Barclays is "set to sign a bumper deal to retain its title sponsorship" of the EPL, according to John Reynolds of MARKETING magazine. An announcement on the estimated US$54.57M-a-year-plus deal "is expected in the coming weeks." Barclays and the EPL have been "negotiating over the past month." A source said, "It is a done deal." The previous three-year deal was "understood to be valued at around" US$46.76M per year. A source said that the deal "was set to be above" US$54.57M. It will run "from the start of the 2013 season through to the end of the 2015 season and will include exclusive world-wide marketing rights, UK and international TV programme accreditation, extensive advertising packages, match-day tickets and hospitality." Barclays has been the title sponsor of EPL since '04 (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 7/3).
BUSINESS, NOT PERSONAL: GOLFCHANNEL.com's Jason Sobel noted Phil Mickelson "has a sponsorship deal with Barclays and has partnered with former CEO Bob Diamond in team events," but Mickelson yesterday maintained that Diamond's "recent resignation won't affect any sponsorship affiliation with the company." Mickelson said, "It won't affect my relationship with Barclays from a business side." He said that he felt Diamond "was being made a 'scapegoat' for the Libor scandal that surfaced four years ago." Mickelson "did not disclose whether he has been in touch with Diamond since his resignation" (GOLFCHANNEL.com, 7/4).
Milwaukee-based advertising and design firm Hanson Dodge Creative “spent $11,100 to perch on the shoulder of an Olympic athlete,” placing a temporary tattoo on runner Nick Symmonds, according to Stuart Elliott of the N.Y. TIMES. Symmonds, who was “selling the right to affix a Twitter handle to his left shoulder,” was trying to "make a point about what he has described as the outdated policies governing athletes’ endorsements that are enforced by organizations like USA Track and Field.” He wears “white tape over the @HansonDodge tattoo each time he runs -- it is visible the rest of the time -- to draw attention to the policies that prohibit sponsor logos and branding from being displayed.” Symmonds and Hanson Dodge since the auction have “developed a wide-ranging relationship.” The agency named him “to its active-lifestyle advisory board, and it redesigned his Web site, nicksymmonds.com.” Symmonds also “makes appearances in a Web series for the agency, which can be watched on nicksymmonds.com, hansondodge.com and YouTube.” He said that the attention the sponsorship has brought the agency “has far exceeded its $11,100 investment.” Symmonds said, “You’re never going to find a better cpm.” Hanson Dodge President for Strategy & Growth Sara Meaney said the agency decided that trying to submit the winning bid would be “a way to make a splash.” With Symmonds set to compete for the U.S. in the 800 meters for the London Games, he and Hanson Dodge are “poring over regulations that affect the ad work of Olympic athletes” (N.Y. TIMES, 7/5).
AG AGE’s Emma Hall noted Coca-Cola is “using its Olympic sponsorship to convince consumers of its commitment to an active lifestyle, in a new campaign for the U.S. centering on an ‘8-pack’ of U.S. athletes, most of whom are set to compete at the London games this summer.” Coca-Cola's global "Move to the Beat" campaign -- “aimed at teens -- is at the heart of its 2012 Olympic strategy, but the company has produced an additional Olympic campaign for the U.S. market to establish a particular connection with U.S. consumers.” There are “eight new television commercials, four focusing on individual athletes, two taking a broader look at the Olympic Games, and two animated commercials" bringing collector cans to life. The spots will “break throughout the next six weeks” (ADAGE.com, 7/3).
Track & Field
TAKE THE STAGE: CAMPAIGN LIVE’s Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith noted adidas has “unveiled the next phase of its Olympic 'Take the stage' campaign, which will focus on Team Great Britain athletes and is being billed as the brand's biggest-ever marketing spend.” The campaign, created by Sid Lee, launched on Monday and “features TV and outdoor ads.” adidas uses U.K. Olympians Jessica Ennis, Tom Daley, Louis Smith and Phillips Idowu in the ad, with "each narrating their own ad.” Athletes Pete Reed, Laura Trott and Olympic soccer players will be featured “in the digital activity” (CAMPAIGNLIVE.co.uk, 7/2).
HAVE IT THEIR WAY? MARKETING magazine’s Nicola Clark noted a "quarter of consumers believe that Olympic sponsor McDonald's is a poor fit with the Games, raising questions about the long-term sustainability of sports sponsorship by high-calorie food and drink brands.” A survey by Interbrand for Marketing revealed that McDonald’s “prompts the greatest division of opinion, followed by Coca-Cola.” adidas was “ranked as the most appropriate Olympic partner; 59% of consumers said that its sponsorship is a good fit.” Meanwhile, McDonald’s was the “second-most spontaneously recalled sponsor, with 35% of respondents recognising its tie-up” (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 7/3).
After years of “discouraging players from taking tournament towels, officials at the All England Club now mostly shrug as competitors stuff their racket bags with what has become the most coveted keepsake from the championships,” according to Tom Perrotta of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. This year marks the 25th year of the commemorative Wimbledon towel made by U.K.-based Christy. The company for this year’s tourney “produced 99,500 Wimbledon towels, of various sizes, most of which are sold to the public.” The company said that sales “have increased 46% since 2008,” and Wimbledon towels next year “will be sold in India for the first time.” Towels similar to those the players use sell for about $44. Christy sets aside 6,000 towels for players, who "are given two during each match.” Welspun U.K. CEO Robert Walker, whose company owns Christy, said that “about 60% of those 6,000 towels vanish by the end of the tournament.” The towels “have become a popular souvenir,” and tennis player Novak Djokovic reportedly “keeps a stockpile.” Roger Federer said, "I only keep about two a tournament and I give the rest away." Some players are “besieged with requests for towels from friends and family.” Christy “redesigns the towel every few years.” Christy's Lucy Ackroyd, who designed this year's towel, said, "In the past, the towels had a novelty look, like a stylized image of a racket or a net. The club thought that was looking a bit tired and wanted something more contemporary, upmarket and elegant" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/5).
ROYAL WELCOME: Today's edition of ABC’s “GMA” reported Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton, watched Wimbledon yesterday from the Royal Box, with ABC’s Robin Roberts saying, “Even the players were a little bit star struck.” ABC’s Lama Hasan said, "All eyes were on William and Kate when they were here, delighting the crowd when they joined in with a Mexican Wave. Those two definitely stole the show.” Federer said, “It helps when royalty shows up and other legends of the game come and see me play. I think it’s inspiring and it’s a thrill for the game of tennis.” ESPN’s Chris Evert said having the royals attend Wimbledon “adds to the glamour and the aura” of the tournament. Evert: “This is what makes Wimbledon very, very special” (“GMA,” ABC, 7/5). Former tennis players Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf also were present in the Royal Box (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 7/5).
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