becoming the partial title sponsor” of the stadium, only to deny a few weeks later. To be continued in ‘14 …
INSIDE OUT: Intel signed a unique sponsorship deal with FC Barcelona in December that will see its logo placed on the inside of Barcelona’s jersey. The positioning of the logo follows the company’s current ad slogan, “Look inside,” and its previous “Intel Inside” ad campaigns. FORBES’ Mike Ozanian reported that Intel will pay $5M a year over five years to be the team’s official technology partner. The big question is how much exposure Intel will get from the unusual logo placement as players are “under no obligation to display the logo.”
A NEW LOOK: Indian media and entertainment company Star India landed a landmark deal as the new sponsor of the Indian national cricket team starting Jan. 1. Star India won the bid for the team’s sponsorship rights for Rs 1.92 crore ($314,000) per match in December. The new deal represents a 40% drop from the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s previous Rs 3.34 crore ($546,500)-per-match deal with Sahara India. The BCCI’s decision to reject a bid by Sahara marked the end of a 12-year association between the brand and the national team. The Indian BUSINESS STANDARD wrote that Star India’s move “represents its new strategy to extend its association with cricket beyond broadcasting rights."
THE END OF THE ROAD: South Korean electronics group LG announced in November that it would end its five-year global partnership with F1 at the end of the ’13 season. In a statement, the company said that it is "refocusing its sponsorship strategy towards regional platforms from 2014 onwards." LG agreed to a deal with F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone in Nov. ’08 to be a technological partner of the series. LG was not the only big name that announced its withdrawal from F1. In March, telecom company Vodafone revealed that it will pull out of the sport at the end of the season. Sources said that Vodafone, whose sponsorship package was centered around the McLaren team and its drivers, paid as much as $75M per year.
SHOW ME THE MONEY: Indian cricket player Virat Kohli signed a three-year, Rs 10 core ($1.6M)-per-year sponsorship deal with adidas. The three-year deal, “perhaps the most lucrative to be signed by an Indian sports star,” according to the Times of India, will see Kohli endorse adidas’ apparel and shoes. In addition, the 25-year-old inked a deal with tire brand MRF for Rs 6.5 core ($1M) annually. In ’12, Kohli pocketed around Rs 40 crore ($6.4M) from endorsements. He currently has deals with as many as 13 brands, including Pepsi and Toyota.
Other top sponsorships:
ManU signs $485M kit sponsorship deal with Nike.
Paris St. Germain confirms agreement with Qatar Tourism Authority worth a reported $200M.
Neymar signs reported $7M deal with Italian eyewear brand Police.
William Morris Endeavor, Silver Lake Partners acquire IMG for estimated $2.4B.
Austrian football Bundesliga rejects title sponsorship offer from unnamed bookmaker.
GM’s decision to pull Chevrolet from Europe will not affect football sponsorships.
Juventus announces a six-year, $192M kit deal with adidas; will leave Nike in '15.
National Rugby League will not pursue an official betting partner, fears bad publicity.
Football Federation Australia is looking for new sponsor after Qantas drops out.
F1's Red Bull Racing boosts WPP sponsorship revenues by almost 60% to £27.6M.
It's been very disappointing to read some of the reaction to Paolo's appointment.
-- Sunderland CEO Margaret Byrne on the reaction to the hire of Paolo Di Canio as head coach.
I don't think it's good for French football, it's not good for French clubs and it's not good for the place of Ligue 1 in the world.
-- Paris St. Germain Chair Nasser al-Khelaifi on France's 75% tax on annual salaries above €1M.
At some point another final in Munich is in the realm of possibilities.
-- Bayern Munich Chair Karl Hopfner on how expansion of Allianz Arena could lead to hosting another Champions League Final.
Sometimes women do have a different approach and thought process and that can help on all sporting boards.
-- New Australian Olympic Committee board member Nicole Livingstone on the code's quest for gender equity.
We are happy to take Sky's advertising, but they seem afraid of taking ours. It's like a rottweiler running away from a newborn puppy.
-- BT Retail Consumer Division Managing Dir John Petter, on BSkyB's refusal to book advertising for BT's new sports channels.
Before honing its soundbites or filing yet another complaint, this £22B gorilla in puppy's clothing would do well to look at its own double standards.
-- BSkyB Corporate Affairs Dir Graham McWilliam, on BT's claims that BSkyB is refusing to sell ad space to its competitor.
They’ve scuppered all of us.
-- Wigan Athletic Supporters Club Committee member Jason Taylor, complaining that the FA Cup final's 5:15pm kickoff to accommodate TV means supporters could miss the final trains home after the match.
It is a tremendous feeling and an absolute piece of luck.
-- BV Chemnitz President Detlef Müller, on the second-tier basketball club receiving an anonymous $1.3M donation.
It would be natural to expect the gap between those who get the most and those who get the least to narrow.
-- Spain Secretary for Sport Miguel Cardenal, on the impact of a new law requiring football clubs to collectively bargain for TV rights.
I have made a catastrophic error.
-- Godolphin trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni, after tests by the British Horseracing Authority found prohibited substances in 11 of his horses.
My personal position is that I totally believe in equality, but I do also believe that there are times when men need to socialize with men and women need to socialize with women.
-- R&A CEO Peter Dawson, defending the governing body's continued stance in allowing male-only clubs to stage the Open Championship.
I will say something which is crazy, but less democracy is sometimes better for organizing a World Cup.
-- FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke on the governing body's experience organizing the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Juventus is known as ‘the girlfriend of Italy.’ It’s probably the woman everyone wants to be with.
-- Juventus President Andrea Agnelli, who says despite his club's success, Italian football has fallen victim to the problems that have hit the country as a whole.
I went to the toilet for the last minutes, locked myself in, covered my ears and looked at my watch.
-- Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke, on how he spent the final minutes of his club's Champions League semifinal against Real Madrid.
We do not think the fans are cows, who you milk. Football has got to be for everybody. That's the biggest difference between us and England.
-- Bayern Munich President Uli Hoeneß, on why the Bundesliga club keeps its ticket prices so low.
Is it a token position? I wouldn't treat it as that. If you are given an opportunity to contribute to the top table then you have got to make the most of that opportunity.
-- Australia FIFA Exec Committee candidate Moya Dodd, one of five candidates for the organization's new woman's seat on the committee.
It is the right time.
-- ManU Manager Alex Ferguson, on his surprise announcement to retire at the end of the season.
It isn't just about selling a million tickets -- it's about making the games accessible to all.
-- Glasgow 2014 Chair Robert Smith, on the Commonwealth Games' plan for most tickets to cost less than $40.
If you had told me as a young boy I would have played for and won trophies with my boyhood club Manchester United, proudly captained and played for my country over 100 times and lined up for some of the biggest clubs in the world, I would have told you it was a fantasy.
-- David Beckham, reflecting on his career after announcing his retirement.
If you want to carry on doing business in Russia, here's the tax you need to pay -- the kind of a tax that he wants you to pay.
-- Former Russian PM Mikhail Kasyanov, claiming that Russian President Vladimir Putin is forcing tycoons to pay for Sochi projects.
I am not sure legally you can say 'we'll just play in winter.'
-- Bundesliga CEO Christian Seifert, predicting legal challenges if the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is moved to winter.
The extension project is monstrous. There's concrete everywhere and they want to pour more.
-- Neighborhood Association Chair Roger Lebon, vowing to fight the proposed expansion of Paris' Stade Roland Garros.
I don't have any medicine that you get instant result. We don't have any such kind of a magic.
-- Board of Control for Cricket in India's interim chief Jagmohan Dalmiya, asking for time to investigate spot-fixing and corruption charges.
If the LFP wants war, it will have it.
-- Spanish club Guadalajara President Germán Retuerta, vowing to fight the Spanish Football League over its sanction for alleged financial irregularities that sent the club to the third division.
What we really want to understand is, can the market support a franchise long term there.
-- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, on the league's long-term vision of having a team in London.
We knew the numbers were going to be bad, but nobody knew exactly how bad they were going to be.
-- Brasileiro Flamengo President Eduardo Bandeira de Mello, on the club's $350M debt.
If Argentina beat Brazil, in the final, I'll kill myself. They have Messi and the pope. They can't have everything.
-- Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes, joking about his biggest worry as the city prepares for major int'l events over the next four years.
Fans need to be aware that there is going to be an exodus of players over the next three to four years.
-- Spanish Football League President Javier Tebas, warning that La Liga is going to lose many of its stars as clubs struggle to get out of debt.
It’s a mockery; it’s like making Pavarotti sing once a year.
-- KHL VP Vladimir Shalaev, on the league's planned 52-game schedule in '13-14 that will allow a month break for the Sochi Games.
I've never felt the need for a bodyguard. It might be a bit of overkill.
-- Melbourne Storm's 6-foot-4, 230-pound Ryan Hoffman, on the National Rugby League's suggestion to assign bodyguards to players to keep them out of trouble.
We are branding Rome.
-- Boston-based AS Roma Owner James Pallotta, on his strategy to transform his Serie A club into one of the most profitable in Europe.
It was not a raid, but an acquisition of documents. I am very calm about it.
-- Inter Milan President Massimo Moratti on Italian financial police raiding the offices of more than 40 clubs.
FIFA's SEPP BLATTER: "In my address to the CAF Congress, I put a special focus on FIFA's fight against racism. We must eradicate this scourge!"
Reuters' KAROLOS GROHMANN: "The #Hoeness tax evasion affair will have a major effect on #FCBayern even if #Sammer denies it. Hoenes is the face/soul of Bayern."
ESPN's DARREN ROVELL: "Great year and half at the top level for melting pot in sports: Owner of Pakistani descent in NFL, now owner of Indian descent in NBA."
BBC's PHIL MCNULTY: "The new Maracana actually has the appearance and colour scheme of Kiev's Olympic Stadium - but this is still a magical place."
TV presenter GARY LINEKER: "If Messi is not incarcerated in Spain I fancy in 13 months time Argentina may well be World champions."
The AP's STEPHEN WADE: "Note to fifa: getting around recife a nightmare. New stad an hour from center thru pot-holed traffic inferno."
Reuters' ANDREW DOWNIE: "Stadium not even half full for Nigeria-Uruguay in #Salvador. Fans reportedly can't get past the protests outside. #Confedschaos"
Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee President & CEO DMITRY CHERNYSHENKO: "Our ambition to conquer Space 1st time ever in the Olympic history becomes reality. #Sochi2014's Torch Relay will reach the open space!"
TV presenter GARY LINEKER: "Reports that Messi has settled with the tax authorities and will pay €15m...the highest ever for a footballer. Can't stop breaking records."
London Times' KEVIN EASON: "Wow. I see that Man Utd has announced Aeroflot as their official carrier. Wow. They have obviously never flown Aeroflot"
ABC Grandstand's Senior Sport Broadcaster CLINT WHEELDON: "One of the many impressive things about the Tour de France riders is how they restrain themselves from punching some of the spectators."
LIGA MX: "¡Le damos la bienvenida a @BBVABancomer! ¡Una alianza que fortalecerá cada una de las áreas de nuestro Futbol! #LigaBancomerMX" ("We welcome BBVA Bancomer! An alliance that will strengthen every area of our football! #LigaBancomerMX")
ESPN's ADRIAN HEALEY: "Most of the football world (except EPL) takes a winter (Dec/Jan) break. Why not play a World Cup then? Players would be fresher.."
London Daily Telegraph's PAUL HAYWARD: "The Football League will be on Sky Sports until 2018 and is now sponsored by Sky Bet. TV and bookmaking: a very modern marriage."