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Volume 6 No. 211

Marketing and Sponsorship

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo "may be sick and tired" of comparisons to Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, but the pair will "go head-to-head once again in the footwear department," according to Rik Sharma of the London DAILY MAIL. Just as Ronaldo "earns himself a Nike special edition line of footwear," Messi "makes the adidas F50 his own." Messi's footwear are "more garish -- a lurid yellow." Meanwhile, Ronaldo's Mercurial Vapor VIII CRs are "mostly black on top." However, on the underside of the Nike boots is "a neon pink base." On the back of Ronaldo's boot is "a little symbol which depicts a heart (to show his love of winning) as well as a cross (representing his hatred of losing, apparantly)." Ronaldo "tried to play down his rivalry with Messi" on Tuesday. Ronaldo: ''The truth is I'm a little tired of it (being compared). I don't like to compare myself with others" (DAILY MAIL, 11/7).

After the 2012 London Games when U.K. Athletics "commanded a rare place at the centre of British sporting life, it must now fill a gap left by the exit of long-term sponsor Aviva," according to Keith Weir of REUTERS. U.K. Athletics new Commercial Dir Sophia Warner is "aiming to recruit a core group of up to six sponsors to replace the insurer," the sport's main backer for the past 13 years. According to media reports the deal with the insurer was worth around £8M ($12.8M) per year, a "modest sum compared to the kinds of money companies plough into higher profile sports" like football and F1. Warner said, "Athletics is very much in its early stages of sponsorship and development. It hasn't been exploited, it hasn't been over-utilised, it's still a relatively poor sport with much potential." Sponsors will be able to "put their name to various categories" such as major meetings, Paralympics, road running and community events. Warner: "We've come to the conclusion that one sponsor couldn't possibly deliver everything" (REUTERS, 11/7).

Motorsports governing body FIA "is in talks to replace World Rally Championship's current timekeeper Stage One with SIT," according to Markus Lüttgens of Despite the criticism of manufacturers and organizers, FIA has decided to change WRC's official timekeeper. Spanish-based company Sistemas Integrales de Telecomunicacion (SIT) "will replace current timekeeper Stage One Technology in '13 to provide timing at WRC races." FIA said in a statement: "FIA has entered exclusive negotiations with Sistemas Integrales de Telecomunicacion to provide the timing and safety tracking services for the FIA World Rally Championship from 2013" (, 11/7).

Russell Brands, LLC, has signed a sponsorship deal with the Australian Baseball League for which it will be the official on-field uniform supplier through '15, according to Karl Greenberg of ABL teams, which consist of national players from across Australia, Japan, South Korea, Europe and the U.S., will wear Russell Athletic uniforms beginning this year. Under the terms of the agreement, Russell will "also be the preferred supplier for all other apparel used by the ABL." The three-year contract is worth more than $2M in product, sponsorship and additional benefits, per apparel maker. In addition to supplying uniforms and apparel, Russell will also get "digital advertising inventory on website, promotional opportunities in ABL publications, signage at ABL game venues and rights to sell licensed fan apparel" (, 11/6).

Ghana FA sponsorship committee board Chair Kofi Kodua Sarpong has resigned from the position "following alleged disagreements" with FA President Kwesi Nyantakyi, according to Sarpong is "allegedly angry" with Nyantakyi because the FA boss has unilaterally agreed to a deal with telecom company Globacom to extend Glo’s sponsorship deal of the Ghana Premier League, which expires at the end of the next football season, for another three years "at a reduced fee." Sarpong is not only upset about the extension of Glo’s sponsorship of the league but "feels disrespected" because Nyantakyi did not involve the FA sponsorship committee in the negotiation process. Sarpong is upset since his position as sponsorship committee chairman "permits him to be privy to such matters" (, 11/6).

Brasileiro club Flamengo Fiscal Council President Leonardo Ribeiro revealed "the contract with adidas will wait until '13." The club decided to wait before voting on the kit proposal until elections at the club are finished in December (, 11/7). ... Brasileiro club Grêmio has spent close to R$20M ($9.8M) in organizing the Dec. 8 inaugural Arena Pernambuco friendly against Bundesliga club Hamburg SV. The club said that it will recuperate its investment through ticket sales, sponsorships and advertisement related to the event (, 11/7). ... Brasileiro club Vasco has agreed to a one game sponsorship agreement with lighting company Casarão dos Lustres. The club will wear the company's logo on its jersey sleeves during Sunday's league match against Atlético-MG at the São Januário stadium (, 11/7). ... Bundesliga club Hamburg SV signed a new sponsorship deal with energy company Care-Energy. The deal is set for three years (Hamburg SV). ... EPL club Norwich City FC has extended its sponsorship with local broker Alan Boswell Group for the fourth consecutive year. As part of the sponsorship, the company's branding will be used at matches and in the club's corporate hospitality, entertaining clients and guests from across the country (, 11/7).

FROM THE MIDDLE EAST: UAE airlines Emirates has been unveiled as an official partner of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and the official airline of the Queen’s Baton Relay. To mark the announcement, the 777-300ER aircraft on Wednesday's afternoon flight to and from Glasgow was adorned with the Glasgow 2014 official partner logo on both sides. The partnership with Glasgow 2014 will see the airline play a key role in the Queen’s Baton Relay, the unique prelude to the Commonwealth Games during which a message of goodwill from Queen Elizabeth is taken through the 71 nations and territories, which will be sending athletes to compete in Glasgow (Glasgow 2014). ... Dubai Aluminium (Dubal) has "extended its support" for the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters, to be held at Emirates Golf Club from Dec. 5-8. The field for the tournament includes defending champion Alexis Thompson, Michelle Wie and Laura Davies (GULF NEWS, 11/7).