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SBD Global/January 17, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Liverpool FC Gobbles Up Multi-Year Partnership With U.S. Brand Dunkin' Donuts

Liverpool is the first EPL club to parnter with Dunkin' Donuts.
Liverpool announced a "multi-year" deal with U.S. company Dunkin' Brands Group, "the company which makes Dunkin' Donuts," according to Phil Kirkbride of the LIVERPOOL ECHO. Dunkin' Donuts will "become the club's official tea, coffee and bakery provider." Liverpool believes the deal "will help strengthen their presence across the world." Dunkin' Donuts "have a similar link up" with the MLB Boston Red Sox, owned by the Fenway Sports Group, the same company that owns Liverpool (LIVERPOOL ECHO, 1/16). In London, Sarah Ebner wrote Liverpool "have something new for Luis Suarez to get his teeth into." It "may seem an unlikely partnership, especially these days, where the public is warned regularly about obesity and even told that sugar is as unhealthy as smoking." However, such negativity "has clearly passed the club by." Liverpudlians "are being encouraged to put down their digestives, and replace them with a snack which is not just full of the sweet stuff, but also fried." The Health Secretary "cannot be impressed." Despite having more than 3,100 stores around the world, Dunkin’ Donuts "has fallen behind Krispy Kreme when it comes to British doughnut eating habits." In fact, the company "pulled out of Britain around 20 years ago, and has only just opened its first 'restaurant' here," in Harrow, North West London. The aim now "is to expand both the doughnut and ice-cream chains across Europe" (LONDON TIMES, 1/16).

HELPING THE CLUB COMPETE: The PA reported Liverpool Managing Dir Ian Ayre said that the deal "will help the club to compete financially with their major rivals." Ayre: "In order to support [Manager] Brendan [Rodgers] we have to provide the resources to allow that. That is only allowable operating within your own means -- they are the rules we have all signed up to -- and this is absolutely vital in us being able to compete. We should be pleased and fans should take comfort from the fact commercially this club is right at the top of teams in that regard" (PA, 1/16).

SLAM DUNK: Dunkin' Brands currently has more than 18,000 points of distribution in nearly 60 countries, including nearly 11,000 Dunkin' Donuts locations in 33 countries and more than 7,250 Baskin-Robbins shops in nearly 50 countries. In '13, Dunkin' Brands opened 790 new restaurants worldwide, with 415 of these outside the U.S. (Liverpool).
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