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Volume 6 No. 212

Marketing and Sponsorship

Brazilian club Avai "is negotiating four sponsorship packages," which it hopes to get done before the start of the Brasileiro B season, according to Lucas Turco of MAQUINA DO ESPORTE. The four spaces available for sponsorships are: sleeves, shorts, back underneath the jersey and lower front of the jersey. Currently, bank Caixa is the title sponsor of the club. Avai Marketing Dir Thiago Pravatto said, "We are focusing on getting sponsorships for the uniform. We are talking to a number of companies, but as of now nothing is done. Our objective is closing this before May, at the start of the Brasileiro B" (MAQUINA DO ESPORTE, 3/20).

Sports apparel manufacturers such as Nike, Reebok and Puma have "begun preliminary talks to rope in 27-year-old cricketing sensation Shikhar Dhawan as brand endorser," according to Pinto & Laghate of the Indian BUSINESS STANDARD. Dhawan is represented by Cornerstone Sports & Entertainment. Cornerstone’s CEO Bunty Sajdeh "declined to comment" on the deals the company planned to sign for Dhawan. Earlier, Nike "had roped in Virat Kohli as brand ambassador, while Reebok brought Mahendra Singh Dhoni into its fold." Puma had signed Yuvraj Singh and Manoj Tiwary. Experts say these companies are "always on the lookout for fresh cricketing talent." Percept Talent Senior VP Hitesh Gossain said, “Typically, sports apparel manufacturers are the first ones to try and lock budding talent, especially in batting." Source believe that Dhawan’s asking price is about Rs 1 crore ($183,000) (BUSINESS STANDARD, 3/21).

The marketing power of Pep Guardiola "has been harnessed by McDonalds," according to 101 GREAT GOALS. The global fast food chain has "latched upon" Bayern Munich’s appointment of Guardiola as its manager from next season "to launch a new sandwich" in its Munich and Bavarian branches. Named the "Hot Pep Guardinator," the sandwich comprises of a chicken schnitzel sat in a brown bread bun with a slice of cheese and basic veggies. The bun also comes with hot sauce and hot mustard (101 GREAT GOALS, 3/21).

New South Wales skipper Paul Gallen has been "removed from a major State of Origin advertising campaign amid uncertainty" over how deeply the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority investigation will affect his club side, Cronulla, according to Josh Massoud of the DAILY TELEGRAPH. Along with Maroons opposite Cameron Smith, Gallen last year "headlined an Origin-themed promotion in bottleshops in NSW and Queensland on behalf of major brewery CUB." However, his management approached CUB this month to advise that Gallen "would not be available this year." A source close to Galllen said, "With everything that's going on at Cronulla, they thought it was best that no Sharks player should feature." Blues hooker Robbie Farah "was summoned to replace Gallen during the photo shoot" with Smith in the past week. When contacted last night, CUB said the decision to replace Gallen "would not affect its commercial relationship with the 31-year-old." Although he will not feature in the VB campaign, Gallen remains an ambassador for the label and the brewery has "every intention of calling upon his future services" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 3/22). In Sydney, Proszenko & Jackson wrote there were suggestions on Wednesday night that the brewer had already shot a A$750,000 ($783,000) campaign, "but opted for another figurehead, Farah, who will now appear with opposing Queensland hooker Cameron Smith in the promotional material." Gallen reportedly stepped down. However, it is understood the brewery giant had "serious concerns about being linked to the growing scandal" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 3/22).

Volkswagen has signed six former and current Brazilian footballers as brand ambassadors to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Volkswagen do Brasil. Volkswagen welcomes Pelé, Rivelino, Raí, Cafu, Lucas and Neymar to its brand ambassador team. The six players cover six decades of Brazilian football and will represent the German car manufacturer through the end of '14 in Brazil, especially during the 2014 World Cup (Volkswagen). ... Swiss Super League club FC Basel has extended its partnership with pharmaceutical company Novartis. The club has a new four-year contract until the summer of '17 with the company. Novartis has been the team's title sponsor since '04 (FC Basel). ... German Hockey League (DEL) side Kölner Haie has signed a new sponsorship deal with online-based PRIMUS international printing as the club's official printing partner. Starting with the '13-14 DEL season will produce the team's print publications, which include flyers, posters, etc (Kölner Haie). ... Basketball Bundesliga (BBL) club ratiopharm Ulm has extended its sponsorship deal with software and systems company FRITZ & MACZIOL Group for another year. The company's logo will once again be featured on the players' shorts (ratiopharm Ulm). ... Brasileiro club Fluminense has agreed to a five-year partnership with La Liga club Espanyol (MAQUINA DO ESPORTE, 3/20). ... The Renault Group announced four-time F1 world champion Alain Prost will remain a brand ambassador. Prost has been the brand ambassador for Renault since '12, and will take on an enlarged consultancy role within Renault Sport F1 this year (Renault). ... Singapore's national netballers will wear Asics gear beginning this year. The Japanese label has signed a year-long sponsorship deal "worth an undisclosed amount with the reigning Asian champions" and will supply the team with training apparel, competition gear and shoes (STRAITS TIMES, 3/21). ... Singapore bowling signed a partnership with sport equipment manufacturer Storm Products. The American company will prepare Singapore's elite bowlers for major competitions such as the SEA Games later this year and the Asian Games next year (STRAITS TIMES, 3/21).