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Volume 10 No. 25

Marketing and Sponsorship

League Championship Brighton & Hove Albion has signed a "record deal" with American Express to be its new shirt sponsor from next season, according to THE ARGUS. The Seagulls are not revealing what the multi-year agreement is worth, but CEO Paul Barber has "described it as the biggest in the club's history." The new kit for '13-14 will include the American Express logo on the "front and back of the first-team's Errea-manufactured shirt." The American Express brand will "also be seen on the club's development, youth and women's team shirts" (THE ARGUS, 3/13).

Management consultant Accenture is "considering a move into cycling sponsorship and is expected to renew its sponsorship as the official technology partner of the RBS 6 Nations rugby tournament," according to John Reynolds of MARKETING MAGAZINE. The U.K. arm of Accenture initially signed up as an RBS 6 Nations sponsor for the '12 and '13 seasons. Accenture is "now expected to extend this contact for at least another two years." U.K. and Ireland Accenture Managing Dir of Marketing and Communications Peter Thomas said, "We are in discussion with the 6 Nations about what the next period would look like. We want to be involved in the sport and think it matches our audience." Accenture's sport sponsorship focus in the U.K. "is on rugby and sailing." However, it is "considering a move into cycling sponsorship." Thomas said, "There is the possibility of doing something in cycling. We are tracking it." It is "unclear if Accenture is looking to align itself with an individual team or a particular event" (MARKETING MAGAZINE, 3/13).

Tynan Motor Group has "stepped up and offered" to become National Rugby League club Cronulla's major sponsor in a "rare piece of positive news for the embattled club," according to Adrian Proszenko of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The Sutherland shire car dealership is "prepared to fill the void" for the only NRL club without a major backer. The Sharks are without a stadium sponsor or a company to "plaster on the front of their jerseys" after Toyota and Shark Energy Drink parted ways with the club in the offseason. Cronulla recently secured a sleeve sponsorship, but that announcement was put on hold following revelations that up to 14 players were "in the sights" of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority's investigations into alleged use of performance-enhancing substances. The marketing director and dealer principal for the Chrysler Jeep Dodge Tynan Motor Group is Madeline Tynan, a "passionate Sharks supporter whose company sponsors rivals St George Illawarra" (SMH, 3/14).

Indian Premier League Chennai team Chennai Super Kings, backed by India Cements, is "planning to launch cricket kits for its fans," according to Gireesh Babu of BUSINESS STANDARD. An India Cements senior official said that the initiative "is expected to bring in" Rs 2 crore ($368,290) to its topline this year. CSK has "registered itself as a cricket kit manufacturer." The club plans "to start with offering cricket kits to children, in three names under brand SuperKings Junior." The CSK team members and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni "are expected to endorse the CSK brand cricket kit." The products are "expected to be launched by the end of this month." While the price range has yet to be finalized, the kit is "expected to be in a range" between Rs 1,500 and Rs 2,000 ($27-$36). The company "would outsource the products for the kit from manufacturers" in Indian cities such as Ludhiana and Meerut. The kits would initially "be sold through around 60 outlets, of which around 15-20 would be in Chennai" (BUSINESS STANDARD, 3/13).

Ligue 1 Paris St. Germain captain Thiago Silva has "signed an exclusive representation deal" with Brazilian sports marketing agency IMX, according to SPONSORING. IMX is IMG's Brazilian subsidiary. IMG Paris' office will overlook Silva's deals in the French market. Talent VP Cecilia Yoshizawa said, "Our objective is to recruit the best athletes for our portfolio. Thiago Silva is respected and considered the best defender in the world. His leadership in the team will attract leading companies." IMX's portfolio includes, amongst others, Brazilian footballer Neymar and surfer Gabriel Medina (SPONSORING, 3/8).

NBA Miami Heat player Dwyane Wade is “busy building an impressive business empire of his own design, whether it’s inking a sneaker deal in China; endorsing products for various U.S. partners in the beverage, snack, jewelry, or apparel industries; promoting his book ... or just generally weighing the myriad other opportunities that continue to [propel] his brand to a whole new level,” according to Ron Stodghill of EBONY. The NBA, or “any professional sports league for that matter, doesn’t have a history of spawning winning Black business figures.” The roster of “lose-it-all jocks” includes boxing Hall of Famers Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield, former NFL players Terrell Owens and Lawrence Taylor, and former NBA players Allen Iverson. But Wade is “working overtime to keep his name off that list.” Wade said, “Those are the guys we learn from. It’s scary. You know I played with Antoine Walker but didn’t see any signs of (anything wrong). Then two or three years later, (he) winds up bankrupt.” Wade’s business profile is “rolling its own kind of dice -- as evidenced by its namesake’s [gutsy] move recently to break from vaunted Nike -- and yes, Brand Jordan, to sign with Chinese footwear making Li-Ning.” Wade reportedly will earn $10M per year during the 10-year contract and "receive significant equity in the company.” Although Li-Ning “boasts huge popularity in China, you’d be hard pressed to find an American who ever heard of the brand.” Still, Wade’s bet is “that he can earn Li-Ning street cred on the urban U.S. blacktop while amassing some brant cachet in China.” Li-Ning Vice GM for Basketball & Brand Initiatives Dir Brian Cupps said, “For the NBA to go global, they have to win China, and for Li-Ning to go global, we have to win the United States. D. Wade has the celebrity and superstar power to help us do that” (, 3/12).

Sport England is building a roster of PR and sponsorship agencies to "encourage the public to engage with grassroots sport over the next four years," according to Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith of PR WEEK. The National Lottery and the Exchequer awarded £1B ($1.5B) of funding to the body in Jan. '12 to "launch a five-year youth and community strategy." Running until '17, when London hosts the World Athletics Championships, the funding "spans four areas" of work: a £450M ($672M) investment for National Governing Bodies of sport; "funding for facilities; local investment; and extra-curricular sports activity around schools." Sport England’s Business & Partnerships Dir Tanya Joseph is "leading the process." She said that the document comprises two lots: "one handling PR and one for sponsorship and partnership, recognising that some agencies will be able to deliver on both fronts" (PR WEEK, 3/13).