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Volume 6 No. 194

Marketing and Sponsorship

Italian fashion designer of sportswear Sergio Tacchini is to target high-earning consumers with "targeted marketing initiatives and sponsorship campaigns" around individual sports as it looks to exploit what it claims is a renewed growing market for fashion focused premium sportswear, according to Sebastian Joseph of MARKETING WEEK. The hope is that the strategy will "help relaunch the brand in major markets around the world" after it lost some of its share of the tenniswear market to Nike and adidas over the last two decades. The company said that future marketing activity will look to carve out a "niche audience of younger and affluent consumers in an overcrowded market by focusing on style." Additionally, sponsorship campaigns will be "tailored around events, venues, individuals associated with individual sports such as tennis, sailing and racing" (, 9/28).

Virgin Media is "launching its latest press campaign" featuring Olympic running champion Mo Farah doing his famous "Mobot,'' according to Sara Kimberley of CAMPAIGN LIVE. The double Olympic Gold Medal winner celebrates doing his Mobot pose after realizing Virgin Media customers get extras, "such as HD channels and double broadband speeds, without having to pay for them." The strapline reads, "Can’t say Farah than that." Internet marketing firm Fifty6 handled the planning and buying for the ads, and ad agency BBH "was behind the ads." BBH's Tom Drew and Uche Ezugwu were the "creative team on the campaign." The ads are part of a multimillion-pound campaign that started last month and will run across outdoor, press, digital and mobile starting on Monday (, 9/28).

The Qatar Football Association signed a "massive" three-year partnership agreement with Qatar National Bank as its strategic sponsor for Qatar’s national teams and all domestic football championships, according to Ikoli Victor of the QATAR TRIBUNE. QNB Group CEO Ali Shareef al Emadi and Qatar Football Association & Qatar Stars President Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed al Thani signed the deal. The new contract means that QNB is the sponsor for the Qatar National football team, Emir Cup, Heir Apparent Cup, Sheikh Jassim Cup and Qatar Stars League, "besides being an exclusive sponsor of Qatar Stars Cup" (QATAR TRIBUNE, 9/30). The GULF TIMES reported that QNB has "always been a supporter and participant in all key sport events" organized in Qatar. Al-Emadi said that the sponsorship is part of QNB's policy and commitment to "support the country in all the local sports events and tournaments." Al-Emadi said, "We always strive to achieve Qatar’s ultimate goal through sports association" (GULF TIMES, 9/28).

Proctor & Gamble Olympics Project Dir Nathan Homer has claimed that the impact of his company's sponsorship of the London Games "has been transformational, both within the company and externally," according to John Reynolds of MARKETING MAGAZINE. Homer, a key player in P&G's "Proud Sponsor Of Mums" activity, said, "One of the things we [P&G] have always struggled with is to find a big enough commercial and marketing platform we could leverage. No one knows who P&G are, but I always tell people what we own." Homer added that sponsorship of the London Games "had given P&G this platform and had resulted in more integration within the company," as the Games had involved all departments at P&G, not just marketing. He also believed the Games had "sky-rocketed" the P&G brand in the minds of consumers. Homer was speaking at the Sports Marketing 360 Thursday. His views were echoed by Coca-Cola Head of Olympic Sponsorship Assets for the London Games Mark Osikoya, who "played a central role in Coke's 'Move To The Beat' campaign." Osikoya said that one lesson that Coke had learned from the Games was that "closer integration within an organisation was paramount, particularly between Coca-Cola itself and its distribution arm, Coca-Cola Enterprises" (, 9/27).

Following betting allegations, online bookmaker Betclic has decided to remove all advertisements featuring Montpellier handball player Nicolas Karabatic, according to Olivia Derreumaux of The France Gold Medal winner in London will not appear in any commercials for Betclic. His image "has even been removed from the company's website." Until the investigation is completed, the "financial impact remains limited for the player" since Betclic assured there was no "rupturing of the contract." Karabatic's other sponsors, including adidas, "have not commented" on the allegations (, 9/28).

Powertools manufacturer Makita continues to advance its leadership position in Hispanic marketing with an ongoing partnership with football broadcaster Fernando Fiore. Fiore, perhaps the most-recognized voice in Spanish language sports media, joins Makita, the official power tool sponsor of Major League Soccer and the official power tool of the Mexican national football team. Makita plans to further leverage the partnership with Fiore across a number of platforms including on the jobsite, in stores and with promotions built around Fiore's personality and profile. This month, the company launched a new initiative targeting Hispanic contractors with a chance to attend an upcoming Mexican national team match with Fiore, including round-trip air and accommodations (Makita).

U.K.-based Monarch Airlines will feature Olympic skier Chemmy Alcott in a new direct mail campaign featuring the mobile image recognition platform, Blippar, according to The integration of Blippar "allows Monarch customers to bring the slopes and new destinations to life via a mobile device." Created by direct response and relationship marketing agency WDMP, the campaign aims to highlight to skier and snowboarders that Monarch’s new routes "offer easy access to some of the best snow in Europe." A ''hot-list'' of 55,000 snow sport customers, targeted through a profiling tool developed by WDMP, will "receive a supersized fold out mail pack." The pack unfolds to reveal a die-cut mountain range with "aspirational images and action shots of the new destinations available to Monarch customers" including Innsbruck, Austria; Grenoble, France; Friedrichshafen, Germany; and Munich. A 3D mountain and video introduction from Alcott is also available, as well as "footage of her training on the slopes" (, 9/28).

South Korean Swimmer Park Tae-hwan's management agency of five years said that "it will not retain the freestyler after their current contract expires at the end of this month." The sports management wing of South Korea's top mobile carrier SK Telecom said that it has decided to not renew its sponsorship deal with the 23-year-old (YONHAP, 9/28). ... Hong Kong mobile communications brand 1010 has agreed to a two-year deal to become title sponsor of the Match Racing Series at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club for the '12-13 and '13-14 seasons (RHKYC).