SBJ/July 6-12, 1998/This Weeks News

Inside the deal

THE DEAL:
Delta Air Lines signs as title sponsor of Delta Air Lines Senior Tour of Champions for seven events on the European senior men’s tennis circuit.
Estimated value: $500,000.
Length: Two years (estimated).

Deal makers:

*Delta: Deborah Merrens, manager, sponsorships and promotions, Europe (London); Bo Heiner, manager, sponsorship and event marketing, worldwide (Atlanta).
*ATP: Edwin Winedorfer, director ATP Senior Tour of Champions (Monaco).

KEY ELEMENTS:
*Title sponsorship of European circuit (seven events) of ATP Senior Tour.
*Logo on net signage, players, umpires and net judges’ chairs.
*Logo on court and backdrop.
*Hospitality at tournament events.
*Delta to provide transportation for players to Europe.

BACKGROUND:
The European circuit is equivalent to the domestic Nuveen Tour. It’s the first title sponsorship of the tour, which is a joint venture between the ATP and IMG. Delta has limited sponsorship involvements in international events. The most significant was a past affiliation with the European PGA Tour. In the United States, Delta has minor involvements in tennis.

ANALYSIS:
Delta is banking on the wide television exposure – 72 million homes in 35 countries – for the seven European events to create brand awareness for its international service. Senior’s events might be the safest bet right now in tennis with proven draws like Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors. Delta’s move into tennis comes as long-time international tennis sponsors like Rado, Compaq Computers and Mercedes are reportedly considering not renewing their current sponsorship deals.

OTHER NEW DEALS:
*Air Canada signed a five-year deal to be title sponsor of the Canadian Grand Prix Formula One race. Air Canada will pay $5 million a year under the agreement.

*989 Sports, a video game company, signed with Players Inc. to be the title sponsor of the NFL Players Party during Super Bowl XXXIII week in South Beach, Fla.

*EarthLink Network Inc. was named official Internet service provider for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

*Adidas-Salomon AG signed a Pro-Line sponsorship contract with the NFL. Adidas will outfit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and a team from the AFC not named yet.

*The Dime Savings Bank of New York was named official bank of the 1998 Goodwill Games.

*The Amateur Softball Association/USA Softball named Allsport official photographer of USA Softball.

*Hershey Canada Inc. became naming sponsor of the Mississauga Arena Complex in Ontario. The deal is worth about $1.9 million over 10 years and includes product exclusivity at 13 over-the-counter concession facilities owned by the city of Mississauga.

*CarMax agreed to sponsor the MSL’s Chicago Fire for its 1998 season.

*BC Powder joined the Red Man Tournament Trail as a sponsor. The Red Man Tournament Trail is a weekend bass tournament series.

*The Home Depot agreed to sponsor the Puerto Rican Olympic team as it prepares for the 2000 Olympic Games.

*Mobil Oil Corp. agreed to sponsor the Second Inner City Golf Classic this year in Philadelphia.

*Brown-Forman Beverages’ Jack Daniel’s brand signed a two-year, $600,000 agreement to extend its sponsorship of Sport & Social Clubs of the U.S., a national sport and event management and marketing company.

*Oakwood Homes was to sponsor a second entry to Andy Petree Racing in Saturday’s NASCAR Winston Cup Race at Daytona International Speedway. The driver was to be Hut Stricklin.

Sources: Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal research and The Sports Business Daily.
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