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Volume 10 No. 25

Marketing and Sponsorship

The Irish Football Association has announced sports training supplier Precision as the first official training aid supplier to the Northern Ireland football team. In association with local sports company Podium 4 Sport the partnership, which includes a three-year agreement, is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland. The new agreement will see the company supply market-leading training equipment to all levels of the Irish FA from the national team through to the grassroots level of the game. Former England Manager and Precision Ambassador Graham Taylor said, "Training techniques and the equipment that is required has changed dramatically from my days as a player and a manager, and they continue to innovate at a rapidly increasing rate, and the partnership will help everyone stay ahead of the game" (Irish FA).

The World Motor Sport Council has approved for the FIA to proceed with an agreement with The Sportsman Media Group and Red Bull Media House to become the new global promoters of the FIA World Rally Championship beginning in '13. FIA said in a statement: “The promoter will be responsible for investing and developing the WRC with a view to increasing its profile, reputation and commercial value. In particular, the promoter, working in close collaboration with the FIA, will be focused on introducing live television and an innovative digital media strategy in the next years.” The support championship structure has also been revamped, and a number of cost-cutting measures have also been announced. As part of a cost-reduction process and to attract greater entries, the WMSC confirmed WRC teams competing in the 2013 FIA World Rally Championship will now only have to contest one round outside of Europe. WRC teams must however still nominate and take part in a minimum of seven events (WRC).'s David Evans reported that Eurosport will become the new promoter of the FIA European Rally Championship, in a deal "that spells the end of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge." The announcement "brings to end speculation regarding the future of the ERC and Eurosport's own IRC." The latter will cease at the end of this current season after a six-year run (, 9/28).

The NBA and financial institution BBVA Bancomer have agreed to a partnership that makes the banking group the official presenting partner of the NBA Mexico Game 2012. NBA Mexico Game 2012 presented by BBVA Bancomer will see Mexican-native Gustavo Ayon and the Orlando Magic take on the New Orleans Hornets in a perseason game at the new Arena Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City on Oct. 7. As presenting partner, the bank will receive brand exposure around the game in October, as well as in arena on game day through signage, premiums and on-court fan activities. In addition to the NBA Mexico Game 2012, BBVA is also the presenting partner for the league's preseason games in Europe, which will feature the Dallas Mavericks playing games in Berlin and Barcelona, and the Boston Celtics playing games in Istanbul, Turkey and Milan, Italy against top European basketball teams. BBVA became the official bank of the NBA in '10 as part of a multiyear marketing partnership with the league that includes the U.S., Europe and Latin America (NBA). The deal comes as the league is taking a "more aggressive marketing approach around its scheduled games in Europe, Mexico and China" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/1 issue).

The Int'l Ski Federation (FIS) has already "sold all of its sponsoring and marketing packages for its Alpine World Ski Championships," according to KLEINE ZEITUNG. The FIS Alpine World Ski Championships "will be held in Schladming, Austria from Feb. 4-17." In addition, FIS revealed that shoe retailer Deichmann "became its eighth and last title sponsor." The other seven FIS partners are Audi, Milka, UNIQA, Vattenfall, Gösser, Halti and Longines. FIS President Gian Franco Kasper said, "The commercial success of our marquee event shows the continued appeal of winter sports in the international market" (KLEINE ZEITUNG, 10/1).

Vero communications and its Brazilian partner agencies have been called in by infrastructure and architecture firm AECOM to lead its communications around its work building the Rio 2016 Olympic Park, according to Lynsey Barber of PR WEEK. Vero’s Brazilian subsidiary MLA True Communications and sister agency Approach "will lead communications around the Rio 2016 Olympic Park master plan." In the past, Vero has worked on Olympic projects including Rio’s Olympic bid and media management of Brazil’s Olympic Committee presence, Casa Brazil, at the London 2012 games. It was also recently "called in to support communications" for host city Belo Horizonte ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil (, 10/1).

FC Barcelona sponsor and watchmaker Seiko presented first team players and coaches with a special version of the Sportura watch. The Japanese company created the Seiko Sportura FC Barcelona, a specially designed model with an alarm and the Barça crest (FC Barcelona). ... Brasileiro club Fluminense "closed a contract" with supplement supplier Nutrilatina. The three-year deal will see the company be the official supplement provider of the club (, 10/1). ... Ligue 1 club AS Saint-Étienne has agreed to a two-year sponsorship deal with pet food distributor Rapid Croq'. The deal was brokered by marketing agency Sportfive and will see the club wear the Rapid Croq' logo on the back of their shorts during all home and away matches (ASSE).

MADE IN GERMANY: German 3rd League football team Stuttgarter Kickers signed an extensive marketing deal with sports marketing agency UFA Sports GmbH. The club decided to work with the Hamburg-based company after months of thorough examinations of the different offers. UFA Sports will support the club with the marketing of all ad, hospitality and merchandising rights. The rights itself remain with the club. The long-term deal is valid for all leagues (Stuttgarter Kickers). ... The German Beko Basketball Bundesliga (BBL) agreed to a new sponsorship deal with luggage manufacturer RIMOWA. The company will provide BBL award winners (MVP, Coach of the Year and German Rookie of the Year) with high quality luggage (Beko BBL).