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Volume 6 No. 212

Marketing and Sponsorship

Barclays will be the first new sponsorship signing for Sebastian Coe's "embattled British Olympic Association," replacing Lloyds as the primary financial-services partner, according to John Reynolds of MARKETING MAGAZINE. The bank is set to announce details of an estimated £4M ($6M) sponsorship deal next month, which will give Barclays marketing rights to Team GB "until and during the summer Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016." Barclays is the first new brand the BOA has signed up "since it was handed back" the commercial rights to Team GB following London 2012. The rights had been handled by LOCOG in the run-up to last year's Olympics. The signing "represents a coup" for the BOA and Chair Coe. They had been criticized for not finding any sponsorship partners since the end of the London Games. Only adidas has re-signed with the organization to date (MARKETING MAGAZINE, 2/26).

FC Barcelona and UAE-based telecoms Etisalat have agreed to extend their partnership through June 30, 2017, according to MUNDO DEPORTIVO. The extension will see the company serve as premium sponsor of the Catalan side in a a number of countries including Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Togo, Benin, Niger, Gabon, the Central African Republic and the UAE (MUNDO DEPORTIVO, 2/25). The club also revealed it would make an official announcement on its jersey sponsorship agreement with Qatar Airways on March 4 (SPORT, 2/25).

The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) has agreed to a new title sponsorship deal for the Copa do Brasil, according to MAQUINA DO ESPORTE. The agreement will see Brasil Foods' brand Perdigão take over the naming rights of the competition from previous title sponsor Kia. Brazil's second largest football club competition will now be renamed the "Copa Perdigão do Brasil." Marketing agency Traffic Sports brokered the deal which will be valid for the next three editions of the tournament. Terms of the deal "were not disclosed." It is Perdigão's first "large investment" in Brazilian sports. Some of the Copa do Brasil's other sponsors include Visa, Unilever, Nikon, Petrobras and Centauro (MAQUINA DO ESPORTE, 2/25).

London Games Gold Medalist Sally Pearson "is dismayed her Olympic title has failed to translate into cashed-up corporate support," according to Emma Greenwood of the GOLD COAST BULLETIN. Just six months after the London Games, the 26-year-old revealed that "she has actually lost sponsors since her hurdles heroics." Pearson tweeted: "Can't believe I would actually lose sponsors rather than gain them after winning the Olympic Games!!! #sad." While she still counts blue-chip companies Qantas, adidas and Omega among her backers, it's understood that others "have failed to renew their deals." Pearson's longtime manager Robert Joske said it is "normal" for some sponsors to cut ties outside the Olympic cycle. Her Olympic races attracted the highest ratings for broadcaster Channel 9, and after the Games one of Australia's top talent managers, Sean Anderson, predicted that she would be signing A$2M ($2.05M) deals. Anderson said, "Sally is a sponsor's dream -- down-to-earth, focused, great communicator and a gold medalist. I can see her doing A$2M in deals within 12 months" (GOLD COAST BULLETIN, 2/27).

ManU is "keeping quiet" about the identity of its new £100M ($151.6M) training kit sponsor, but speculation surrounds Qatar Airways, according to Charles Sale of the London DAILY MAIL. ManU has signed an eight-year partnership but is "delaying the unveiling." The heavy Qatar conjecture follows the club's need for a new airline partner after Turkish Airlines "failed to renew." And Qatar is spending "whatever it takes to change attitudes" about its hosting of the 2022 World Cup (DAILY MAIL, 2/25).

Health club chain Virgin Active Ltd., owned by U.K. billionaire Richard Branson, has signed a deal with British tennis player Laura Robson, according to Danielle Rossingh of BLOOMBERG. Robson, who won junior Wimbledon in '08 at the age of 14, "will become the chain’s first tennis ambassador for two years." Virgin "declined to give financial details" on the agreement, which starts on March 4 to coincide with World Tennis Day. Virgin Active Head of Racquets Gary Stewart said, "She’s a perfect fit for our brand because she’s fit and she’s young and she’s successful." Virgin has more than 100 clubs in the U.K. "including 21 with racquet sports." It spent more than £1M ($1.5M) on new court surfaces and facilities since it took over the sites from Esporta (BLOOMBERG, 2/26). In London, Neil Harman wrote "it is a natural progression for Robson" to go from Wimbledon junior champion, blooming international talent, mixed doubles Olympic silver medalist to a spot in the top 50. Tuesday, she reveled in her status "as the 'it' girl of the Virgin brand," and was enthralled at the chance to meet Branson. Robson: “I’ve always said I wanted to encourage more young girls into playing this sport and this is the perfect fit. The whole Olympic experience last year was designed to inspire a generation, and with what we will try to achieve with these programmes, the innovations, I think we will” (LONDON TIMES, 2/27).

Brazilian beverage producer Ambev has confirmed the return of Brazilian men's national football team coach Luiz Felipe Scolari to its list of brand ambassadors, according to Lucas Turco of MAQUINA DO ESPORTE. "Big Phil" will appear in commercials for Brahma, Guaraná Antarctica and Gatorade. With the deal, Ambev "goes back to sponsoring" the Seleção's coach. Prior to Scolari, Mano Menezes was sponsored by Ambev rival Kaiser. During Scolari's first stint as Ambev ambassador, while coaching the national team to its 2002 World Cup triumph, he launched the advertising campaign for Guaraná Antarctica with singer Supla. (MAQUINA DO ESPORTE, 2/25).

The Football League's sponsorship deal with energy supplier npower, valued at £21M when it was signed in 2010, will not be renewed when the contract expires at the end of the season. No announcement is planned on who will replace npower at the league's principal sponsor (LONDON TIMES, 2/26). ... Ligue 1 Marseille "is in the search for sponsorships" in order to increase revenue for the club. President Vincent Labrune is currently visiting China with the goal of finding possible partners. The club is also "talking to Russian and Middle Eastern companies" (FOOT 123, 2/26). ... Brasileiro club Recife is looking at other possibilities after it did not reach an extension with title sponsor MRV Engenharia. One of the possible replacements is bank Caixa Econômica Federal (MAQUINA DO ESPORTE, 2/26). ... Williams F1 Team announced coatings and specialty products company PPG Industries will continue its sponsorship of the team (Williams F1). ... Italian firm Dallara will work on the chassis for the new Formula E championship. The company will join forces with the series' technical operation Spark Racing Technology on the cars, which are set to start racing in '14 (AUTOSPORT, 2/25). ... League Championship club Middlesbrough announced a five-year sponsorship with pawnbrokers Ramsdens (Middlesbrough). ... Swiss shoe company On is now equipping the Sauber F1 Team (Sauber F1). ... National Rugby League club Sydney Roosters announced major sponsor Steggles has reaffirmed its commitment to the club by renewing their agreement for an additional two years. The company will continue its partnership as Roosters major sponsor adorning the front of the team's playing and training jersey (Roosters).