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Volume 10 No. 24

Marketing and Sponsorship

Italian tire manufacturer Pirelli "has confirmed its desire to continue in F1 beyond its current contract," which is due to expire at the end of this year, according to Mat Coch of PIT PASS. Pirelli Motorsports Dir Paul Hembery said that "the company is ready to submit a formal proposal to the teams after months of preliminary discussions." Returning to F1 in '11 as the sole tire supplier, the Italian company "was subject of heavy criticism" before being credited with helping reinvigorate the sport. Hembery said, "We've had two very exciting seasons, and we feel we've contributed our bit to that, which is what we were asked to do. As a company we are interested in going forward." While "outwardly happy with the product and show Pirelli has delivered, there are rumblings that some are not entirely satisfied with the current financial arrangement." Pirelli's deal, which sees teams pay a figure in the region of $3M a year for its rubber, "is in contrast to previous supply contracts" when many teams received their tires for free. Pirelli is understood to have "scoffed at the notion it should offer a similar deal." It is believed the teams' contribution barely covers the tire company's logistics, Pirelli's F1 operation runs at a loss, written off for its marketing benefits (PIT PASS, 1/8).

Luxury Swiss watch brand Longines "will sponsor the opening night of the eleven-programme Dubai World Cup Carnival, which gets underway on Thursday at the iconic Meydan racecourse," according to GULF NEWS. The seven-race card kicks off with the thoroughbred and purebred Arabian versions of the Al Maktoum Challenge. The night "will also showcase racing excitement on the turf for the first time this season," with the $125,000 Al Rashidiya Trial that "will be contested over 1,800m" (GULF NEWS, 1/9).

YOU BET YOUR HORSES: Betting operator, Betfred and Totepool have inked deals with 31 Racecourse Media Group racetracks, plus Ascot, to provide pool betting services and on-course betting shops. The courses include Cheltenham, Aintree, Newmarket, Epsom, York, Newbury, Goodwood, Sandown and Ascot, which will join RMG in June '14. The pool betting arrangement means the on-course Totepool betting service will remain at those circuits until at least July '18 (Betfred).

MotoGP team Pramac Racing, which this year lines up with riders Ben Spies and Andrea Iannone, has announced gas & power brand Energy T.I. as a sponsor for '13. The association of the brand with the Pramac Racing Team and especially the choice of putting the Energy T.I. logo on the fairing of the young Italian rider Iannone will enable the brand to associate itself in the fast paced moving world of racing (Pramac Racing Team).

Italy-based manufacturing company Palladio SpA and MotoGP Team Go&Fun Honda Gresini revealed a new collaboration between the two for the 2013 MotoGP World Championship. An agreement signed in the company's headquarters in Treviso, Italy in December between Palladio's directors and Fausto Gresini will see Palladio SpA become one of the team's official sponsors, with their logos to be visible on the leather overalls of both Alvaro Bautista and Bryan Staring as well as in the team hospitality, which will also contain information about the company's activities and products (Honda Gresini).

Super League rugby side Hull FC Owner Adam Pearson and business partner Tony Doherty have announced the introduction of national sport specialist recruitment company Pro Sports Recruitment "providing a focused and tailor-made search facility" for sports professionals and organizations within the U.K.’s £27B ($43B) recruitment market. Based in Leeds with an additional satellite office in Hull, PSR has been formed by managing partners Pearson and Doherty, who bring more than 16 years of top level executive experience in the sport industry and a respective 12 years in the recruitment industry to the business. PSR said in a release: "From ticket office to boardroom, covering all sports including football, cricket and rugby, PSR recognises successful sport needs exceptional talent off the field as well as on it" (ISPORTSCONNECT, 1/9).

Nine-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi has renewed his partnership with Bridgestone, according to MAQUINA DO ESPORTE. As part of the new deal, the Italian will continue as the brand's ambassador, while also taking on a role as tire development adviser. Bridgestone Europe President Franco Annunziato said, "With the extension of our agreement, we have secured advice and recommendations from one of the greatest motorcycle competitors of all time, thereby ensuring that we bring the best new products to the market." Rossi said, "I've been working with Bridgestone in MotoGP for many years and have always been impressed by their professionalism and the quality of their products. Continuing this agreement gives me an exciting opportunity to contribute to new Bridgestone motorcycle road tires" (MAQUINA DO ESPORTE, 1/9).

Scottish Premier League club Celtic agreed to a new three-year shirt sponsorship with Magners, starting from the '13-14 season. Club CEO Peter Lawwell would not divulge financial details of the arrangement but said that the new deal "represented an increase in funding" (BBC, 1/9). ... Brasileiro club Santos sponsor Corr Plastik has revealed it has named head coach Muricy Ramalho and defender Edu Dracena as its brand ambassadors (MAQUINA DO ESPORTE, 1/9). ... Wave Group, the promoter of the Delhi Waveriders field hockey team, has signed Fastrax as the club's food partner and TK Sports India as the kit partner for the debut season of the Hockey India League that begins Monday (Indian BUSINESS STANDARD, 1/8). ... Invitational rugby union team Barbarian Football Club has appointed Rhino Rugby as official teamwear and clothing supplier for its summer tour in '13. The two-match tour kicks off with the annual fixture against England at Twickenham on May 26 and concludes with a "high profile clash" against the British and Irish Lions in Hong Kong on June 1 (ISPORTSCONNECT, 1/9). ... South African rugby team MTN Golden Lions has "received a huge setback" after Coca-Cola pulled its naming rights for the rugby club's stadium after four years with the Golden Lions. Coca-Cola South Africa Marketing Assets Manager Craig van Niekerk said, "We have however evaluated our portfolio of assets and, for the next few years, our strategy will focus on youth sports development" (ISPORTSCONNECT, 1/9).