Tennis player Roger Federer and longtime agent Tony Godsick are "in the process of forming their own sports agency," according to sources cited by Daniel Kaplan of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Godsick represented Federer "for more than six years at IMG before Godsick and Federer in May parted ways with the company after their contracts ended." Sources said that Godsick's credential at Wimbledon "lists him as being with RF Management." It is "unclear precisely what role Federer will play in the new firm, though it is not unprecedented for an active, star athlete to take a management and equity role in an agency." Federer earns $40-50M annually, "most of that in off-court endorsement deals." The fees for those contracts "still flow to IMG, so revenue for the new group would come initially from any new deals and exhibitions for Federer." Sources said that Godsick has "sought investment money and is believed to have brought on board partners." PR Partners owner Colin Smeeton said that that activity "would suggest that Godsick's vision must be greater than just representing a few tennis players." Smeeton said that if Federer succeeds, it could be "a template for how stars can stay active in the game once their careers are over" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 7/2 issue).
Marketing and Sponsorship
Adidas unveiled the next phase of its Olympic "Take the stage" campaign, according to Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith of CAMPAIGN LIVE. The campaign, created by advertising agency Sid Lee, features TV and outdoor ads. It will focus on Team Great Britain athletes and is being billed as the "brand's biggest-ever marketing spend." It is being supported "by a large-scale digital output" online. The campaign will run for the next six weeks and can be found on Facebook and Twitter, using the handle @adidasUK, with the hashtag #takethestage. The official Olympic sponsor and official sportswear partner for Team Great Britain uses U.K. Olympic athletes Jessica Ennis, Tom Daley, Louis Smith and Phillips Idowu, "each narrating their own ad." Athletes Pete Reed, Laura Trott and "Olympic footballers feature in the digital activity" (CAMPAIGNLIVE.co.uk, 7/2).
Heineken is painting 150 London pubs green this week as part of its sponsorship of the London Games, according to John Reynolds of MARKETING MAGAZINE. The Dutch brewer will fill the pubs "with banners, posters, beer taps and Olympic-branded glassware." Staff will be "kitted out in Heineken-green uniforms" (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 7/2). In London, Sarah Bridge noted that Heineken is taking over Alexander Palace, North London to create "Holland Heineken House," which will serve as the official base of the Dutch Olympic Committee during the Games. Heineken Dir Lawson Mountstevens said that the brewer "expected to sell an extra 2.2 million pints of Heineken" during London 2012 (DAILY MAIL, 7/2).
Two years after the last German-sponsored cycling team, Milram, left the int'l cycling scene, German pharmacy and cosmetic brand Alpecin plans a comeback, according to the DPA. Alpecin wants to team with U.S. bicycle producer Trek to create a new elite cycling team for the '13 season. Various cycling experts confirm those plans, but both companies "have not released any statements regarding this issue." To run a competitive cycling team, the companies would have to invest around €8M ($10M) annually. Int'l Cycling Union President Pat McQuaid said, "A new German team would be great. It's a big market, and Germany is Europe's most powerful economy. Cycling is a very popular hobby there" (DPA, 7/2).
Switzerland's top-tier football leagues obtained five new sponsors for the upcoming '12-13 season. Sports marketing firm InfrontRingier has secured five official sponsors to partner with the SFL's top-tier leagues. Raiffeisen Super League and the Challenge League will welcome telecommunications company Swisscom, insurance company Allianz Suisse, Mitsubishi, sportsbook Sporttip and department store chain Manor as official partners. The companies will receive a continuous advertising presence on LED or rotating boards at all games of the Raiffeisen Super League and during live games of the Challenge League. In addition, the publications Blick, Schweizer Illustrierte and L'illustré will also be engaged as new media partners. Ochsner Sport was also secured as the official sports store of the Raiffeisen Super League (InfrontRingier).
Swedish sportswear company Abacus will become the offical apparel partner of the Asian Tour. The deal is for two-and-a-half years and expires at the end of '14. Abacus will develop a collection specifically for the Asian Tour. Abacus will leverage its brand across the Asian Tour's worldwide media platforms that include its official website, www.asiantour.com and a global TV platform, which reaches more than 200 countries and 650 million households (Abacus).
TOUR DE FRANCE: French bank Le Credit Lyonnais has reached a deal with Tour de France organizer Amaury Sport Organisation to maintain the LCL logo on the yellow jersey for another five years. The new deal will expire in '18 (SPONSORING.fr, 7/1).