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Volume 6 No. 217

Marketing and Sponsorship

La Liga club Atéltico Madrid "will make official in the coming days" a sponsorship deal worth €12M ($15.8M) annually with Azerbaijan’s tourism authority, according to Manel Bruña of MUNDO DEPORTIVO. The agreement "is practically closed" and will see Azerbaijan’s tourism authority become the new sponsor of the Madrid club until '14 (MUNDO DEPORTIVO, 1/4). GOAL noted that Atlético Madrid had been "without a permanent shirt sponsor" since its deal with Kia expired at the end of the '10-11 season (GOAL, 1/4). In Madrid, Alberto R. Barbero reported the club had also been in negotiations with Chinese technology company Huawei and an unnamed company in the UAE (MARCA, 1/2).

NBA San Antonio Spurs G Tony Parker is leaving Nike for Chinese sportswear company Peak in a deal worth between €2M ($2.6M) and €3M ($4M) annually, according to Marc Limacher of SPORTUNE. Parker was receiving between €800,000 ($1.05M) and €1M ($1.32M) a year from Nike to wear its shoes. For several months, the Frenchman "was in negotiations with Nike regarding the development of his academy, which would have doubled the amount invested" the company had in the player. It appears "the proposal was refused" and Parker has opted to sign with Peak where he will become the company's brand ambassador. Peak also has endorsement deals with fellow NBA players Javale McGee, Jason Kidd and Shane Battier (SPORTUNE, 1/7).

Ligue 1 club Paris St. Germain President Nasser Al-Khelaifi confirmed an image deal between the Parisian club and the Qatar Tourism Authority is in the works, according to FRANCE 3. Al-Khelaifi said, "We are negotiating this contract with QTA. We will make it official this month or in February. This contract is a strong symbol: Qatar receives many benefits from this investment in PSG. And these investments will continue. It is necessary if we want to become one of the great European clubs" (FRANCE 3, 1/4). SOCCEREX noted QTA "is expected to invest" up to €200M ($263.7M) a year into the club until '16. The deal has been "questioned as to its implications" regarding UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations. The agreement is worth twice PSG’s revenues for the '10-11 season and the club is "expected to submit the contract" to UEFA in the coming months (SOCCEREX, 1/7).

Real Madrid and digital information security company WISeKey reavealed the extension of an agreement signed last year for the exclusive distribution rights of the club's mobile content in China for the '12-13 season. Under the agreement, WISeKey and its Chinese partners will help Real Madrid monetize its brand value by distributing and marketing Real Madrid's mobile content to the estimated 150 million fans in the region. The agreement will allow for WISeKey to leverage its growing presence in China, the world's largest market of mobile consumers (WISeKey).

British clothing manufacturer Rapha has launched a new team kit for Team Sky cycling, as well as 60 items of Sky-branded clothing and accessories, according to Nigel Wynn of CYCLING WEEKLY. Sky has signed Rapha "to produce its team kit for the next four years," and the company launched its replica kit on Friday, which will go on sale in mid-February. There are three tiers of Sky-branded clothing: Pro-Team, Replica and City Wear and Supporter. Prices range from £15 ($24M) for Sky socks, to £240 ($390) for a Sky softshell jacket (CYCLING WEEKLY, 1/4).

Bookmaker Tom Waterhouse "has blown his competitors out of the water to become the new gambling partner of the National Rugby League in a deal worth close to A$50M ($52M)," according to Chris Roots of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Waterhouse reportedly "paid many times the existing partnership deal held by TAB Sportsbet, such was his desire to partner with rugby league." He is "expected to make a similar play for the partnership rights to the Australian Football League," which are also held by TAB Sportsbet, when they fall due in two years. The NRL "remained coy on what windfall it would receive." NRL Media Manager John Brady said, "At this stage, we haven't made any announcements in relation to betting next season, but it's an area in which we've had a relationship [with Waterhouse] for some time." It is believed that Waterhouse "has signed a separate deal with Channel Nine worth A$15M" for one year to hold exclusivity over both the NRL and AFL Footy Shows, as well as rugby league match broadcasts. He "will become the face of the controversial betting spot" during Friday football, State Of Origin and Tests. The "combined value of the deals is believed to be A$62M" (SMH, 1/8). In Sydney, Brent Zerafa reported the TAB "has confirmed that its partnership with the NRL won't continue in the same capacity from this season." TAB Media Manager Glenn Munsie said, "We are no longer a sponsor of the NRL, we will just continue as an approved wagering operator" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 1/7).

Ligue 1 club AC Ajaccio, which is currently the only Ligue 1 club without a main sponsor, has agreed to a one match shirt deal with start-up company The firm will have its name on on the club's jersey for this weekend's game against Paris St. Germain. Terms of the deal "were not disclosed" (FRANCE 3, 1/4). ... The Ghana FA revealed that the Ghana National Petroleum Corp. has become the official headline sponsor of the men's national football team for a reported $15M. The GNPC becomes the first state-owned Ghanaian firm to sign up as sponsor of the Black Stars (Ghana FA). ... Nike Golf added European Tour golfer Thorbjørn Olesen to its sponsorship roster. Olesen will be making his debut as a Nike Golf athlete at the Volvo Champions in South Africa on the PGA European Tour in January (Nike).

ATP KEEPER: Chennai "will continue to remain the the home of India and South Asia's only ATP Tour event," the Chennai Open, until '16. The Tamil Nadu Tennis Association has extended its agreement for three more years with tournament operators and organizers IMG Reliance and owners IMG. The Chennai Open will be conducted in collaboration between the TNTA and Tamil Nadu government (INDIAN TELEVISION, 1/7). Indian telecom company Aircel will end its naming rights sponsorship of the Chennai Open at the end of this year's series. The company is reportedly questioning "the value of the sponsorship." The end of the deal could result in relocating the series to another country, perhaps Turkey or China (ASIA SPONSORSHIP NEWS, 1/7).