Arsenal’s "long-promised sunny commercial uplands appear to be taking shape as adidas prepares a blockbuster bid" to take over the club's kit deal from rival Nike, according to Matt Scott of the London TELEGRAPH. The Nike shirt deal expires in '13-14, and adidas’ interest "is set at least to double the £13M ($21M) a year" Arsenal earns from it. Arsenal fans buy 800,000 shirts every year, "making them the third-biggest draw in Nike’s portfolio" after ManU and Barcelona. Adidas dropped Liverpool last season "after growing frustrated with the club's demands over an extension" and is keen to find a new partner of similar stature. Now, adidas "is hoping to renew an association with Arsenal that ended in the mid-90s after taking the strategic decision to 'own' London." Indeed, Arsenal is "not alone in coming under adidas’ gaze, and the German manufacturer is also believed to be set to conclude a deal with Fulham." Fulham's deal with Kappa expires at the end of the season, and adidas is "poised to take over" (TELEGRAPH, 10/26).
Marketing and Sponsorship
Carsguide.com.au revealed it will become an official sponsor of the Australian Baseball League when its third season kicks off on Thursday. The partnership will see the automobile buying service branding across all six team stadiums, a broadcast presence on the ABL's weekly show on Fox Sports and naming rights to Little League Australia and the U-14 and U-16 National Youth Championships. The ABL season starts on Thursday and goes for 14 weeks, with the league recently agreeing to a new TV partnership that will see Fox Sports show a Game of the Week throughout the '12-13 season. The weekly hour-long program will feature a condensed game along with news, highlights and feature stories from around the league as well as Australian grassroots baseball and the MLB (ABL).
The Copa Santander Libertadores (South America's equivalent to the Champions League) will change its name in '13 as the bank will not renew its title sponsorship deal for the event with CONMEBOL, according to MAQUINADOESPORTE.com.br. The financial institution's deal with the South American Football Confederation was signed in '07 but is set to expire at the end of the year. In the upcoming years, "direct rivals" of Santander will sponsor mega-events in Brazil; Itaú is a sponsor of the 2014 World Cup and Bradesco is an official sponsor of the 2016 Rio Olympics. With Santander's departure, CONMEBOL has "begun looking for possible partnerships." The organization will announce a new title sponsor at a board meeting on Dec. 20 (MAQUINADOESPORTE.com.br, 10/26).
Brasileiro club São Paulo "has signed a new kit deal" with sportswear company Penalty. The agreement will see the Brazilian company replace Reebok as kit supplier of the club starting in '13 (GOAL.com, 10/26). .. The Biathlon World Team Challenge signed a new title sponsorship deal with energy brand R(H)EINPOWER for the next three years. The annual event takes place at the Veltins-Arena in Gelsenkirchen, Germany (Veltins-Arena).