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Volume 10 No. 23

Marketing and Sponsorship

Qatari telecom firm Ooredoo has "been linked with a multi-million pound sponsorship deal with Liverpool, which could see Anfield renamed," according to Dominic King of the London DAILY MAIL. Liverpool shirt sponsor Standard Chartered has 18 months remaining on the £20M ($31M) annual deal it agreed to in Sept. '09, and "are currently in talks with the Merseyside club about extending those terms." Ooredoo, which recently appointed Lionel Messi as an ambassador for its brand, has claimed that it has "received a tender from Liverpool and they are eager to become associated" with the Premier League. An Ooredoo spokesperson said, "We want to sponsor the club in full. We want to sponsor the stadium (possibly rename it) as well as the club's kits. Our goal is to reach the Asian markets where the Premier League has an enormous fan base" (DAILY MAIL, 4/28).

BACKING OFF: In London, Tony Barrett reported Liverpool sources said that "any interest remains tentative and no deal is close." However, Liverpool "will be heartened that the controversy" surrounding Luis Suárez "does not appear to have reduced their attractiveness to potential sponsors" (LONDON TIMES, 4/29). ARABIAN BUSINESS' Shane McGinley reported Ooredoo on Monday "denied media reports it is in talks with Liverpool Football Club for naming rights to Anfield stadium." An Ooredoo spokesperson said, "There is no basis for the current speculation linking us to the sponsorship of a Premier League football club. If the situation changes, we will -- as always -- be open and transparent in our communication with the media and with our customers." The move "would have followed in the footsteps of Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways," which gained naming rights to Man City’s stadium and Dubai’s Emirates Airline, which has been associated with Arsenal (ARABIAN BUSINESS, 4/29).

Spain's national basketball team now has the uniforms it will wear in all competitions from the start of this summer until the 2014 FIBA World Cup, according to EL PAIS. The outfit, made using recycled plastic bottles, will have inscribed on the neck the words, "To be Spanish is not an excuse, it's a responsibility." The national team will wear the same uniform in the Eurobasket 2013 in Slovenia, which will take place from Sept. 4-22 (EL PAIS, 4/29).

Swiss watchmaker Cyrus Genève has signed Real Madrid and German int'l player Mesut Özil as its new brand ambassador (Cyrus Genève). ... League One side Portsmouth signed a new partnership with Sondico Professional to provide the club with replica shirts, training wear and merchandise. The company will present a check for £10,000 ($15,000) to the Pompey Supporters' Trust to buy community share in the club (Portsmouth FC). ... German motorsports pay-TV channel Motorvision TV "will sponsor two cars of Team Attempto Racing in the Porsche Carrera Cup during the '13 season" (DWDL, 4/29). ... Badminton England signed a partnership with Gullivers Sports Travel for the upcoming London Grand Prix, taking place at the Copper Box on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from Oct. 1-6. The new partnership enables Gullivers to provide accomodation for national and int'l players and event staff (Badminton England).