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SBD Global/July 28, 2015/Marketing and Sponsorship

Int'l Champions Cup Signs Slew Of New Partners For North American Leg

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Nike signs on as the official match ball provider of the Int'l Champions Cup.
Int’l Champions Cup organizers have added several big-name partners leading in to this year’s North American leg of the int’l football competition. Brands such as Under Armour, Nike, Red Bull and Gatorade joined the tournament’s list of sponsors, which already included names like Guinness, Indeed and DraftKings. Marketing agency Ascendent Sports Group, a sister company of tournament organizer Relevent Sports, reached initial one-year deals across a slew of categories. Ascendent decided to split the apparel category between Under Armour as the official apparel partner and Nike as the official match ball provider. “We see this category as a global category,” said Matt Grandis, VP of Corporate Partnerships & Media at Ascendent. “The goal is to have either one of them or adidas, who we are working with in China, come on board as our global partner across the category -- apparel, ball and boots as well.” Austrian energy drink producer Red Bull and sports drink brand Gatorade also teamed up with the competition. Grandis told SBD Global that the new partners received traditional assets including sideline LED signage. Another category that Ascendent decided to split up was tire. Japanese brand Yokohama and Lassa Tires, which has a joint venture with Bridgestone, share the assets in the space. Yokohama, which recently became the shirt sponsor of Chelsea in a five-year, $300M deal, has focused its activation around ICC games involving the EPL champions, Grandis said. He declined to provide financial details of the new partnerships, describing them only as “standard sponsorship investment levels.” However, it is estimated the deals have values in the mid-to-high six figures, according to a source with knowledge of the partnerships.

MORE IN THE WORKS: Ascendent is also in talks regarding long-term global partnerships, Grandis said. “[There are] anywhere from three to five categories that we want to target globally,” he said. “The hope is either before the ICC is over or soon thereafter we will be announcing some deals.” Those categories will include airline, banking and financial services and telecommunications. However, Grandis said nothing has been signed yet.
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