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Volume 6 No. 212

Marketing and Sponsorship

PepsiCo India announced its association with eight out of nine Indian Premier League teams as the exclusive pouring partner for the sixth edition of the tournament beginning April 3, according to the PTI. The teams are Delhi Daredevils, Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Pune Warriors India, The Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kings XI Punjab and the defending champions, Kolkata Knight Riders. The company will have "exclusive pouring rights at partner teams’ home matches along with the title of the official beverage for the eight teams" (PTI, 3/25).

Sports sponsorship, "has become a key asset" in the portfolio of a business in "today's business world," according to Neil Churchill of GULF BUSINESS. The concept of a business funding and putting its name behind a popular public event "has become the norm," especially in the UAE with Emirates. In the finance sector, HSBC "owns a burgeoning portfolio of sponsorship events" -- the annual Dubai Rugby 7s and Abu Dhabi Golf Championship among its GCC stable -- "establishing itself as a frontrunner in the 'business of sponsorship' sub-sector." HSBC Rugby Sponsorship Head Andrea de Vincentiis said, "There are always two bodies involved, there is a sponsor and there is a rights holder; they need each other." Though sport sponsorship is not new, the theory behind it -- putting a company’s name behind an event and subsequently seeing increased footfall -- "is still one which remains tough to measure," though as de Vincentiis explains, there is more to it than being an income source. De Vincentiis said, "Our primary objective is from a customer engagement point of view" (GULF BUSINESS, 3/25).

Premier League club Swansea City announced plans to "end its shirt sponsorship deal with online gambling firm 32Red a year early," according to WALES ONLINE. The deal had been due to run until the end of the '13-14 season, but the club announced it will withdraw from the deal at the end of the current season "to engage with third parties" that may be able to assist in the physical development of the stadium and support the club in its next phase of growth. The club said the terms of the agreement were "confidential" and did not reveal whether it had paid the company for early release from the contract (WALES ONLINE, 3/21).