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Volume 10 No. 25

Marketing and Sponsorship

Qatar Petroleum has extended its association with the Qatar Arabian World Cup "by signing a sponsorship deal for another year" with the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club, according to the GULF TIMES. QP Public Relations and Communication Head Mohamed Rashid Ali al-Khater and QREC Chair Sheikh Mohammed bin Faleh al-Thani "signed the sponsorship agreement" at the QREC headquarters. Also present at the occasion were QP Protocol Head Hassan Mohamed al-Ajmi and QREC GM Sami Jassim al-Boenain. This is the fifth year in a row that QP has been the major sponsor of the Qatar Arabian World Cup, which will take place during the weekend of the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe "at the famed Longchamp Racecourse" in Paris on Oct. 7 (GULF TIMES, 9/26).

British toymaker Hornby “suffered dire sales in their London 2012 merchandise this summer,” sending the company’s shares "tumbling by more than a third,” according to James Thompson of the London INDEPENDENT. A key problem is “understood to have been a distinct lack of demand at big retail chains" for Hornby's figurines of official London Games mascots Wenlock and Mandeville. A source said that “big retailers, such as Tesco and Argos, got cold feet after sales of the mascot toys disappointed, which led to them cancelling orders en masse from licensee Hornby early in the summer.” The lower than expected sales of merchandise “hit Hornby's profits" by $4.9M. Hornby before the Olympics explained that it “had initially enjoyed ‘strong’ orders from retailers and ‘encouraging’ consumer purchases.” But the problem was that retailers "had also purchased huge quantities of London 2012 merchandise from other licencees and [when] faced with a glut of unsold stock they ‘resorted to deep discounting.’” The company said that it “now only expects to ‘break even’ this year,” following a profit of $7.3M in ‘11-12 (INDEPENDENT, 9/26).

BMW has signed a new three-year deal to sponsor the final event on The European Tour’s Race to Dubai. As official car provider, the sponsorship will be activated by BMW's Dubai importer, AGMC, Sharjah and the Northern Emirates, which will supply 48 chauffeur-driven BMW 7 Series for the transportation of the players. The hole-in-one incentive at the par-3 17th is part of BMW’s involvement as official car provider at the $8M tournament to be staged on the Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates from Nov. 22-25. BMW is the official car of The European Tour, title sponsor of the BMW PGA Championship, BMW Italian Open, the BMW Int'l Open and the BMW Masters and a European team partner for the Ryder Cup (European Tour).

Real Madrid has agreed to extend its contract with kit supplier adidas through the '19-20 season, according to MARCA. The deal will continue to see the German company supply the kits for all of Real Madrid's teams (MARCA, 9/26). reported that the club will receive €40M ($51.4M) annually from adidas. The two companies have been partners since the '98-99 campaign (, 9/26).

HAPPY MEAL: La Liga club Real Betis has announced a partnership agreement with McDonald's. With the new deal, all subscribers and supporters of the club will receive a 10% discount at all McDonald's locations. The club also announced a five-year sponsorship deal with Kyocera Document Solutions (Real Betis). 

The Ryder Cup begins Friday in Medinah, Ill., and merchandise sales on are at record levels. Site visits per day are up 186% and sales have already exceeded any prior year. Sales during the final round of the PGA Championship on Aug. 12 and the Monday following the event resulted in the two highest sales days in the history of the tournament. Ryder Cup merchandise sales on have seen growth each month this year. Sept. 4, the day the U.S. Ryder Cup captain’s picks were announced, was the highest sales day for Ryder Cup merchandise this year. Even before the tourney starts, has sold more Ryder Cup merchandise than in any other calendar year. Top sellers among Ryder Cup merch are polos, caps, jackets and a pin flag. The PGA of America’s e-commerce site is administered by, the de facto online retailer for most large U.S. sports properties, including the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, NASCAR and ESPN.

The European Ryder Cup team is certain to face a "partisan crowd" when they step up to the tee box Friday for the first day of the Ryder Cup against their American rivals in Medinah, Ill., according to the London DAILY MAIL. However, in a bid to prevent the locals from unsettling the likes of Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and co, online betting firm Betfair has "produced a canny plan to silence them... with gobstoppers." In an attempt to keep the fervent American fans quiet, the betting exchange is shipping "more than a thousand over-sized sweets to the Medinah Country Club, which last at least 250 minutes -- far longer than the average round of golf on the course" (DAILY MAIL, 9/26).