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Volume 10 No. 24

Marketing and Sponsorship

Insurance group Aegon will stop its shirt sponsorship of Eredivisie club Ajax in the summer of '14, one year earlier than agreed in the contract, according to Aegon signed a seven-year contract with Ajax in '08, "with an option to end the agreement after five years" (, 11/13). L'EQUIPE reported that Aegon will not be the main sponsor of Ajax starting on June 30, 2014 due to "financial reasons." The insurer was paying between €10 ($12.7M) and €12M ($15.3M) annually "independent of the sporting results of the team" (L'EQUIPE, 11/13)

The Australian Ladies Masters golf tournament will remain on the country's Gold Coast due to Korean golf ball manufacturer Volvik "coming to the rescue as a major sponsor," according to Jim Tucker of the COURIER-MAIL. Tournament Chair Bob Tuohy announced Volvik as the new naming-rights partner alongside motoring club RACV for the event, which will be staged at Queensland's Royal Pines golf course Feb. 1-3. Tuohy admitted that there were "real fears that the tournament might not even be staged" for a 24th time. The A$500,000 ($522,000) in prize money had been cut in half, but the new sponsor means the tournament "can hit the €200,000 ($245,000) prize money minimum "required to retain all-important status on the Ladies European Tour." Tuohy gave credit to Korean golf broadcaster J Golf for "sparking the top-level talks" with Volvik Chair Kyung Ahn Moon that led to the deal (COURIER-MAIL, 11/09).

La Liga Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcão García is the new brand ambassador for financial services company Western Union, according to Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Colombian will promote a campaign called "Pass," in which Western Union finances an education program for children in 11 countries. One of the countries represented is Colombia. Falcão said, "I have played the majority of my professional career outside of Colombia. Even with this, I am very proud of my country. I hope that this campaign realizes many educational projects in Latin America." Western Union Global Brand VP Marc Audrit said, "Falcão's history was the main reason for contracting him. He has played in Argentina, Portugal and Spain. Just like many of our clients, he has had to have lots of homes, and he has been away from his family." In July, the company also signed on to sponsor the UEFA Europa League, which Falcão has won on two occasions (, 11/13).

Australia's National Basketball League Perth Wildcats announced real estate network First National Real Estate as an official sponsor of the club's coaching staff. The one-year sponsorship agreement will see First National Real Estate provide professional development to more than 350 staff members across the 25 West Australian offices. The six-figure sponsorship will provide First National with logo positioning on the coaching and support staff apparel, game night venue signage, provision of Perth Wildcats players for professional development, and a range of other marketing and promotional opportunities throughout the season (Wildcats).

The partnership between the Sauber F1 team and Chelsea FC "created a lot of media buzz and was an innovative step that now is supposed to pay off financially," according to Dominik Sharaf of Chelsea CEO Ron Gourlay revealed that the two teams will unveil  a common sponsor in about two months. Gourlay said, "Results will be visible very soon." However, Gourlay did not reveal what company is the investor. Chelsea representatives said that the soon-to-be revealed sponsor "explicitly wished to support both teams" (, 11/13).

Beko Basketball Bundesliga club Eisbären Bremerhaven extended its sponsorship deal with personal service company Job AG through the end of the season (Eisbären Bremerhaven). ... Pro cycling team Argos-Shimano extended its contract with title sponsor Shimano. The Japanese component manufacturer has extended its contract with the Dutch-based team for two more years, taking it until the end of '14 (Argos-Shimano).