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Volume 6 No. 212

Marketing and Sponsorship

Insurance company AIA Thailand "has officially announced its support for 34 domestic football clubs," pledging 380M baht ($12M), according to the BANGKOK POST. After being successful in its contributions to sports over the past two years, the insurance company said that it is "sponsoring 34 teams in the Toyota Thai Premier League, Yamaha League One and AIS League." It initially supported 25 teams "and the number increased to 30 teams last year." AIA Thailand CEO Ron van Oijen said, "Our support for the 34 teams includes cash and personal accident insurance policies worth 380 million baht" (BANGKOK POST, 4/28).

EPL club Man City has partnered with Gaga Sports & Entertainment, a Bay Area technology startup specializing in social media consumer research, to create tools for its global fan development efforts. Using Gaga's social CRM platform, Man City has begun to post geographically targeted online fan contests and quizzes, with prizes ranging from free team jerseys to tickets and game-used memorabilia. Other social marketing efforts between the two entities are expected in the coming weeks and into the start of the club's next season in the fall. More critically, the contests come equipped with a series of tools designed to expand the club's Twitter and Facebook profiles, as well as a battery of analytic and database tools to help drive business along traditional revenue lines. In particular, the efforts are aimed at boosting and learning more about Man City's fans outside of the U.K. The club's profile has been on a sharp rise since winning the '12 Premier League title, its first league crown in 44 years.

A SOCIAL APPROACH: Man City Data and Insight Manager Andrew Gilligan said, "There are a number of big pockets of support we have, including Southeast Asia and South America, that we want to target with specific messages. We're looking to grow our fan base in those markets and find ways to bring them closer to the team, and social media is certainly part of that." Similarly, Gaga execs described the alignment as a "global data play." The company has worked on similar social CRM efforts domestically with pro and college teams including the NFL Oakland Raiders, NBA L.A. Lakers and Clippers, and Stanford University. Gaga Co-Founder & CEO Jamie Pardi said, "What we're trying to do is use social platforms to help Man City understand their fan base and do so at major scale, millions of fans around the world."

Consultant and former director of Olympic Marketing at Lloyds Banking Group Sally Hancock "has warned brands" that during the 2012 London Olympics, sponsors were viewed by consumers as a "necessary evil," according to Nicola Kemp of MARKETING MAGAZINE. Hancock: "Whether it was complaints over burgers in the shape of Olympic rings or any other problem, it came down to blaming the sponsors. We as an industry are doing a bad job and sponsors are failing to show their worth to consumers." According to Hancock, when rights holders were questioned on the need for sponsors, the only answer given was that the Games "needed the money and this alone was not enough to truly justify their role to consumers." She also said that the IOC's sponsorship platforms "were still too cash based and failed to recognise the reach that brands bring to the Games." Hancock also warned that brands "were in danger of focusing too much on imposing their brand on consumers." Hancock believes that brands "must think carefully about what they bring to consumers." For example, Visa's decision to be the exclusive card provider to the Olympic Games "created controversy." Power Sponsorship Dir Kim Skildum-Reid "agreed that Visa's approach was wrong." Skildum-Reid: "The big takeaway for consumers was 'wow Visa is even more selfish than we thought'" (MARKETING MAGAZINE, 4/25).

Turkish Airlines "has agreed a new three-year premium partnership deal with Bundesliga Borussia Dortmund." The deal "confirms Turkish Airlines' position as Dortmund's airline of choice" for all int'l flights. The agreement "will also see the two parties work together on a range of joint activities" and programs throughout the next three years (SOCCEREX, 4/26). ... Australian Power & Gas has extended its deal with National Rugby League side Wests Tigers by sponsoring the club for the '13 NRL season. The partnership between Australia's leading independent energy retailer will see supporters offered exclusive discounts on home energy (Wests Tigers). ... Resorts World Manila, the only one-stop, nonstop tourism and entertainment destination in the country, has signed a landmark five-year agreement with the Asian Tour to title sponsor a new $750,000 tournament in November. The Resorts World Manila Masters will be held at the Manila Southwoods Golf & Country Club from Nov. 14-17, where all four rounds will be beamed live on the Asian Tour’s global TV platform (Asian Tour). ... SuisseGas has joined the extended Serie A side AC Milan family as a premium sponsor for the '12-13 season and as a top sponsor in the '13-14 season. The agreement will give the SuisseGas trademark some major visibility on the pitch side advertising boards, totems, backdrops and fixed advertising boards installed at the Milanello Sports Complex where the Milan players train and at the stadium on match days (AC Milan).