With Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth not fully sponsored for the entire Sprint Cup season, ESPN's Brad Daugherty noted it is "going to be interesting to see if it does help" in the sponsorship search. Daugherty said, “I don’t think it’s going to be a huge shot in the arm." He cited '11 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne going "throughout the season very sparsely funded in his Nationwide program, and they have nothing really for him this year.” Despite Kenseth being a two-time Daytona winner now, it "seems like it’s a very difficult time over there in that Roush camp trying to keep sponsorship” (“NASCAR Now,” ESPN2, 2/28).
SPANISH THAI: In Bangkok, Pitsinee Jitpleecheep reported Thai Beverage, the brewer of Chang beer, is spending US$33M to “boost the brand through a deal” with La Liga clubs Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. The company Monday signed “a three-year marketing pact with the clubs worth a combined" US$16.5M to "help raise the profile of Chang Export brand, Chang soda and Chang drinking water in Thailand and elsewhere in Asia.” Through the deal, Chang will be allowed “to use the logos of both clubs and images of their footballers on product packaging and in advertisements.” ThaiBev will spend another US$16.5M “on marketing activity for Chang products in the next three years and to bring Spanish football clubs to play" in Thailand. Chang beer also continues to be the jersey sponsor for EPL club Everton (BANGKOKPOST.com, 2/28).
BROADENING HORIZONS: MARKETING magazine’s Gemma Charles reported Under Armour “is preparing to launch its first major European marketing push as it attempts to grow brand awareness outside the US.” The brand “plans to air a branded-content series" on MTV in Europe called "New Battles, New Armour" in the coming weeks. It will “feature Under Armour’s brand ambassadors,” including Welsh rugby player Jamie Roberts and EPL club Queens Park Rangers F Bobby Zamora. They “will be shown training with unexpected partners, such as a Shaolin warrior monk.” Charles noted a “social-media push will support the series.” The brand aims to “gain recognition in the UK when it becomes the kit supplier” for EPL club Tottenham Hotspur next season (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 2/28).
WON'T BACK DOWN: The Indian government “has now stepped in by asking the [IOC] to drop Dow Chemicals as sponsor of this year's London Games for the company's link to the Bhopal Gas tragedy.” The sports ministry “has sent a ‘strongly-worded letter’ to the IOC on Friday seeking Dow's removal as an Olympic sponsor” (PRESS TRUST OF INDIA, 2/27).