Trademark registrants are "exploiting the popularity of successful domestic and overseas Chinese athletes" following the London Games by rushing to register the right to use their names, according to XINHUA. The business tactic "is increasingly being questioned in China." The practice is often referred to as "qiangzhu" in Mandarin, meaning "rush to register," causing criticism to center around companies or individuals buying the rights "with the intention of cynically selling them onto other entities wishing to use the famous names in marketing." CCTV reported that two Chinese swimsuit companies applied to use the names of swimming Gold Medalists Sun Yang and Ye Shiwen as early as summer last year, without the swimmers' approval. According to the China Trademark Office, the swimmers' names "were the subject of a trademark application last August." Of all the trademarks passed by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, China's 110m hurdler Liu Xiang has received 48 applicants, Asian-American NBA player Jeremy Lin is the subject of 229 applications, while the Chinese characters for retired NBA player Yao Ming feature in 110 (XINHUA, 8/30).
Marketing and Sponsorship
National Rugby League club Melbourne Storm's "cash windfall for the week" has risen $1.5M with Crown Casino signing as a major sponsor for a third year, according to Russell Gould of the HERALD SUN. Thursday's renewal "of Crown's only team sponsorship" is believed to be worth around $1M. The financial injection joins the $500,000 that Australian Rugby League Commission Chair John Grant confirmed "would be given to all clubs" before Oct. 31, following the recent NRL media rights deal. The Storm still needs to find a back-of-jersey sponsor before the finals, which could allow them to "collect another cheque" (HERALD SUN, 8/31). As part of the partnership, the Crown logo will continue to be displayed on the front of the club's jersey for all Melbourne Storm's playing apparel. In addition, extending the agreement will provide Melbourne's only NRL club with an off-field home for its extensive national fan and membership base (Melbourne Storm).
The Caterham F1 Team confirmed that EADS, the aerospace and defense group, has joined the team as an official partner. EADS logos will appear on the CT01 2012 race cars and across the whole team beginning with the Belgian Grand Prix. EADS comprises commercial and military aircraft maker Airbus, the European leader in space programs Astrium, defense and security systems provider Cassidian and helicopter maker Eurocopter. Caterham F1 Team Principal Tony Fernandes said, "The partnership with EADS and Caterham F1 Team is the first of a number of exciting announcements we will be making about projects that various arms of the Caterham Group are working with EADS on" (Caterham F1).
A-League Adelaide United FC has secured locally based solar company Unleash Solar as the club’s primary sponsor for the upcoming season.The company is committed to providing green alternatives for all Australian households at an affordable price while saving on their energy bills. In this tough current economic climate for attracting significant corporate partners, Unleash Solar’s commitment is a welcome coup for the Reds. Adelaide United CEO Glenn Elliott said, "This is very compatible with our moto of ‘Our Team, Our State,’ and our branding as South Australia's stand-alone team in the Hyundai A-League" (Adelaide United).
FIFA sponsor Coca-Cola "will inaugurate its communication plan" for the 2014 World Cup with a campaign created by advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy, according to Felipe Turlão of MEIO&MENSAGEM. The campaign created by the company's São Paulo office will allow Brazilians "to send suggestions for characteristics" that will be adopted in the behavior of the official mascot for the World Cup. The goal is for the mascot to have "the most typical Brazilian characteristics." Suggestions will be accepted through a Facebook application that will accept suggestions through text, photo and video. Another FIFA sponsor, adidas, already ran a similar initiative to get consumers involved for '14 when they launched an online poll where people could vote on the name of the official World Cup ball. The objective of Coca-Cola is for the mascot to be "the most Brazilian of Brazilians" (MEIO&MENSAGEM, 8/28). MAQUINADOESPORTE's Lucas Turco reported that the official mascot of the World Cup will "not necessarily come from this campaign." Coca-Cola will send the best projects to FIFA and the organization "will decide if they like the idea" (MAQUINADOESPORTE.com.br, 8/29).
The PGA Tour announced Wednesday Deutsche Bank has formally extended its sponsorship of the Deutsche Bank Championship by four years through ‘16. The announcement comes as the tournament celebrates its 10th anniversary this week. Deutsche Bank has been title sponsor since the tournament's Labor Day weekend debut at TPC Boston in ‘03. EMC Corp. also has renewed as the local presenting sponsor through ’16 (PGA Tour). In Boston, Michael Whitmer wrote, “All signs pointed to the new deal, with Deutsche Bank Americas CEO Seth Waugh saying a month ago that a handshake agreement was in place.” The tournament has “always been held over Labor Day weekend, and since 2007 has been the second of four events in the tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs” (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/30).
Starting in Janunary, Rapha Performance Roadwear will become the official clothing provider of Sky Pro Cycling. Rapha will provide a complete range of clothing and accessories to dress Team Sky. The four-year deal will see Rapha develop a full collection of top-end, high-performance racing and training kit and off-bike dress for both riders and staff. The Rapha offering will also extend to the best selection of riding and fanwear for supporters of Team Sky. The full Sky Pro Cycling collection will become available for sale in January on the global Rapha online store (www.rapha.cc) and at select cycling retailers around the world (Team Sky).
A NEW DIRECTION: In other new, the Berlin Velothon cycling event "signed a new title sponsorship deal with U.S.-based GPS technology company Garmin." The one-day cycling event is a UCI (Int'l Cycling Union) category 1.1 event and will take place for the third time on June 9 (RADSPORT-NEWS.com, 8/29).