The Premier League will lose its longest-running sponsor at the end of the season even though "the profile of top-flight football has never been higher," according to Charles Sale of the London DAILY MAIL. Energy drink Lucozade, which has been a sponsor since the league started in '92, has "decided to end" its 21-year association. The company said that the move follows a change of strategy that "will see them invest more on research into the nutritional impact on athletes' performance" (DAILY MAIL, 10/22). MARKETING MAGAZINE's John Reynolds wrote that Lucozade is looking "to move funds into research and development of sports-nutrition products to keep ahead of competitors such as PepsiCo's Gatorade and Coca-Cola-owned Powerade." A three-year deal between the EPL and Lucozade was "due to end next summer." The brand "continues to be a partner" of the FA, having signed a four-year extension to the deal last year (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 10/23).
Marketing and Sponsorship
Adidas and Brasileiro club Flamengo "have come to an agreement" regarding the number of sponsors the Rio team would be allowed to have on its jersey if the two sides agree to the reported 10-year, R$465M ($229.3M) sponsorship contract being discussed, according to Braga & Mendes of LANCENET.com.br. The club will be allowed to have "a maximum of three sponsors" on its jersey. In the latest discussions regarding the topic, the German company asked that "only two spaces on the jersey be negotiated." Flamengo refused, and the two sides agreed to three sponsors. The number "is inferior" to the current four sponsors with which Flamengo currently has deals. If adidas does become the kit supplier of the club, the three additional sponsors "should produce revenue" of R$45M ($22.2M). That number is based on the expectation that the team can negotiate a R$25M ($12.3M) main jersey sponsorship agreement, something the marketing department failed to do this season. Should Flamengo accept adidas' proposal, the German company hopes to have the contract signed "at the start of November" (LANCENET.com.br, 10/23).
Swedish state-controlled gaming operator Svenska Spel AB has signed a deal that will see it serve as an official partner for the country's new Friends Arena national football stadium. The company revealed that the agreement, which is set to run until the end of '13, is the second such deal it has signed following a similar tie-in with the Rasunda Stadium in Stockholm. Friends Arena is a retractable roof stadium that, with an eventual capacity of up to 65,000 spectators, is to be the largest such venue in the whole of Scandinavia and the second largest in Europe. The new home for the Swedish men’s national football team and local club side AIK Solna, the venue already has a full schedule of events planned including qualifying matches for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the finals for the 2013 UEFA Women’s Championship. The new stadium is owned by the Swedish FA and will officially open later this month (Svenska Spel).
KB Financial "is taking aim at golf" by sponsoring the last major KLPGA game of the season, according to Lee Ji-hyun of the KOREA JOONGANG DAILY. The KB Financial Group STAR Championship will be held at the Yeongjongdo Sky 72 Golf Club from Thursday through Sunday. The event offers a total of 700M won ($635,000) in prize money, including a 140M won ($127,000) prize for the winner. It is the largest of the three competitions remaining this season. In December, the competition between South Korea and Japan's women's national teams will be held with the sponsor's support. The KB Financial Group Cup 11th Korea-Japan women's national golf team match play competition will be held at Busan Bayside Golf Club for two days beginning Dec. 1. KB's support for the Korean Golf Association is "helping raise the prominence of female amateur golfers," as it hosts the KB Financial Group Women's Amateur Golf Championship in Gangwon province in July (KOREA JOONGANG DAILY, 10/22).
Brand Extensions Russia has been appointed to represent the NBA in Russia and former Soviet states. Brand Extensions Russia is a joint venture between British licensing agent Jane Evans Licensing Consultancy and Greek licensing firm PJB Brands. Brand Extensions Russia will focus on identifying partners for the NBA across multiple categories including back-to-school, home furnishings and publishing. JELC Dir Janet Woodward said, “Building the presence of a sports superbrand like the NBA in the Russian market is an opportunity that doesn’t come along often, and it’s one we are looking forward to immensely.” The new partners will join an existing NBA licensee base that includes apparel, interactive games, sporting goods, trading cards and sticker categories (Brand Extensions Russia).
Argentina Primera Division club River Plate's second jersey "beat the global sales record of adidas" during the week of its launch, according to MAQUINADOESPORTE.com.br. A total of 4,041 jerseys were sold globally between Sept. 3-10. The number is "higher than any other item sold by the German company" for that week. To celebrate the accomplishment, adidas "sent the Argentinian club a framed commemorative jersey." River Plate VP Diego Turnes said, "This record shows that River Plate is the biggest club in Argentina. We have to thank all the fans for their unconditional love to the team." Adidas Marketing Dir in Argentina Pablo Lacovino added, "The greatness of a club like River Plate made this sales record possible. For adidas, it is an honor to be part of this and have a durable partnership with a team of this importance" (MAQUINADOESPORTE.com.br, 10/22).
FIFA Head of Strategy and Brand Management Ralph Straus has "set out the strategy" for World Cup 2014 in Brazil, specifically how licensing will play a "pivotal role in building the FIFA brand," according to Jessica Blue of BRAND REPUBLIC. Straus laid out his plan last week at The Big Interview at Brand Licensing Europe 2012. Straus explained that "licensing is not about revenue at all." He added that "it is all about brand building and how licensed products can develop the brand and fuel fan excitement for teams, players and the event itself on a global basis." The FIFA brand became important in '02 and 10 years on "has its biggest focus ever." Historically, licensing sales "took place in the host nation," but Straus revealed that "there is new evidence of a shift to a global market." Activity in Brazil "will be complemented" by FIFA’s biggest global licensing program. As FIFA looks ahead to Russia and Qatar, "the strategy is to create an ongoing int'l licensing business model where essential products are priced" within reach of its fans. The "vuvuzela was the surprise licensed product of '10." FIFA "is openly looking for a signature product for '14 in Brazil," and Straus opened the door to pitches from the licensing community. If "you’ve got an idea, then get in there quick" (BRANDREPUBLIC.com, 10/23).
UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva has agreed to a sponsorship deal with P&G brand Duracell. The deal was brokered by marketing agency 9ine (MKTESPORTIVO.com, 10/23). ... Int'l insurer Nationale Suisse and Roger Federer have extended their six-year long collaboration for another four years (Nationale Suisse). ... The German Golf Federation (DGV) "signed a fourth main sponsorship deal with Marriott Hotels & Resorts." The deal "will start on Jan. 1 and run through '15" (GOLF.de, 10/22). ... National No. 2 squash player Low Wee Wern "will be sponsored" by property development company Nusmetro Group and water supply company Pusat Bekalan Air Penang for two years. The news comes while trying to defend her title in the China Open (THE STAR, 10/23). ... The Sauber F1 team and its partner Oerlikon have agreed to extend their partnership until '15. The Oerlikon logo "will continue to appear" on both sides of the upper engine cover of the new Sauber racecar and on the team gear and equipment (IANS, 10/23).