Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 10 No. 22

Marketing and Sponsorship

Where did Maria Sharapova spend the day after winning the French Open? Not partying in Paris, but touring a candy factory in Spain. Sharapova the athlete, whose victory made her the 10th woman to have held all four Grand Slam titles and helped her reclaim the No. 1 ranking, is quick to transition to Sharapova the businesswoman. The factory will produce her new line of candies, "Sugarpova," which she will unveil in August the week before the U.S. Open in N.Y. “We have been focusing a lot on life after tennis, and will continue to focus on that,” said her agent, Max Eisenbud of IMG, in response to a question about the business effects of her championship at Roland Garros. Sharapova is the highest paid female athlete in the world, with upwards of $30M in annual earnings, and the French Open only added to the haul. She roughly doubled her prize money winning of $1.6M just in endorsement incentives for winning a Grand Slam and jumping to No. 1 in the world.  But Eisenbud is well past selling endorsements off a big victory. Sharapova already counts Nike, Cole Haan, Tag Heuer and Head among her endorsements. A Tiffany deal that expired at the end of last year should be replaced soon with a similar company, Eisenbud said. Eisenbud: “We might add a deal or two.” But it is post career, he emphasized again, that Sharapova is focused on from a business perspective. Originally, “Sugarpova” was going to be launched with the founder of Dylan’s Candy, Jeff Rubin. But she bought back that share, Eisenbud said, and controls the whole venture. “She invested her own money,” he said. She hired Dentsu to handle advertising, and the new brand’s launch is scheduled for Aug. 20 at Bendel’s, a department store.

A survey by market research institution Ipsos discovered that most of the official sponsors of Euro 2012 are unknown to the average German viewer, according to MARKENARTIKEL. Ipsos' findings conclude that 89% of Germans “want to follow Euro 2012 as closely as possible.” More than a third "don't necessarily care" if Germany plays or not. According to the survey, shortly before the start of the tournament the most recognizable brand was adidas, which had a brand awareness of 24%. Coca-Cola follows with 9%, and the other official sponsors, McDonald’s, Hyundai, Kia, Canon, Carlsberg, Castrol Edge, Continental and Sharp, reach 6%. For the survey, 1,000 people were interviewed by phone from May 30-June 5 (MARKENARTIKEL, 6/11).

England football sponsors are "facing an uphill struggle to engage with consumers," according to Nicola Clark of MARKETING MAGAZINE. Fans have "low expectations of the current England team, which one marketer noted was filled with young players who are unrecognisable." There are also a lack of players "netting the mass-market appeal of David Beckham." Octagon Global Head of Marketing Phil Carling said, "The wider issue for the FA is how do they get the fan base engaged with the England team, and how do they promote the younger players." Another issue has been racial unrest. However, according to media agency sources, "the controversy has not had a negative impact on advertising rates" (MARKETING MAGAZINE, 6/11).

An extension of Reebok's sponsorship deal with Brazilian football club Sao Paulo appears unlikely, according to Erich Beting of MAQUINA DO ESPORTE. The team is wanting an "80% increase annually" from the previous contract, which was worth R$12M a year ($5.94M). The current deal will expire at the end of this year. If the contract is not renewed, Reebok will lose the only football club it sponsored in Brazil (MAQUINA DO ESPORTE, 6/11).

Sports Investment Partners has taken a stake in digital billboard replacement specialists Supponor. Supponor's DBRLive technology for live sports broadcasts allows TV viewers watching the same event live in different countries to see billboard advertising tailored specifically to them. Multiple live feeds can be generated identical in every way but with different billboard graphics in any electronic media form -- including animation and video for the specific audience. Supponor is the second investment by SIP this year. Sports event design firm Arena Group was the other. As part of the investment, SIP representatives Matthew Wheeler and Michael Broughton will join the Supponor board (SIP).

Infront Motor Sports has signed an agreement with Jaypee Sports Int'l to host a round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship calendar at the Buddh Int'l Circuit. The contract runs from '13-16. Next season's Indian Round of the championship is scheduled to take place on March 10. World Superbike becomes the first int'l bike racing championship to be hosted at the Hermann Tilke-designed track at Greater Noida near Delhi (Infront Sports).

Sharp is backing its sponsorship of the Euro 2012 with a campaign that drives football fans to a website that measures their emotions, according to Daniel Farey-Jones of The activity, by digital agency Work Club, "promotes the football tournament's official supplier of LCD TVs and solar panels." Sharp hopes the cross media campaign created by Work Club will be seen by 350 million fans in 16 markets. The TV films "feature fans from participating countries displaying their emotions." Ben Mooge, Andy Sandoz, Simon Bird and Paddy Griffith are all part of Work Club's creative team (, 6/11).