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Volume 6 No. 212

Marketing and Sponsorship

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) "is seeking a new sponsor for the England team" after Brit Insurance decided not to renew its four-year shirt deal that runs until '14, "worth a reported £18M ($28.8M)," according to Patrick Kidd of the LONDON TIMES. The insurance company is "the second main sponsor that the ECB has lost in the space of two months." Brit Group has been involved in cricket since '04, first through its sponsorship of Surrey County Cricket Club and securing the naming rights to the Kennington Oval and then as principal team sponsor of the England men’s, women’s, disability and Under-19 teams, as well as the second county England Lions (LONDON TIMES, 10/22). ECB Commercial Dir John Perera said, "If the logistics work and someone came in early, we could do something in time for the (2013-14) Ashes down under." REUTERS' Keith Weir wrote English cricket "will enjoy a high profile next year" following this season's test series with South Africa, a battle for world No. 1, being "overshadowed by the London Olympics" (REUTERS, 10/22).

A WATCHFUL EYE: MARKETING MAGAZINE's John Reynolds noted that earlier this year, Brit Insurance had dropped its marketing and communications team, "a move that put the future of its sponsorship in doubt." Perera, on a replacement sponsor, said: "The brand has to have stature commensurate with the England team. Some of the football deals wouldn't be appropriate for English cricket." The comment is a "well-aimed dig" at deals such as EPL Newcastle's United's "recent sponsorship agreement with controversial loans company Wonga" (, 10/22). REUTERS' Weir added that there is "growing evidence that companies are looking closely at what they are getting from their sponsorship agreements when corporate budgets are tight." U.K. Athletics has yet to announce a new sponsor after insurer Aviva announced it was ending its 13-year partnership (REUTERS, 10/22).

A group of  Scottish Premier League Celtic FC shareholders are "calling on the club to drop any joint sponsorship deals" with Scottish Third Division club Rangers in an attempt to break an "unwanted alliance" with its rivals, according to the SCOTSMAN. A resolution put forward by a group of unidentified shareholders for the upcoming Celtic annual general meeting states that "it would be preferable to drop sponsorship altogether rather than sign joint deals with Rangers." Celtic and Rangers "currently share a shirt-sponsorship deal with Tennent’s, which runs out next year." The resolutions states: "In recent years the joint shirt sponsorship with Rangers FC has become increasingly unpopular with supporters, as has the term 'Old Firm'" (SCOTSMAN, 10/22).

NO SUPPORT FROM BOARD: reported that in response to the shareholders' resolution, "the Celtic board has stated that it would not back such a proposal," as it would "seriously limit the number of potential sponsors available and hinder the company unnecessarily in any sponsorship negotiations that did take place." The club’s board said sponsorship deals are "shaped not only by what the board considers to be in the company’s best interests but also the commercial position of the proposed sponsor, and the marketplace" (, 10/22).

FC Barcelona and Nokia India signed an agreement in New Delhi announcing the company will become the club’s regional partner in India. Nokia India has thus become the first company in the country to be associated with the club in this manner. As part of the new agreement, Nokia India presented the campaign 'Tiki Taka with Nokia Lumia,' to increase interest in the game and specifically in FC Barcelona within the country. The campaign will give 11 people the opportunity to travel to Barcelona to get to know the team’s players and watch a game at the Camp Nou stadium. Nokia India is the Indian arm of the Finnish multinational communications company, which has been the leading supplier of mobile phones since '98 (FC Barcelona).

Scottish carbonated soft drink Irn-Bru makers AG Barr has been "unveiled as the latest sponsor" of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, according to the Scotland DAILY RECORD. The soft drinks company's links with Glasgow "date back more than 100 years." It will support the Games through a range of brands, including Irn-Bru and Strathmore spring water. Water will be supplied to the athletes' village, "while other drinks will be made available across Glasgow 2014 venues." The company will also support the event through exotic juice drink Rubicon and Barr (DAILY RECORD, 10/22).

Harness Racing South Australia and the South Australian Harness Racing Club signed a major sponsorship agreement with corporate bookmaking agency Betezy. The deal is believed to be the most-significant commercial sponsorship deal ever secured by harness racing in South Australia. The three-year agreement with Betezy includes the naming rights to Globe Derby Park, which will be known as "Betezy Park, Globe Derby." The sponsorship agreement also includes naming rights to the SA Pacing Cup and the summer racing season including the "Summer Carnival" held each January. The official lunch of the new partnership occurred on Saturday at Globe Derby Park (Australian Harness Racing).

L.A.-based talent management agency Creative Artists Agency has entered the Indian market through a joint venture with Mumbai-based celebrity and sports management agency Kwan Entertainment. The venture will represent athletes and celebrities in India and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation nations. The venture will be led by CAA's David Taghioff and Caleb Franklin, along with Kwan CEO and Managing Dir Anirban Das Blah and COO Indranil Das Blah. The new company, with more than 60 employees, will be based in Mumbai, with offices in Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad (Kwan).

AC Milan has signed a co-marketing deal with Italy's national rail operator Trenitalia. The partnership will provide pitch-side advertising as well as the company's logo on the team's website. The partnership will also see the team use Trenitalia to travel to various away games (AC Milan). ... Fashion brand T.M.Lewin and EPL club Tottenham Hotspur have revealed a new partnership that will see the company provide formal suits to the club throughout the '12-13 season. As part of the one-year deal, T.M.Lewin will fit both players and staff with their suits, shirts and ties (Tottenham). ... Second Bundesliga club VfR Aalen "extended the contract with its stadium naming-rights sponsor Scholz AG for another five years." The stadium, which was renamed to Scholz Arena in '08, "will keep this name until '18" (, 10/22). ... Brasileiro B club Ceará has reached a sponsorship deal with clothing company Rihomo. The company will have its logo on the sleeves of the club's jersey (, 10/19). ... Badminton Europe has extended its partnership with Yonex for another four years. The governing body and badminton brand have been partners for eight years (Badminton Europe). ... Financial services company HSBC has renewed its title sponsorship for the LPGA HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore for a further three years (HSBC). ... The Warmup Cycling Team, which competes in the New Zealand domestic road racing scene, has signed online bike store Chain Reaction Cycles and bike component company Specialized as two new sponsors for two years. The team has also signed up with electric underfloor heating brand Warmup for another two years. Existing sponsors, media and events company Enthuse and practical skills and mentoring coaching business Total Training, have also recommitted to the team (Warmup Cycling Team).