IMG Worldwide, which has a marketing agreement with the Chinese Super League, "has started setting up meetings with possible U.S. corporate sponsors," according to BLOOMBERG. IMG China President & CEO Adam Zhu said, "We've just begun the process, but there's a tremendous interest from companies in the U.S." Zhu said meetings to discuss possible sponsorships have been held with "major consumer product companies," with IMG also planning a promotional tour for the league. Zhu would not reveal "which companies had participated in talks." Foreign companies, including Yum! Brands, Daimler and Samsung Electronics have used athletes to market their products in China, which has grown to become the world's largest consumer of cars, mobile phones and computers. Zhu said of IMG's agreement with the CSL, "We saw the opportunities here." IMG's return to work with the CSL comes after a "committee formed by 12 ministry-level government agencies began a crackdown on graft in the sport in '09." Zhu said, "We've done tremendous due diligence politically, financially and people wise. We're going to help improve the system." In addition to sponsorships, IMG is also looking at how the CSL "can boost revenue through online media and has met EPL CEO Richard Scudamore to discuss the league's development" (BLOOMBERG, 10/30).
Marketing and Sponsorship
Energy company CEPSA has agreed to renew its sponsorship deal with the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) for another two years. The new agreement will run through the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The new contract gives CEPSA the rights to use images of La Roja, just as in the previous sponsorship deal. This includes the right to carry out any kind of advertising, radio or TV spot using the image and facilities of the Spanish national team for any of CEPSA's business divisions. The deal will also enable promotions with official team products and other hospitality rights such as free tickets, or the right to use executive boxes. As far as football stadiums are concerned, the CEPSA brand will be visible within the perimeter of the field on smart-vision LED screens. A new aspect of the current sponsorship deal will be the use of signs positioned on either side of the goal to provide visibility of the company's brand (CEPSA).
World No. 1 Rory McIlroy "appears set to cross the threshold into the realms of the best-paid athletes in global professional sport if Nike follows through on speculation" that it is poised to offer the 23-year-old a 10-year deal believed to be worth up to $250M, according to John O'Sullivan of the IRISH TIMES. The Nike connection "appears much closer to fruition" despite Nike spokesperson Beth Gast pointing out: "We are declining comment on rumours and speculation." McIlroy "is a sponsor’s dream, and for Nike he would be a clean-cut, globally popular figure who would offer a welcome contrast in helping Nike distance itself from the damage done by the Lance Armstrong scandal" and the subsequent cancelation of his contract with the company. It would give Nike the two biggest golfing stars in McIlroy and Tiger Woods (IRISH TIMES, 10/31). In Dublin, Mark Garrod reported that six-time major winner Nick Faldo called the potential move "dangerous." Faldo said, "I've changed clubs and changed equipment and every manufacturer will say 'We can copy your clubs, we can tweak the golf ball so it fits you.' But there's feel and sound as well and there's confidence. You can't put a real value on that -- it's priceless" (INDEPENDENT, 10/31).
The Intercontinental Hua Hin Resort in Thailand has become the latest sponsor of the 2012 FIFA Futsal World Cup, according to MAQUINADOESPORTE.com.br. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Intercontinental "is the most sensational resort" in Thailand. The location had already hosted an opening ceremony for the Futsal World Cup, where it displayed the trophy of the competition. The FIFA Futsal World Cup takes place every four years, and this year it is taking place in Thailand from Thursday until Nov. 18 (MAQUINADOESPORTE.com.br, 10/30). BREAKINGTRAVELNEWS.com reported that the resort is sponsoring the tournament in the "hope of generating local interest in the game and encouraging Hua Hin’s youth to develop an active interest in the indoor-based variation of football" (BREAKINGTRAVELNEWS.com, 10/29).
STADIUM DEADLINE: In Bangkok, Tor Chittinand reported FIFA announced Wednesday, the night before the tournament begins, "that it would permit Thailand to use the new" Bangkok Futsal Arena in Nong Chok district, "subject to a number of conditions." The requirements include "a reduction in the stadium's capacity from 12,000 to 10,000 by closing the fifth story to the public, completing all security procedures, preparing an emergency evacuation plan, arranging appropriate insurance and finalising a CCTV system." Organizing Committee Chair Manilal Fernando said, "We will make our final inspection on Nov. 5" (BANGKOK POST, 11/1).
Swiss milk processor Emmi has extended its int'l sponsorship involvement in the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup. The new contract directly follows the current one, running from the '13-14 to the '15-16 season. The deal was brokered by Infront Sports & Media. The agreement entitles Emmi to be at the heart of the action during the most important FIS Alpine Ski World Cup events in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy, France and Norway -- including races such as Adelboden,Wengen (both Switzerland) or Cortina d’Ampezzo (Italy). The Emmi brand will be visible on banners and boards in prime locations of the course, within the start and finish areas as well as on athlete’s bib numbers (Infront Sports & Media).
Brazilian airline company TAM confirmed that it will no longer be an official sponsor of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) in '13 (MAQUINADOESPORTE.com.br, 10/30). ... Brazilian UFC fighter Junior Cigano "is close to a sponsorship deal with Nike" (MAQUINADOESPORTE.com.br, 10/31). ... Second Bundesliga club FC St. Pauli created together with title sponsor "Deutsche Fernsehlotterie" and kit supplier "Do you Football" a contest in which fans can design a jersey for the team. The winning design will be produced and sold for a charity cause. In addition, the winning design will be worn by the team in its home game against Hertha BSC in April (FC St. Pauli).