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Volume 24 No. 137

Marketing and Sponsorship

EPL club Chelsea announced that Samsung “took up an option to renew” its $23.9M (all figures U.S.) jersey sponsorship with the team through ‘15, according to Tariq Panja of BLOOMBERG NEWS. Chelsea signed a partnership agreement with the South Korean electronics maker in ‘05. The contract began with Samsung paying $17.6M per season "as the company replaced Emirates airline on the front of Chelsea’s blue jerseys.” That agreement was extended at $24M “five years later, and Samsung had until June 1 to take up its option to renew for a further three seasons.” Chelsea’s contract with Samsung is “among the biggest in English soccer, though lower than the sums negotiated by Premier League rivals Manchester United and Liverpool” (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 9/6). Samsung “waited until after Chelsea's Champions League win to take up its option” (PA, 9/7).

NEW RAPIDS JERSEYS: In Denver, Eric Gorski reports the MLS Rapids yesterday unveiled their '13-14 home jerseys that will feature the "names of season-ticket holders interwoven into their fabric," but they are still "missing one important name: that of a corporate sponsor." Rapids President Tim Hinchey has "put a premium on securing the first jersey sponsor" in the club's history. He said that a "handshake deal in summer 2011 -- with a company he declined to identify -- fell apart." Gorski noted the new adidas jerseys "remain burgundy but now feature white sleeves in a show of solidarity" with EPL club Arsenal. Both teams are owned by Stan Kroenke. The uniforms also include a "small Colorado flag on the bottom left of the jersey front" (, 9/9).

Tennis HOFer Andre Agassi and longtime partner Gil Reyes today will introduce BILT by Agassi & Reyes sports equipment "with 12 pieces of equipment," according to Jeffrey Eisenband of THE POST GAME. Agassi noted that he has been working on the line for years, saying, "BILT has, no pun intended, literally been built over decades.” Agassi also outlined what makes the 12 products different from other pieces of fitness equipment, saying, "The equipment is safe. It doesn't allow you to get yourself into a compromising position. It allows you to increase weight without exposing those little bits and pieces that don't have the capacity a muscle has: The tendons, the ligaments, the joints and so forth." BILT CEO Steve Miller said that the equipment "will be sold internationally with distributors being set up in India, Japan, Russia, Germany, Switzerland and other nations." BILT equipment ranges from $1,000-6,000, depending on the piece. Miller: "We're entering a tough market and we've got some great competitors, but we feel we've got some great products that really make a statement and are collectively spectacular and very interesting. A couple of the products are different than anything in the market that people just have not seen before. All of them have been patented and registered and we're really happy about that." Miller said that the company "expects modest success in the first year, followed by accelerated success in the next few years” (, 9/7).

Hockey Canada officials have “a new tactic for catalyzing enrollment in youth hockey: cheaper stuff,” as new membership cards “being mailed to registered minor hockey players and coaches this fall will give card holders a break on food, gas and merchandise purchased from the organization’s corporate sponsors,” according to Hayley Mick of the GLOBE & MAIL. The consumer program is “similar to other rewards programs promoted by banks and gas companies.” The announcement comes “at a time when hockey officials are under pressure to recruit new players to the sport -- and retain them.” Hockey Canada President & CEO Bob Nicholson on Friday said, “We are concerned about the demographics coming in front of us. There’s less kids in Canada, overall. And when you look at the number of kids, there’s a lot more immigrants in this country.” Nicholson said that Hockey Canada “will soon unveil a new computer application that will help educate parents and coaches about the prevention and treatment of head injuries, including concussions” (GLOBE & MAIL, 9/8). In Toronto, Mark Zwolinski reported the card "taps Hockey Canada sponsors like Esso, Boston Pizza, Lowe's, Bauer and Nestle, and passes discounts on to the cardholders." The card is on its way to "some 450,000 households" throughout Canada, which includes more than 1.4 million players (TORONTO STAR, 9/8). 

Blogger Larry Brown reported Redskins QB Robert Griffin III was seen prior to yesterday's game against the Saints "wearing a long-sleeve shirt with the word 'Heart' written down his chest," but the word was written "on his undershirt to cover up a Nike swoosh." Griffin has been "sponsored by adidas for months, appearing in commercials and even selling Redskins brand adidas socks" since the NFL Draft (, 9/9).

SMOOTH RIDE: Lexus has signed on as the title sponsor of NFL Network's "Thursday Night Football" broadcasts, which begin this week with Bears-Packers. The "Lexus Halftime Show" will be held inside the host stadium for each Thursday night game. Lexus also will offer a "Thursday Night Football" Challenge as well as presenting sponsorships across broadcast, digital and mobile platforms (NFL).

Golf Channel’s Lauren Thompson notes Florida's Natural is the "new official orange juice of the LPGA tour." The company will "integrate it products during select tour events and host educational breakfasts for the LPGA Tour mothers and their children” (“Morning Drive,” Golf Channel, 9/10).