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Volume 6 No. 214

Marketing and Sponsorship

A study by the German Institute for Sports Marketing (DISM) "revealed only 11 out of 86 German top-tier clubs from five different leagues can be considered a 'real' brand," according to the SID. The study took a look at the clubs of the 1st and 2nd Bundesliga, Handball Bundesliga (HBL), Basketball Bundesliga (BBL) and German Hockey League (DEL). The result of the study "is not surprising as Bundesliga record champion Bayern Munich tops the list." The football club "is recognized as a brand by 92.8% of the 4,600 sports fans who were asked for the study." However, the fact that HBL club THW Kiel (78.8%) "ranks second and 2nd Bundesliga club Eintracht Braunschweig (64.7%) has a similar recognition as Bundesliga champion Borussia Dortmund (67.2%) can be considered surprising." DISM Dir André Bühler said, "Many sports clubs consider themselves as a brand. However, whether or not they really are a brand is not decided by the clubs themselves but only by the perception of the fans" (SID, 1/24).

German Clubs Considered "Real" Brands
Club Fan Perception
Bayern Munich 92.6% Bundesliga
2. THW Kiel
78.8% HBL
FC St. Pauli
70.1% 2nd Bundesliga
4. Borussia Dortmund 67.2% Bundesliga
Bayern Munich Basketball
66% BBL
Brose Baskets Bamberg
65.7% BBL
Eintracht Braunschweig
64.7% 2nd Bundesliga
Alba Berlin
64.7% BBL
Eisbären Berlin 52.4% DEL
FC Kaiserslautern
50.9% 2nd Bundesliga
Schalke 04
43.4% Bundesliga

Two-time MotoGP champion Casey Stoner "has his sights on conquering Bathurst's Mount Panorama" after he signed a one-year deal to drive a V8 Supercar, according to James Phelps of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. Stoner ended "seven months of speculation" by confirming he will drive a Red Bull-backed Triple Eight Holden in the Dunlop Series. Stoner also revealed the reason he walked out on a MotoGP contract worth more than $15M a year. Stoner has given himself just 12 months to "find his feet in the V8 series." Signing on to drive in the Dunlop Series -- the V8 Supercars' feeder category -- Stoner said that he would "reconsider his options at the end of the season if he wasn't enjoying life behind the wheel." Stoner said, "It is a trial year to see how I go and how I like the sport. We are definitely making a commitment to it, but at the same time we don't want to go too deep in case it is not for us" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 1/27).

STONER'S SPONSOR: Former V8 Supercars championship-winning sponsor Pirtek will co-sponsor Stoner's Red Bull Holden in the Dunlop Series. Stoner confirmed his entry into the full seven-round Dunlop Series making the switch from  MotoGP. Stoner's Red Bull/Pirtek livery is set to be unveiled Feb. 27. Pirtek Group GM Stephen Dutton said that the chance to partner with Stoner was the catalyst for re-entering the sport. Dutton said, "We have always been keen to play a role in the development of young talent, whether that is in the general community or on the race track, football field, golf course or athletics track" (Pirtek).

Tennis Australia announced a five-year extension of its partnership with official Australian Open outfitter Lacoste through '18. Lacoste will remain the official supplier of tournament apparel to linesmen and women, ball kids and chair umpires, and will continue to deliver retail spaces on Grand Slam Oval, Margaret Court Arena and the Rod Laver Arena concourse. Lacoste has a long-standing association with tennis, endorsed by brand ambassadors including Frenchmen Richard Gasquet, Henri Leconte, Guy Forget, Jeremy Chardy and Sweden's Mats Wilander (Tennis Australia).

From MAQUINA DO ESPORTE, in Portuguese.

Omnicom is "merging GMR Marketing and SportsMark to form a single agency with expertise in strategic consulting and hospitality services," according to Tripp Mickle of the SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The agency will "go by the GMR Marketing name and be headquartered in Milwaukee but have more than 850 full-time employees." SportsMark Founder & The Radiate Group Exec VP Jan Katzoff will "oversee the merger and work out of its San Francisco offices." The new firm’s senior leadership -- consisting of Exec VP/Sports Marketing Mike Boykin and Exec VP/Client Management Greg Busch, and SportsMark CEO Steve Skubic and President Keith Bruce -- will report to GMR CEO Gary Reynolds. A new senior leadership structure "is being developed and their titles and responsibilities may change." The move was "encouraged by Omnicom’s executives and agreed to late last year." It also "represented a chance for the agencies to work together to win business rather than compete against each other." Katzoff "described a post-merger agency with hubs in London, Brazil, Russia and Milwaukee that could develop work in one market and pass it along to the other in the same way GMR’s Madrid office did when it worked with BBVA on its NBA sponsorship." He said that the merger "wouldn’t trigger any layoffs," and that he "expects to add staff in the coming months" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/28 issue).

The women's South Africa national cricket team has secured a six-year sponsorship deal with financial services group Momentum just before the Int'l Cricket Council Cricket World Cup. Cricket South Africa Acting CEO Jacques Faul said, "This is a landmark sponsorship for our national women's team, being the first significant financial backing they have ever received." Faul added that women's cricket was a "difficult product to sell because of its limited media exposure." Faul: "Women's cricket in South Africa has been badly neglected, and it's hugely challenging for the affiliates to give equal attention and allocate resources to all the different facets of the game" (Cricket South Africa).