BlackBerry will not feature F1 drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in its advertising, "despite reportedly paying $12M a year to sponsor the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team," according to Matthew Chapman of MARKETING MAGAZINE. The smartphone maker will launch activity with Mercedes and its drivers to coincide with the start of the season this month, "but will eschew traditional celebrity product endorsement." BlackBerry Chief Marketing Officer Frank Boulben said ads will focus on showing the BlackBerry 10 operating system in a "real life" context rather than "paying a celebrity to say you should buy the device because I’m famous and I’m telling you to do it." Hamilton and Rosberg "will be used in ‘content-oriented projects’ along similar lines" to BlackBerry’s activity with singer Alicia Keys and author Neil Gaiman (MARKETING MAGAZINE, 3/5).
Marketing and Sponsorship
Standard Chartered and Liverpool are in talks for the int'l bank to "extend its agreement as the team’s principal sponsor," according to Tariq Panja of BLOOMBERG. London-based Standard Chartered, which makes most of its money in Asia, is negotiating with Liverpool "even though the team has wrestled with problems on and off the field" since the original four-year accord was reached in Sept. '09. In a statement the team said, “We are engaged in ongoing conversations with Standard Chartered regarding extending the partnership and continually delivering excellent commercial and community value." Standard Chartered’s sponsorship of Liverpool is "its only agreement with a major sports team." The bank, which also confirmed the discussions, said the “association with Liverpool FC has proved to be positive for the bank and we remain very pleased with the success of the partnership to date.” Liverpool’s revenue from sponsors is second only to ManU in the U.K. Standard Chartered has said that it aligned with Liverpool because of the team’s "large supporter base in Asia, where a 2011 tour drew thousands of fans" (BLOOMBERG, 3/4).
Catalan TV channel TV3 will stop sponsoring FC Barcelona after this season, according to Lluís Regàs of DIARIO GOL. At the end of '12, broadcaster Televisió de Catalunya, which owns channel TV3, "communicated to the club that it will not renew its sponsorship after June 30, 2013." The broadcaster, "immersed in a cost cutting process," will also end its sponsorship of fellow Barcelona club Espanyol. FC Barcelona will no longer receive the €3M ($3.9M) annually from TV3 to have its logo on the team's jersey as well as around the Camp Nou stadium. A Barcelona exec said, "The club will lose an important sum from a sponsor with which it has always had close ties." Espanyol will also lose out on €3M from TV3 as the club had a similar deal with the TV channel (DIARIO GOL, 3/3).
Chill Insurance has signed a €1M ($1.3M) three-year sponsorship deal for the Cork senior and U21s football and hurling teams in one of the biggest deals in the Gaelic Athletic Association, according to Cormac Byrne of the IRISH INDEPENDENT. Chill takes over from mobile provider O2, which ended its sponsorship at the end of last season. A Cork County chairman said that "Cork's County Board had talks with a number of potential sponsors" before agreeing to the Chill Insurance deal. Cork is seen "as one of the most attractive brands in Irish team sport with strong hurling and football teams" (IRISH INDEPENDENT, 3/5). The IRISH EXAMINER reported "it is all but certain the new jersey will be worn by both footballers and hurlers for the double-header against donegal and Clare in Páirc Uí Rinn" on March 16. It is expected both teams "will again support the Mercy Foundation charity on their jerseys as they travel to Tyrone and Waterford for league encounters this weekend" (IRISH EXAMINER, 3/5).
One of the companies most interested in becoming the title sponsor of Brasileiro club Santos, bank Caixa Econômica Federal, has seen "negotiations cool down in the last couple days," according to Rodrigo Martins of GAZETA ESPORTIVA. The talks, "which had advanced well, suffered a paralysis," and the club is now talking to two other companies also interested in having their logo on the front of the team's uniform. Santos is negotiating with Ford Caminhões (Trucks) and Hyundai. Electronics company Philco "is another candidate" for the club's title sponsorship (GAZETA ESPORTIVA, 3/5).
Li-Ning in the last two weeks has “begun the rollout of the initial phase of its ‘Way of Wade’ campaign” featuring NBA Miami Heat player Dwyane Wade, according to Abe Sauer of BRANDCHANNEL. Li-Ning Brand Initiatives Dir Brian Cupps said that “this portion of Li-Ning's strategy is to recast the brand to American consumers through Wade's personal messaging and involvement.” Cupps added the goal is to "Answer the question: why Li-Ning?” Sauer noted the initial spot “showing Wade's hands-on involvement, along with changing his nickname and launching the Wayofwade.com site accomplishes this.” Li-Ning's next job is “to get the products on shelves.” Cupps said consumers in the next 30-45 days "will start seeing products available at Wayofwade.com as well as targeted retailers in New York and Miami." He added a "second signature product and full scale integrated launch" will come in Q4. Meanwhile, Cupps said of Wade, “He's resonated with the Chinese consumers.” Wade has “visited before and played last year” in two Heat exhibition games. Chinese media recently have “latched on to a rumor that Wade has ‘promised' to play in China after his NBA career.” Wade also will “make another trip to China in July for Li-Ning.” Cupps said that Li-Ning is “working on translating that visit into messaging that will interest U.S. consumers, which might mean a streaming event to highlight the magnitude of the brand.” But despite all of the progress Wade will make “bringing Li-Ning to the U.S., there remains the challenge of being a Chinese brand” (BRANDCHANNEL, 3/4).
The German Football Federation (DFB) has signed a new premium partnership with German software company SAP. The federation wants to, together with SAP, develop its software structures such as ticketing system as well as the general service for fans, club and associations. The partnership will run until Dec. 31, 2017 (DFB). ... Second Bundesliga club FC Ingolstadt has signed a long-term contract with sports marketing company UFA Sports. The company will become the exclusive marketing partner of the club and focus on national sales (FC Ingolstadt). ... Int'l swimming governing body FINA and Mikasa have renewed their partnership unil '16. The Japanese company will exclusively supply water polo balls to all FINA-governed water polo competitions, including the FINA World Championships. The deal covers FINA competitions including: the World League, Junior World Championships, Youth World Championships and the World Cup (FINA).