MARKETING magazine's John Reynolds reports Best Buy is "making its first foray into UK sports sponsorship by becoming the official technology partner" of EPL club Everton. Best Buy opened its first U.K. store in '10, and the Everton sponsorship "comes as it bids to establish a greater resonance in the eyes of UK customers" The deal is the "first time that Everton has partnered with an official technology partner" (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 8/30). The club also has signed a deal with Halewood International's Crabbie's brand, with Crabbie's Alcoholic Ginger Beer becoming Everton's official ginger beer (SPORTSPROMEDIA.com, 8/30).
STEPPING INTO THE OCTAGON: ADWEEK's Anthony Crupi reports in the run-up to UFC's first network TV broadcast on Nov. 12, media buyers believe that the "demand for Fox' new sports property should be fast and furious." A national TV buyer said that he "wouldn’t be at all surprised to see more mainstream brands begin to line up for MMA events." Fox Sports Media Group Chair David Hill said, "We did a lot of research before making this deal. There might be a few companies that have a ‘Do Not Buy’ on the UFC, but there are a hell of a lot of companies that have a ‘Do Buy.’ If you look at the history of the Fox sports media group and what we do, we didn’t go into this with our fingers crossed" (ADWEEK.com, 8/30).
THE WHOLE KIT AND KABOODLE: In Dallas, Candace Carlisle reports a jersey sponsorship for MLS FC Dallas is the only thing holding team President & CEO Doug Quinn "back from accomplishing everything he'd set out to do during his first year" with the club. Quinn: "I wish we had the (jersey) deal done, but it's only a matter of time." He said that FC Dallas' kit sponsorship is "valued at $3.2 million per year." Officials indicated that there was "one North Texas company close to signing a jersey sponsorship agreement earlier this year, but an abrupt change in leadership stalled discussions." Quinn said that since then, there "have been other companies eyeing the sponsorship" (DALLAS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/26 issue).