Tire manufacturer Bridgestone will be named the new title sponsor of the Copa Libertadores (South America's most prestigious football club competition) in a $80M deal in the coming weeks, according to Erich Beting of MAQUINADOESPORTE.com.br. The company is "in the final stages" of finalizing a deal with the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) to replace Santander bank as the title sponsor of the Libertadores. The Japanese company will pay $80M over four years. The announcement of the new contract will be made in December, during the draw for the Libertadores. The agreement "solves a problem for CONMEBOL, but also creates another." With Bridgestone's move to the Libertadores, CONMEBOL will have to negotiate a naming rights deal for the Copa Sudamericana (South America's second-most prestigious football club competition), which had been sponsored by Bridgestone since '11. The acquisition of the Libertadores naming-rights marks the company's "largest investment" to date in South American football. The sponsorship deal is also "a way for the company to compete with rival Continental," which is a sponsor of the 2014 World Cup (MAQUINADOESPORTE.com.br, 11/12).
Marketing and Sponsorship
Mercedes F1 driver Michael Schumacher, who will end his career at the end of the season, will be a brand ambassador for the German-based Hörmann Group. The most successful F1 driver of all time and one of Europe's most-successful producers of doors has now agreed on a long-term cooperative partnership. From the beginning of '13, Schumacher will seek to make the Hörmann brand even more popular as the representative of the globally active family-owned company. Hörmann Group's personally liable partner Martin Hörmann said, "For years, Michael Schumacher has stood for success, ambition, experience, enthusiasm for technology and family values -- and therefore goes perfectly with a family-run company such as Hörmann." Schumacher said, "I have known the Hörmann brand since the start of my motorsport career. Even the industrial sectional doors at our go-kart track in Kerpen [Germany] were from Hörmann, and I also see the products at many of today's Formula 1 tracks, for example in Spa, at the Nürburgring or in Shanghai" (Hörmann Group). MOTORSPORT MAGAZIN's Annika Kläsener wrote for Hörmann, previously known to the public primarily through perimeter advertising during matches of the German national football team, "the cooperation with the seven-time F1 world champion constitutes a totally new approach" (MOTORSPORT MAGAZIN, 11/12).
National Rugby League club Sydney Roosters have formalized an ongoing relationship with food brand Four'N Twenty, which will become the official naming rights partner of the club's membership program. Known as "the great Australian taste," Four'N Twenty is a commonly found pie at major sporting stadia around Australia, and it has become synonymous with both rugby and Australian rules football (Roosters).
Part-nationalized Royal Bank of Scotland "will become the main banker to the English Rugby Football Union under a five-year deal," according to REUTERS. The RFU said that RBS "will also increase its investment in an existing scheme to help local rugby clubs improve facilities such as club houses." The RFU "is stepping up commercial activities in the run-up to the 2015 World Cup, which will be hosted by England." Rugby "will also get a boost to its profile when the seven-a-side format features in the Olympics for the first time in '16" (REUTERS, 11/12). The RFU has, in addition, entered into a new corporate banking agreement with RBS Corporate Banking division to provide its banking and investment services for the next five years (RFU).