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Volume 6 No. 212

Marketing and Sponsorship

Ligue 1 Paris St. Germain has agreed in principal to a five-year, €125M ($171M) jersey sponsorship deal with Fly Emirates, according to Arnaud Hermant of LE PARISIEN. The deal, which is set to take effect in '14, represents "a sum never seen before in France." With bonuses, the agreement will be worth €25M ($34M) annually. The contract "has not been officially signed," as the last details are "still being written up" (LE PARISIEN, 2/2). THE NATIONAL reported Fly Emirates Senior VP Boutros Boutros said that the contract "should be completed this month." Boutros said, "We have a new contract for a new period for the coming five years. It's just with the lawyers. The principle has already been approved by our senior management and by the club itself." In the '11-12 financial year, Emirates Group's net profit was $629M, a 61% decline over the previous year. The company attributed the decline to "high fuel costs." Football accounts for the "highest number of sponsorships among all other sports that the airline champions" (THE NATIONAL, 2/3).

Brasileiro club Cruzeiro has agreed to a three-year sponsorship deal with Italian telecom company TIM, according to MAQUINA DO ESPORTE. Terms of the deal "were not disclosed." TIM Brasil Advertising & Brand Management Dir Livia Marquez said, "A partnership with a big football club like Cruzeiro is a fundamental part in our platform of supporting football." The logo of the company "will be exposed inside the jersey number" on the team's uniform as well as the team's training kit, advertising boards at the training ground and on the team's bus. In Brazil, TIM already has sponsorships with fellow Brazilian football clubs Corinthians, Palmeiras, São Paulo, Flamengo, Vasco, Grêmio, Internacional, Bahia and Vitória (MAQUINA DO ESPORTE, 2/1).

The WTA Tour has finalized a three-year, multimillion-dollar sponsorship with Xerox, acccording to Daniel Kaplan of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The deal would be the circuit’s most significant such pact since Sony Ericsson departed as lead backer last year. An official announcement of the deal is expected Monday. WTA board approval would follow. While the new deal will be the tour’s largest sponsorship, the WTA will continue to seek a partner to fill the role of lead sponsor. The WTA initially wanted Xerox to take that top sponsorship position, a slot the tour has been shopping since early last year, but the business services and documents company did not want to spend the requisite amount of money. Xerox CMO Christa Carone, explaining why the company did not go for the full package, said, “Part of it was affordability.” Xerox becomes the WTA’s business services and office document technology sponsor.

PLANNING AHEAD: WTA CEO Stacey Allaster said that the circuit is in fine financial shape because of revenue from the season-ending championship event, a new int'l TV package, and reserves accumulated during Sony Ericsson’s run as title sponsor and then lead backer. Allaster: “The board had the foresight many years ago that we might not have Sony Ericsson, and today we have diversified revenues.” Allaster said the WTA is happy to work with an int'l brand like Xerox, calling it a very significant deal. While Xerox is known to many as a copy company, more than half of its revenue derives from business services. As part of the new sponsorship, Xerox will perform audits on the WTA and the 19 tournaments that initially will take part in the sponsorship, assessing their business processes and informational technology systems. At those events, Xerox will have on-court branding, though not net signage as Sony Ericsson had. The WTA has made a big push into Asia, though none of the 19 events affected by the deal are in that region. The WTA and Xerox will assess after this year if the sponsorship can expand to any of the WTA’s other 35 events. Xerox, with $22B in revenue, is not a major sponsor in sports (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 2/4 issue).

Austrian football Bundesliga club SK Sturm Graz has renewed its sponsorship deal with brewery Puntigamer for another three years. Puntigamer will continue to be the naming-rights sponsor of the club, however, the team will not feature the company's logo anymore. Puntigamer has been a partner of the club for 17 years (SK Sturm Graz). ... Financially struggling German Hockey League (DEL) club Dusseldorf EG has extended its sponsorship with health care systems company ClinicAll Vertriebs GmbH. The company will increase its financial contribution to the club. ClinicAll has been a partner of the DEG since the summer of '12 (DEG). ... Adidas and the European Handball Federation have confirmed that their long-standing partnership of more than 20 years will continue. The new agreement will run until the end of the '16 season. In addition to branding and advertising opportunities provided to adidas through the EHF’s top-level club and national team competitions, the cooperation will see further brand activation activities and the expansion of the merchandising program in both the EHF Champions League and at the Velux EHF Final Four (EHF).

Australian Football League club Brisbane Lions have named National Storage their co-major partner until the end of the '15 season. National Storage joins insurance company Suncorp Group brand Vero as the co-major partner (Brisbane Lions). ... F1 team Lotus agreed to a new partnership with Processia Solution, which specializes in the customization, implementation and integration of Product Lifecycle Management solutions (Lotus). ... F1 team Force India has unveiled TW Steel as the team's new official timing partner. The Dutch watchmaker's logo will be featured on the F1 team's major brand platforms including the car, the drop-down timing monitors in the garages and on the driver's racesuit sleeves (Force India). ... Real estate sales organization Century 21 has become a sponsor of the 2013 ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open, which will be played at Royal Canberra Golf Club from Feb. 14-17. Century 21's branding will be visible on two holes from tee to green, as well as on the primary digital scoreboard and through other online and on-ground channels (Golf Australia). ... Brasileiro club Santos "is negotiating" a title sponsorship deal with bank Caixa Econômica Federal (MAQUINA DO ESPORTE, 2/1).