Man City has launched a website "aimed at targeting young football fans" as part of a new kids' membership theme called City Kicks, according to Daniel Farey-Jones of MARKETING MAGAZINE. City Kicks costs £20 ($32) a year and offers a seven-day trial that "allows youngsters to try before they buy." The theme and website "were conceived from scratch" by content marketing agency John Brown, which "crowd-sourced the name and developed the brand identity." The website includes games, competitions, match action, news updates, behind-the-scenes footage, facts and information. Age-appropriate content is presented on the site to the different age groups -- from coloring-in activity for those younger than 5-years-old to social media plug-ins for those older than 13. There are "tips on how to become a better player," showing members how to finish like Sergio Agüero, tackle like Vincent Kompany or pass like David Silva (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 8/29).
Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao reported that the management staff of a China-based newspaper has been punished for "revealing that China's state broadcaster CCTV knew about Olympic hurdler Liu Xiang's injury" heading into his failed heat in the London Games, according to WANTCHINATIMES.com. Nanjing newspaper Oriental Guardian reported that CCTV knew Liu was "nursing an injury going into the race and had prepared four scripts in advance to prepare for the likelihood that Liu would fail to live up to the country's expectations." Oriental Guardian Editor-In-Chief Chen Zhaohui "has been suspended," Deputy Editor Yu Jiechen received an "official warning," and News Dir Guo Xiaosong and Zhao Zaiqiang and Editorial Assistant Zhang Yuhai "were sacked." The reporter who wrote the article, however, was "reassigned to another position" since he was not responsible for the "offending headline." Sources said that the punishment was determined by the Nanjing Daily News Group, which owns the Oriental Guardian (WANTCHINATIMES.com, 8/28).
StarHub TV has extended its deal to broadcast Bundesliga football in Singapore for three more seasons by signing a contract extension with broadcast rights-holder DFL Sports Enterprises through the '14-15 season. The rights package includes live coverage of up to 170 Bundesliga games, the Supercup, weekly match-week previews and an hour-long highlights show. The rights to content for online and mobile platforms are also included. The Bundesliga runs from August to May, and StarHub TV Sports Group customers will be able to watch live league matches for this season on its Football Channel and in high-definition on Sports HD. Delayed telecasts of one match and the highlights program will also be shown each week on complimentary sports channel SuperSports Arena. In addition, match coverage is available on StarHub TV on mobile devices. Customers will be able to catch Bundesliga action on TV Anywhere via starhubtv.com in the near future (StarHub).
DOWN UNDER: In Sydney, Simon Canning reported that one of the biggest football leagues in the world, Italy's Serie A, "is struggling to find interest with Australian broadcasters." While int'l leagues such as the EPL have managed to get local coverage, the Italian league "has been left out of the mix." Sports broadcasting rights specialists MP & Silva has been "selling the rights to networks throughout Asia over the past few months but have failed to find a bidder in Australia" -- despite what they say is strong interest from fans around the country (THE AUSTRALIAN, 8/29).