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Volume 6 No. 215

Marketing and Sponsorship

ManU left "no illusions" that Nike will "have to increase the value of its kit deal dramatically if it is to remain in partnership," according to James Ducker of the LONDON TIMES. Nike, whose $480M, 13-year kit deal with ManU expires in '15, has "an exclusive six-month window from February in which to negotiate a new contract with the club." ManU is "confident of securing a new kit deal that will be unprecedented in its scale" for a football club. ManU Vice Chair Ed Woodward has "made no secret" in recent months of his belief that the present Nike deal is "substantially undervalued." Woodward "would not be drawn on the sort of figure" the club is seeking, but previous estimates that put it at about $1.58B would "not appear to be an unrealistic target." Woodward said, "We feel we know, with some clarity, the value of our rights, and we are bullish about the abundance of opportunities available to accelerate the growth of this business" (LONDON TIMES, 11/15).
SEEKING FAIR DEAL: In London, Ian Herbert wrote, "When the present deal was negotiated in '02, United were a publicly floated company and preferred to take as much risk as possible away from any sponsorship tie-up." It meant a profit-share arrangement was "put in place which ensured United received only a proportion of the cash generated from worldwide shirt sales in exchange for a guaranteed sum" (INDEPENDENT, 11/15). The MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS reported in July ManU revealed a "staggering" £357M ($566M) deal with General Motors for the Chevrolet logo to be worn on its shirts for seven seasons beginning in '14. That figure prompted ManU to buy-out the present deal with logistics company DHL for the club's training kit. ManU believed that there is "a lot of money to make." Woodward said, "The planning on DHL started post-GM deal. We are always monitoring the value of our rights. We can improve the amount, duration and rights-package about that deal." He added the U.S. was the "next natural place" for the club to open a regional center given that just as many supporters watch United live there as do in the U.K. (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 11/15).

The Int'l Association of Athletics Federations announced a new partnership with Canon, which will become an official partner of the IAAF World Athletics Series of competitions from '13-16. Canon will sponsor a total of 15 IAAF events including the next two editions of the IAAF World Championships in Moscow in '13 and in Beijing in '15 (IAAF). At each Canon-sponsored IAAF competition, the company will establish a camera service center at each event to assist the numerous journalists and sports photographers from around the world. Various Canon input and output products will also be designated as official products of the IAAF World Championships, including cameras, lenses, video cameras, copiers, multifunction devices, printers, scanners, fax machines and projectors (Canon).

Glasgow 2014 organizers revealed Venue Retail 2014 Ltd. will be in charge of delivering the merchandise for the Commonwealth Games. The company will also be responsible for online sales. Venue Retail was responsible for London 2012's in-venue merchandise program, which was the largest in Olympics history. The full range of Glasgow 2014 merchandise will feature more than 1,500 items. An initial collection will be available for public sale before Christmas, with the full collection launched in '13 (Glasgow 2014).

Swiss-based Conceptum Sport Logistics has been named the official partner of the Japan Rugby Football Union for logistics services during the '12 tour (Conceptum Sport Logistics). ... BMW has replaced Mercedes-Benz as the main sponsor of the Hong Kong Derby. There will be no increase to the HK$16M ($2M) in stake money the Derby has carried since '07, "which leaves it sitting just ahead of the Epsom Derby, just behind the Kentucky Derby, but a long way behind" HK$28M ($3.6M) in prize money for the Japanese Derby (SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, 11/15). ... The Qatar Olympic Committee and fabric producer The Look Company "have signed a strategic partnership," which will see material used for the branding of sports and other events recycled "to produce colourful products such as schoolbags, laptop bags and caps." The products will be sold "at affordable prices" under the name MOGwear, which stands for Memories of the Games (GULF TIMES 11/13).