EPL Newcastle has started tearing down the Sports Direct signs at St. James' Park to "the joy of Newcastle fans around the world," according to the London DAILY MAIL. Fans were "quick to express their delight" at the news on Twitter. Fan @SJ_NUFC wrote, "The beauty that is St James' Park, is once more! #NUFC." Loan company Wonga recently signed a four-year £32M ($51.4M) shirt and stadium sponsorship agreement. The contract does not go into effect until next season, but the club has "immediately pulled down" the Sports Direct signs in order to restore the St. James' Park name. The original lettering will be restored for Newcastle's next home game against Club Brugge in the UEFA Europa League (DAILY MAIL, 10/15)
Marketing and Sponsorship
Football Federation Australia and Nike have extended their partnership in an 11-year deal that calls for Nike's logo to "appear on the Socceroos jersey throughout the next three World Cup campaigns," according to Dominic Bossi of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The deal's exact figure "has not been released," but FFA CEO Ben Buckley confirmed that it has "become the largest financial contribution to Australian football" aside from the broadcast deal with Fox Sports. The new multi-million dollar deal has become the FFA's "single-largest sponsorship and is believed to be the most lucrative apparel agreement" for any Australian national sporting team. Buckley said, "It's obviously a long-term deal, but it's multi-millions of dollars per annum and all that goes into supporting the growth of the game." The deal "encompasses kits and sponsorship of all national football teams," including the senior men's and women's teams as well as all youth teams. The current deal is the third successive agreement between the FFA and Nike, which has been Australia's kit manufacturer since '04 (SMH, 10/15). The AAP reported Buckley said that the deal "represents an overwhelming vote of confidence in Australian football." Buckley: "The agreement goes way beyond the financial investment ... to have a partner like Nike, it is not just about the dollars" (AAP, 10/15).
Sunday's Red Bull Stratos event, which featured Felix Baumgartner's jump from more than 24 miles, "was a success and will positively impact Red Bull's brand value," according to Christof Kerkmann of HANDELSBLATT. Austrian media outlets reported that Red Bull invested more than €50M ($64.8M) in the event. Red Bull not only staged the event but also used its production company Red Bull Media House and its TV channel ServusTV to distribute its images to other media outlets. In addition, YouTube's live stream of the event "recorded more 340 million site views before the actual jump." Red Bull "dominated German TV screens on Sunday." Sunday morning, a total of 3.52 million people watched Red Bull's first and second-place finish at the Korean F1 Grand Prix, which started at 8am CEST. Baumgartner's record-breaking jump attracted even more impressive numbers. German news channel N-TV set a new ratings record with 6.59 million viewers or a 19.4% market share between 8:10-8:15pm when Baumgartner landed his jump. Overall, N-TV attracted 2.24 million viewers for a 8.8% share for its four-hour broadcast of the event. YouTube also set a new record with more than 8 million viewers simultaneously watching the event. YouTube's previous record of 500,000 was set during the London Olympics. (HANDELSBLATT, 10/15).
ONLINE FRENZY: The London GUARDIAN's Owen Gibson wrote sponsorship experts said on Monday that the online frenzy around Baumgartner's leap served to highlight trends that "had been emerging for some time." Sponsors "moved away from traditional models" of sponsorship and toward their own customized spectaculars. Sponsorship agency Synergy CEO Tim Crow said, "The biggest trend in the last 10 years, and the social Internet side of things has merely accelerated it, is that creating your own content has absolutely moved to the top of the agenda. The hackneyed old tickets, hospitality and perimeter boarding model is being left behind." Major brands "have been talking for years about becoming content producers rather than simply paying media and rights owners to advertise or slap their logos on shirts and hoardings." None have "taken it as seriously as Red Bull" (GUARDIAN, 10/15). MARKETING MAGAZINE's Sarah Shearman wrote that according to a Twitter spokesperson, "there has been approximately 3.1 million tweets sent relating to the event" (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 10/15).
EPL Sunderland has named TLC88.com the club’s official Asian betting and gaming partner. The two-year deal will offer the team's supporters across Asia a range of online activities including football betting on games in the EPL. Sunderland Int'l Marketing Dir Mike Farnan said, "This is the first partnership that the club has signed in Asia and one that will help the growth of Sunderland AFC on an international level" (Sunderland).
Former Nike marketer and distance runner Brendan Foster said that Olympians should "reap in as many commercial endorsements as they can, while brands should be knocking on the door to replace Aviva as U.K. Athletics sponsor," according to John Reynolds of MARKETING MAGAZINE. Some critics have suggested that "too many endorsement deals" can turn into distractions for athletes. But BBC commentator Foster, who won an Olympic Bronze in the 1976 Games, "vehemently disagrees." Foster said, "I think it is great. Athletes don't have too much opportunity to earn money. Athletes like Jessica (Ennis), Greg Rutherthord and Mo Farrah have had a great year. And at the end of the day, they make a living from commercial endorsements. Remember these guys don’t race every week" (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 10/15).
The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and Nissan have agreed to a sponsorship deal until the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil (RFEF). ... Asset Management company Amundi has extended its sponsorship of the Open de France golf tournament through '16 (Amundi). ... LNB Pro A club Le Mans SB has agreed to a sponsorship deal with sports surfacing company Tarkett Sports. Terms of the three-year deal were not disclosed, but it was revealed that part of the agreement will include Tarkett Sports providing the club with a brand new floor for their arena (Le Mans SB). ... The German Football League (DFL) agreed to a new premium partnership with logistics company Hermes. Starting in January, the Hermes logo will be featured on the left sleeve of all 36 Bundesliga and 2nd Bundesliga clubs (DFL). ... The Int'l Tennis Federation and Hyundai Motor Company Australia have extended their naming-rights partnership with the Hopman Cup. The car manufacturer has sponsored the tennis tournament since its inception in '88 and has been title sponsor since '98, making it one of the country's longest title sponsorships (Hyundai).
DEALS IN CHINA: NBA Miami Heat G Terrel Harris and C Dexter Pittman were "introduced as endorsers" of Chinese shoe and apparel company Peak, a Heat sponsor, during the team's participation in the 2012 NBA China Games Saturday. A source said that G James Jones "has agreed to a contract with the shoe company" and is "set to sign a contract next month." Jones is currently "under contract with Nike." F Udonis Haslem is "currently in negotiations with Peak and could announce a deal soon" (MIAMI HERALD, 10/13).