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Volume 10 No. 24

Marketing and Sponsorship

Chevrolet is "right in the middle of sponsorship of a huge athletic contest" this weekend with a global audience that "could far exceed that of the Super Bowl," according to Dale Buss of FORBES. When ManU and Liverpool face off in Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon, Chevy will be "as tight with the clubs and players as their sweaty jerseys on the pitch." General Motors VP of U.S. sales, service and global marketing Alan Batey said, "This platform is huge for us, and it’s really only the beginning of our relationship" with ManU, Liverpool and the Premier League. Batey: "It will be a huge part of creating awareness for Chevy around the world." And "taking advantage of -- as well as boosting -- Chevy’s increasingly global platform" is one main reason for the new "Find New Roads" positioning, which is replacing the "Chevy Runs Deep." Chevy does not get to put its name on ManU jerseys until '14, but it is "activating other parts of the deal." And Chevy "became the official automotive partner of the Liverpool club as well." Chevrolet is marketing Sunday’s match in three ways: A social campaign featuring videos of each team's players talking about the sport on Facebook with its ChevroletFC (for “fan club”) platform; "on-ground" appearances of signage and various Chevy vehicles and activities at Old Trafford, where Sunday's match will be played; and a cause-driven sponsorship of "One World Futbol Project," the charity co-founded by musician Sting that distributes "virtually indestructible" footballs to kids around the world. Given the intensity of the ManU-Liverpool rivalry, it is "hardly surprising that Chevrolet has stepped into some controversy surrounding the game." An ad already running in the U.K. has "set the social media universe ablaze because it makes it seem as if the rivals are united by fusing together the faces of players from the opposing teams, uttering the same words." GM Dir of Communications for Chevy and Cadillac in Europe Vijay Iyer said, "We’re feeding on the rivalry but talking about what unifies them"  (FORBES, 1/10).

Chevrolet will be the title sponsor of 20 Brazilian football state championships in '13, according to Lucas Turco of MAQUINA DO ESPORTE. The auto manufacturer "will look to add more state championships in its sponsorship portfolio" for '14. Chevrolet Brazil Marketing & Communications Dir Frederico Themoteo Jr. said, "This year, we will stay with 20 championships because the tournaments are already starting in Brazil, but, in 2014, besides the current sponsorships, we will look to expand our brand and sign with other state championships." Although Chevrolet now has 20 of the 27 Brazilian state championships, the company does not have the rights to the Rio de Janeiro and Pernambucano championships. Chevrolet said that it was due to "the obstacles encountered when negotiating with those federations." Themoteo Jr. said, "If we could we would like to be in all the state championships, but we all know that negotiations of this level do not always end the way you hoped. In the case of the Pernambucano championship, Coca-Cola already has the title sponsorship of the tournament, and we have to respect the contract. In Rio de Janeiro, we were not able to reach an agreement in terms of values" (MAQUINA DO ESPORTE, 1/9).

Kia Motors will extend its sponsorship deal with the Australian Open for an additional five years through '18. Kia is the longest-running major sponsor of the event, with 17 continuous years of commitment to the event. The sponsorship rights of the renewed agreement will remain largely the same, with a host of new marketing programs to be introduced by Kia at the Australian Open over the next five years. Kia will continue to supply more than 100 official tournament vehicles each year for the safe transportation of players, officials and visitors. In addition, branded and integrated on- and offline experiences, such as the interactive Grand Slam Oval fan area at Melbourne Park, the live site at Fed Square in Melbourne, "Kia Fan of the Day" and "Kia Fan of the Tournament" contests will continue to boost fan engagement and excitement (Kia). Tennis Australia CEO Steve Wood said, "To our knowledge, Kia will now be the longest and biggest Asian-based sponsor of sport in Australian history." The latest deal is reported to be worth about A$50M ($52.7M) (BLOOMBERG, 1/9).

MORE TENNIS NEWS: The ATP and luxury watch brand Rolex have agreed on a new multi-year partnership in which Rolex becomes the official timekeeper of the ATP World Tour. In addition, Rolex has extended its existing sponsorship of the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena in London. The new partnership sees Rolex become an official gold partner of the ATP World Tour (ATP).

After four years as the title sponsor of the Copa do Brasil, Kia Motors opted not to renew its contract with the Brazilian Football Federation, according to Lucas Turco of MAQUINA DO ESPORTE. Kia's exit "almost changed" Chevrolet's plans in Brazilian football. Chevrolet Brazil Marketing & Communications Dir Frederico Themoteo said, "We negotiated the possibility of sponsoring the Copa do Brasil before closing our deal with the state championships, but it did not work out. The sponsorship would have been very expensive, and we all have our limitations, including Chevrolet. But the Copa do Brasil would have been interesting, as it is a tournament that is much longer." Starting this year, the Copa do Brasil will feature 86 teams and run from March to November (MAQUINA DO ESPORTE, 1/9).

World No. 1 golfer Rory McIlroy "will be unveiled by Nike as its face of golf" in Abu Dhabi, UAE on Monday, in a 10-year deal understood to be worth £156M ($252M), according to Oliver Brown of the London TELEGRAPH. McIlroy will be accompanied at the announcement by Nike golf division President Cindy Davis. Since he was a teenager, McIlroy "has had a portfolio of sponsors, including Jumeirah, Oakley and Titleist, but has been forced to jettison them all as Nike routinely requires its star clients to be dressed from head to toe in its signature 'swoosh' logo." Nike "confirmed that there would be a 'major announcement' at Abu Dhabi’s Fairmont Hotel on Monday, featuring Davis and an unspecified 'special guest'" (TELEGRAPH, 1/8).

HELPING HAND: USA TODAY's Steve DiMeglio wrote McIlroy "has a new foundation to raise money for charity." He revealed Thursday "details of his first fundraising initiative for The Rory Foundation, which is set up to help less fortunate children around the world." McIlroy said in a statement: "When I was younger my parents sacrificed everything to allow me to play the game I love. Having that support from my family gave me the opportunity to chase my dreams. But I know that every child is not so fortunate. My aim is that The Rory Foundation will support children's charities big and small, around the world, and that we try to give kids that helping hand." The initiative is called the 6 Bags Project. In each of the first six tournaments McIlroy plays this year his golf bag "will carry the name and logo of a children's charity." During the tournament the bag "will be auctioned through with all monies raised going to the featured charity." The charity on the bag for McIlroy's first tournament is the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children (USA TODAY, 1/10).

Puma "has assigned" Hamburg, Germany-based public relations agency "Yamaoka PR to take charge of the company's strategic brand and product public relations for Germany, Austria and Switzerland," according to NEW BUSINESS. Yamaoka "has to develop public relations campaigns for Puma's sport performance and lifestyle departments." Yamaoka "will put together a team that focuses on team sport, fitness, running, golf, lifestyle and Puma's testimonials." Puma Head of Marketing for the DACH region Pia Madison said that the campaign, called "Nature of Performance," will begin this year (NEW BUSINESS, 1/8).