Football League Eyes New Cup Sponsor After Failing To Reach Deal With Carling
The U.K.'s Football League is "searching for a new sponsor for the League Cup after the owners of current title sponsor Carling failed to match the League's valuation of the knockout competition," according to Paul Kelso of the London TELEGRAPH. The Football League board "rejected Carling's final offer at the conclusion of an exclusive negotiation period last week, preferring to test the value of the competition in the open market." Carling's current deal is worth US$7.8M a year, but the company was "unwilling to match that valuation in discussions over a new deal." Molson Coors has sponsored the cup "since 1998, first as the Worthington Cup and then for the last eight years" as the Carling Cup. The league "will be hopeful that the availability of one of the English game's topline properties will attract potential successors from multiple sectors, but the negotiations will inevitably be a test of football's appeal in the depressed economic climate." The Football League is expected to draw "interest from the telecoms and betting sector" as it "remains the only pure title sponsorship available in English domestic football" (London TELEGRAPH, 9/28). In London, Ashling O'Connor notes marketing experts "regard a new deal as a chance to gauge the strength, or weakness, of a sponsorship market flooded with contracts around the 2012 Olympics and the 2015 rugby World Cup" (LONDON TIMES, 9/28).