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Volume 6 No. 197

Marketing and Sponsorship

Nike has "suspended its endorsement contract and severed payments" to Oscar Pistorius, who is charged with the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, according to Gareth Davies of the London TELEGRAPH. The company announced the decision through its agency in South Africa. Nike's deal with Pistorius was reported to be worth "hundreds of thousands of pounds" (TELEGRAPH, 2/21). In a statement announcing the contract suspension, Nike said, "We believe Oscar Pistorius should be afforded due process, and we will continue to monitor the situation closely" (AP, 2/21).

MillerCoors and CONCACAF announced a multi-year agreement, extending their long-standing partnership. Miller Lite will be the global exclusive beer sponsor of the 2013 Gold Cup. Miller Lite has sponsored the tournament since '05. The brand is also the exclusive U.S. sponsor of the confederation's club team tournament, the CONCACAF Champions League. The partnership covers the '13-14 and '14-15 tournaments. Miller Lite receives rights to use the tournaments' intellectual property for advertising and marketing materials, as well as packaging, consumer promotions, signage and video features at tournament games. The deal also features the presentation of the Gold Cup "Miller Lite MVP" award and inclusion in the tournaments' promotional marketing materials (CONCACAF).

Somerset County Cricket Club announced the signing of the biggest sponsorship deal in its history with South West company St. Austell Brewery. The brewery will become the club’s title partner for the next three years from the start of this season. The deal will see the Tribute Ale logo appear on the front of the County Championship shirt and across the back of the YB40 and FLt20 shirts for the '13 season. St. Austell Brewery will also supply the clubs’ drinks provision for the start of the new season with Tribute, Proper Job and Trelawny all being served at the County Ground. CEO Guy Lavender said: "In the current economic environment this is extremely good news for the Club and having got to know the folk at St Austell we think this is a tremendous partnership for both of us. The next three year period will see us move the ground towards international status and we are delighted that St Austell is playing an important part in helping us to achieve that objective" (Somerset County Cricket Club).

Brasileiro club Vasco's search for a title sponsor for '13 "now has an explanation," according to LANCE NET. Power utility company Eletrobras, which has been the title sponsor of the club for almost four years, has "rescinded its contract." Eletrobras' decision was motivated by "political questions." Vasco broke contract rules. The club "could also be fined." The contract was rescinded on Feb. 7, but Vasco management still claims it is unaware of the news. Vasco Marketing VP Eduardo Machado said, "I have not been told of anything for now. It is a little bit strange, they paid their last installment." Eletrobras first partnered with the club in July '09 and paid R$16M ($8.1M) annually to be the team's title sponsor (LANCE NET, 2/21).

Premiership rugby team Leicester Tigers have signed a deal with StubHub to become the team's official ticket exchange (Leicester Tigers). ... Sponsorium released its comprehensive report on global sponsorships for '12. Findings included the fact that in the U.S., 71% of partnerships are in sports, 19% higher than the global total (Sponsorium). ... German software corporation SAP announced plans to acquire Ticket-Web GmbH & Co. KG, a provider of ticketing solutions and niche customer relationship management software for sports and entertainment promoters (SAP). ... Red Bull has secured the title sponsorship rights of the Chinese Basketball Association All-Star three-point shoot-out. The event is on the first day of the CBA All-Star weekend (CBA). ... German 2nd Bundesliga club VfR Aalen "has signed two new sponsorship deals" with energy provider LogoEnergie and state-owned gambling brand Casino Baden-Baden. Both companies received ad space on boards in camera view (BOULEVARD BADEN, 2/19).