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Volume 10 No. 23

Marketing and Sponsorship

Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain has "clinched a massive deal with the Qatar Tourism Authority" that will bring the league leaders "more than €150M ($200M) over each of the next four seasons," according of Ian Holyman of ESPN. It is not a sponsorship agreement but a "vast publicity campaign intended to promote the image of Qatar." Retroactive for '12, it "will boost PSG's coffers by €150M for the current campaign, increasing progressively to a minimum of €200M ($265.5M) in its final season, '15-16." That sum "could be even larger, with the contract containing bonus clauses based on the team's performances in European competition" (ESPN, 12/20). In Paris, Gouaillard & Folgoas noted the QTA "is an institution in charge of developing tourism activities in the Qatari peninsula." Unlike Qatar Sports Investments, owner of PSG, QTA "has no profile investment funds." These two entities, however, share one thing in common: both are attached to the State of Qatar. QTA Chair Issa bin Mohammed al-Mohannadi "was appointed in May by the Emir himself" (LE PARISIEN, 12/20).

U.S. tourism marketing organization Brand USA and Delta Air Lines have signed on as global partners for the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Both sponsors will be incorporated into all aspects of the event, with full integration across the seven venues of the tournament and on all media platforms worldwide. Each partner will also conduct comprehensive int'l marketing campaigns. The Brand USA partnership with the 2013 World Baseball Classic is an integrated program comprised of int'l TV broadcast exposure, Brand USA TV, print and digital advertising, social media programs and other promotions, as well as event signage in Japan and Taiwan. Delta will be the tournament’s preferred carrier for the more than 3,000 commercial flights needed for players, team personnel and tournament staff.  Delta will also provide 14 charter flights to transport teams between each round of the tournament (MLB).

F1 marketers said both drivers and teams are "important" when considering sponsorships, according to AUTO BILD. Santander Sponsorship Manager Pablo de Villota said, "The drivers are very important. They are the heroes of the sport. They are the reason why people buy tickets. However, teams are also important." Villota added: "Before Fernando Alonso, F1 wasn't a popular sport in Spain. We invested in Fernando, however, we conducted surveys and found out that Ferrari is just as popular as Fernando. Merchandise products only sell if they bear reference to Fernando and Ferrari." Pirelli Motorsport Dir Paul Hembery said, "Drivers can represent national interests in a better way. For example, we have discovered that our partnership with Vitaly Petrov had a huge impact on the Russian market. In this light, we would like to have a U.S. or Chinese driver in F1" (AUTO BILD, 12/20).

The drivers of F1 teams McLaren and Ferrari "are from the four most-important countries" for sponsor Santander, a fact that is "sheer coincidence," according to Rencken & Haidinger of MOTORSPORT TOTAL. How big is the influence of sponsors in F1? This question is "as current as ever as many teams are financially struggling and depend on drivers," who have money and sponsorship deals for certain regions. An example of such a driver is Pastor Maldonado, who has, in addition to his talent, €30M ($37.8M) from Venezuela's government-owned oil company PDVSA. Fernando Alonso is the highest-paid driver in F1 because Spanish bank Santander "puts a tremendous amount of money in the coffers of Ferrari." Just recently, the bank "adjusted the duration of its sponsorship contract with the team to match the duration of Alonso's contract." If you take a closer look at the two teams sponsored by Santander, Ferrari and McLaren, "one thing is pretty obvious." Alonso, Felipe Massa, Jenson Button and Sergio Perez "are all from the bank's most-important markets, which are Spain, Brazil, the U.K. and Mexico." Santander's sponsorship deals with the teams "seem to be linked to Alonso." Santander became a McLaren partner in '07 and a Ferrari sponsor in '10, in both cases it was the same year Alonso joined the respective teams. Santander Sponsorship Manager Pablo de Villota denies the allegations the company would follow Alonso and said, "We agreed to a deal with McLaren before we knew that he would join the team. The reason was that McLaren was the best available team for our sponsorship package and goals at that time." Santander's sponsorship deal with Ferrari also had nothing to do with Alonso joining the Scuderia ahead of the '10 season. Villota: "It went down in similar fashion. We started negotiations [with Ferrari] two years earlier." Villota added, "As strange as it may seem form the outside, we have had no voting right regarding drivers. It's the team's decision" (MOTORSPORT TOTAL, 12/18).

National Rugby League side Newcastle Knights and A-League club Newcastle Jets have revealed nine new sponsorship deals and renewals for '13. McDonald's has agreed to a two-year extension of its sponsorship of both clubs, which includes the naming rights of the McDonald's Family Hill at Hunter Stadium and support of the Ronald McDonald House Charities in Newcastle. OAK Milk will continue into '13 as the official milk supplier of both clubs, which sees branding at Knights and Jets matches through stadium signage, product sampling and goal-post branding. Several key media partnerships have been renewed. Radio 2HD/NEWFM has further extended its commitment to the Knights and Jets. 1233 ABC Newcastle will continue its relationship, including calling Jets games and promoting the Jets across Newcastle. Meanwhile, Power FM has re-signed with both clubs as a radio partner in the upper Hunter Valley. On the football side of the business, official tape supplier Victor Sports and official nutrition partner Musashi have renewed their agreements to support both teams. Lonsdale is a new sponsor and will provide casual clothing for the players and coaches of both teams. Bright Print Group will also continue as the official print supplier of both teams (Newcastle Knights).

Britain's Olympic and Paralympic sports "are to pool their commercial rights into an independent company, called the British Sports Marketing Bureau, which is set to launch in the new year, if it is backed by the national governing bodies," according to John Reynolds of MARKETING MAGAZINE. Around 80 sports governing bodies and related sports organizations "have been consulted on the proposals, which will involve them collaborating on rights deals." The idea is that the BSMB "would use its contacts and expertise to stitch together deals across a range of sports, which would be tailor-made" to match sponsors' requirements. Currently, more than 80 British sporting rights holders "have been asked to sign a Memorandum of Understanding." Should it "prove successful in the sponsorship field," the BSMB will in time extend its scope of activity to cover broadcasting rights (MARKETING MAGAZINE, 12/19).

Adidas said that it will "continue to work with more than 300 supplier factories in China, despite a recent contract dispute." Chinese media reported that adidas suppliers were "dissatisfied with compensation offers following contract terminations." Adidas said in a statement: "China has been, and will remain, a key sourcing market for the adidas Group" (CHINA DAILY, 12/20). ... The Int'l Swimming Federation (FINA) revealed the extension of its official partner agreement with the Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd. of Japan for another six years until '18. FINA and Yakult first became partners in '05. Yakult will sponsor the FINA World Championships in Barcelona in '13, Kazan, Russia in '15 and Guadalajara, Mexico in '17, as well as the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Doha, Qatar in '14, and Windsor, Canada in '16 and '18. Yakult will be the official bib sponsor of all women’s events at FINA Championships as well as the sponsor of FINA’s nutrition program (FINA). ... Puma has extended its contract with German club Fortuna Dusseldorf until the end of the '15-16 season. has reported the deal is worth around €600,000 ($1.7M) a year (Puma). ... INTRALOT Italia and Serie A club AS Roma have signed an agreement for the "online casino" category for the '12-13 season. During the Italian Football Championship and the Coppa Italia, the deal will see the brand displayed on the perimetric advertising boards of the Olympic Stadium field during its domestic matches (AS Roma).