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Volume 6 No. 212

Marketing and Sponsorship

Ligue 1 Paris St. Germain has become a top European football club, "thanks to the never ending support from Qatar," according to Christophe Palierse of Reports of a new deal worth as much as €400M ($518.1M) over four years with the Qatar National Bank, already a sponsor of the club, would be a record. ManU recently signed a $559M seven-year deal with General Motors that will be worth close to $80M annually. PSG's new deal could be worth as much as €100 ($130M) annually (, 9/20).'s Marc Limacher opined that rumors of a possible deal do not mean anything will get done. One year ago, the same Qatar National Bank was reportedly close to a 10-year €500M ($647.6M) deal with F1 team Williams, "but the contract never saw the light of day." Such rumors "are simply information given to increase the value of a project for another possible prospect" (, 9/20).'s Fabien Perrin reported that PSG did not comment on reports, "but the deal could be a way of countering UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules." PSG Chair Nasser el-Khelaifi recently said, "We'll follow the rules. Mr. Platini [UEFA's president] said we'll need to be creative. We have a few ideas" (, 9/20).

SPONSORSHIP WAR: The AFP reported that despite reports of a new sponsor for PSG, Fly Emirates said that "they were close to agreeing a renewal of their shirt sponsorship deal with the club." Fly Emirates Senior VP Boutros Boutros said, "We will not comment on press stories. All I can say is that we have an excellent relationship with the club and with the owner of the club, Nasser Al Khelaifi, and that we are at the final stage of renewing our shirt sponsorship of the club for another five years" (AFP, 9/20). L'EQUIPE wrote that between a four-year proposal worth €100M annually and the €3.5M ($4.5M) per year PSG receives from Fly Emirates, "there is little doubt on who to choose." Perhaps the comments were made to "create confusion." It is difficult to figure out what exactly is going on "especially with the club owner refusing to comment on any deals that have not been finalized" (L', 9/20).

The NBA Houston Rockets signed a three-year marketing agreement with East West Bank in "the latest association" between the team and a company with operations in China, according to Nancy Kercheval of BLOOMBERG. The agreement, "which gives East West in-arena and on-air exposure to fans" through the '14 season, comes two months after the Rockets added Asian-American Jeremy Lin to their roster. Houston entered deals with Asian companies after signing Chinese center Yao Ming in '02, and Japan-based Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s biggest automaker, put its name on the team’s arena when it opened in '03. Rockets CEO Tad Brown said in a statement: "Over the past decade, the Rockets have developed and established an international following, particularly throughout Asia. This partnership with East West Bank, a leader in the international banking community, will add to that global presence." East West Bank is headquartered in Pasadena, California and has branches throughout the U.S. and China (BLOOMBERG, 9/20).

Zimbabwe and Ajax Cape Town winger Khama Billiat "scaled new heights in his growing international profile" when he recently secured a three-year endorsement deal from adidas, according to Petros Kausiyo of the ZIMBABWE HERALD. Billiat becomes the first Zimbabwean player to get an endorsement from adidas, with the int'l company having previously chosen to "only chip in with once-off sponsorship packages." The deal means he will be featured on some of adidas' commercials as well as its various social responsibility programs. Billiat will become the local face of adidas as it seeks "to penetrate the Zimbabwean market." Adidas and local financial institution BancABC are already working on a deal that "will see the kit manufacturer produce replicas" for Premiership club Dynamos and Highlanders as well as police outfit Black Mambas. Billiat would be given "an annual budget," which he can use on any adidas equipment of his choice. Billiat's Manager Edzai Kasinauyo said, "It's a three-year deal, and he gets paid extra bonuses for performing well. He will also get paid on a quarterly basis, and he gets a spending budget on any items on the adidas range on a yearly basis. With this deal it means Khama would have to wear adidas boots for club and country for the next three years, and he will do some promotional stuff when requested to do so by the company." Billiat also recently told South African football magazine Kickoff of his wish to break into the European leagues, having earlier this year had a chance to go for trials to Ajax Amsterdam. Billiat said," As long as I keep playing well, I will be close to moving to Europe. It also depends on which team or league wants you" (ZIMBABWE HERALD, 9/20).

F1 team Red Bull Racing has been "benefiting from its sponsorship deal with U.S. telecoms company AT&T," according to Mario Fritzsche of Red Bull and AT&T started their partnership in May, and Team Principal Christian Horner acknowledged that "this partnership has been very beneficial for the team." Horner said, "The analysis of data has been more important than ever, since F1 reduced the amount of testing time for each team." He added that the partnership with AT&T offers the possibilities of "doing highly detailed data analysis, which help optimize the car's race setup even quicker." In addition, Red Bull Racing "extended its sponsorship with protective gear manufacturer Alpinestars." The long-term deal will provide the team's drivers and mechanics with racing overalls of the Italian-based company (, 9/20).

Automaker Nissan is expected to extend its naming-rights contract for Nissan Stadium in Yokohama, Japan, according to KYODO. Nissan will retain the rights to name the 72,000-seat stadium, which was previously called Int'l Stadium Yokohama. Nissan Stadium is home of the Yokohama F. Marinos professional football team. Under the contract, Nissan will retain naming rights to the stadium, "as well as another sports arena and a swimming pool on the same grounds," through Feb. '16. The city government expects "to rake in a combined revenue" of ¥450M ($5.7M) in the three-year period (KYODO, 9/13).

Bundesliga club Schalke 04 extended its sponsorship deal with car manufacturer Volkswagen for another three years. VW, which has been a partner of the club since '08, has provided Schalke 04 with more than 80 vehicles (VW). ... Brasileiro club Vasco agreed to a one-game sponsorship deal with Banco BMG. The bank will have its logo stamped on the sleeves of the team's jersey during Sunday's match against Ponte Preta. Terms of the deal were not disclosed (, 9/20).  ... A-League Central Coast Mariners confirmed Italian manufacturer Kappa will be the club's official apparel supplier for the next two seasons. Central Coast Mariners join rival Hyundai A-League sides Adelaide United and Melbourne Heart to be kitted out by the company. Kappa is also the apparel provider of other football clubs around the world, including Serie A club AS Roma, Premier League outfit Fulham FC, Ligue 1 competitors Toulouse, and Korean club Pohang Steelers (A-League). ... Pizza Hut has announced it is sponsoring 2011 NSW Formula Ford Champion and V8 Ute driver Steve Charman at the Bathurst 1000 race (Pizza Hut). ... The Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee has launched an Olympic stamp, which is the first with a QR-code in the history of Russia and the Olympic movement. The stamp features the official logo of the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi and a matrix code linking the user to the Sochi 2014 website, which is accessible through mobile device. The project was also launched by the Publishing and Trading Center "Marka," the Russian Post Office and supported by the Samsung (Sochi 2014).