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Volume 10 No. 23

Marketing and Sponsorship

Cricket Australia "is poised to announce a new mega deal," estimated to be worth almost A$50M ($51M) over four years, with Commonwealth Bank of Australia, which will make the bank CA's primary sponsor, according to ANI. Overcoming widespread pessimism about the national team's Ashes prospects to seal sponsorship deals for its home Test and one-day series, "CA's new deal with the bank will probably resolve the tussles for its naming-rights deals for international matches." The agreements, when confirmed, will represent a significant off-field milestone for CA, "which finished the summer needing to resolve two major commercial issues well before the home Ashes series: the sponsorships and the now-lapsed television broadcast rights" (ANI, 5/2).

Cycling has absorbed some serious body blows recently because of the widespread doping scandal that felled some of the sport's greatest icons, but a report from and Repucom finds that sponsors still see the sport as a good way to reach out to a global audience. The CyclingNews/Repucom report profiled 325 of 700 WorldTour cycling sponsors that account for more than 75% of TV exposure. The bottom line, the report states, is that those 325 sponsors received $2B of sponsor exposure -- based on time, and legibility of their logos -- 64% ($1.3B) through team sponsorships and 35% ($733M) during races and events. Team Sky delivered victories on the course during the '12 season, but the British team also served up strong numbers for its sponsors, generating more than $550M in advertising value, based on current ad rates in various markets, more than four times its closest competitor, the report states. The report studied the tour that runs from January to October and includes 29 events, 15 stage races and 15 one-day classics. The report also finds that the average WorldTour team delivered $88.4M in media exposure for its sponsors, 84% through TV broadcasts and the rest across print and online. The Team Sky total skews the final number, but many teams deliver $35M-50M in media exposure. Team sponsors delivered two thirds of that. Sky, which sponsors Team Sky, led the way. Repucom did not disclose individual brands’ exposure values, but said that the U.K.-based media company received 50% more brand exposure than the second largest brand in the UCI WorldTour, BMC.

Team sponsors generated $1.33B in exposure value.

Top 5
Team Sponsors
1. Sky
3. adidas
4. Movistar

Race sponsors generated $743M in exposure value.

Top 5
Race Sponsors
1. LCLC Banque
3. Skoda
4. Carrefour

The biggest annual event on the cycling calendar is the Tour de France. For teams that competed in the '12 Tour, TV exposure delivered nearly 80% of their WorldTour exposure via its global partners, the report found. That means the Tour de France is great for the sport as a way to introduce new fans to and to satisfy "light viewers," but drawing spectators into other events on the circuit and finding new revenue is more challenging. The report calls for better packaging to consumer audiences, creation of more sponsorship rights across the sport (beyond team sponsorships, it isn't possible to sponsor across the entire season), and create new revenue streams to reduce the burden on sponsorships.

BILLBOARDS ON WHEELS: Only motorsports and sailing offer as many branding opportunities as cycling, but many industry assumptions on the value of branding location are misguided, according to the report. The belief that chest branding provides the best media return is not correct, but, instead, the shoulders provide the most valuable piece of sponsorship inventory for maximum exposure. Other areas that are undervalued are the helmet and the rear shorts panel, the report states. And then there is the issue of clutter. "Fewer, bigger, better" is the rule for sponsors to live by.

Research conducted across eight markets -- the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain and the U.S. -- found that pro cycling fans are "significantly more engaged" with sponsors than fans of other sports, the report states. It also finds cycling fans to be more likely to be early adopters of new technology and new products, a healthy indicator of disposable income for sponsors. Compared to general customers, cycling fans are twice as likely to actively inform themselves about a sponsor's brand.

Where the sponsors come from based on the analysis of the top 325 sponsors:

Sponsors Origin
Country (#)
Total TV Exposure
1. France (56)
U.K. (8)
3. U.S. (44)
4. Italy (66)
Spain (33)

The report covers the ‘12 UCI WorldTour season, which runs from January to October and includes 29 events, 15 stage races and 15 one-day classics. The primary source of data is Repucom’s CYCLING24 service, which tracks brand exposure in live TV broadcasts across the WorldTour, including all the Grand Tours (Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and La Vuelta), seven-day stage races and one-day classics. The data is taken from the Eurosport feed except when Eurosport does not cover an event. In that case an alternate feed is used. Repucom uses QI image recognition technology to monitor brand exposure. Media valuation is based on TV, print and online audience recognition, media advertising rates by market and media channel, and weight of exposure calculated by measuring the size, location, duration and legibility of sponsor branding in each medium.

For a copy of the full report click here.

German Touring Car Championship (DTM) rights holder ITR "has extended its partnership with South Korean tire manufacturer Hankook until at least '16," according to MOTORSPORT TOTAL. The new three-year deal "also includes an option for an additional partnership extension beyond '16." Hankook "has been the official tire supplier of the DTM since '11." ITR Chair Hans Werner Aufrecht said, "In the first two years of our partnership, the collaboration with Hankook has us completely convinced of the company's performance" (MOTORSPORT TOTAL, 5/2).

DTM ON YOUTUBE: MOTORSPORT TOTAL also reported the DTM "has launched its new YouTube channel on Wednesday." DTM fans "will be able to access exclusive video footage of Audi, BMW and Mercedes' star drivers." Aufrecht said, "The launch of our new YouTube channel is an important moment for the DTM. We want to attract new audiences through additional DTM content on YouTube" (MOTORSPORT TOTAL, 5/2).

The Cambodian team for the Southeast Asian Games will don clothing and competitive gear custom made "by one of the two reputed brands from Thailand," Grandsport and Football Thailand, according to H.S. Manjunath of the PHNOM PENH POST. The Thai sports merchandise companies, which consider Cambodia "a fast emerging market for their products, have shown huge interest in bagging this contract." The Cambodia NOC and its SEA Games sponsors NagaWorld "will make a final choice before the end of the month." The brand chosen "will closely work with the NOCC and NagaWorld and come up with specially designed attire for the Cambodian squad," which is expected to be the biggest ever to be sent to the biennial games (PHNOM PENH POST, 5/2).

Danish brewing company Carslberg has signed on to sponsor the UEFA European Football Championships for the eighth consecutive year (Carlsberg). ... India global online fashion and lifestyle brand American Swan will sponsor India Premier League's Pune Warriors. The deal includes promotion through digital properties, the team's official website and social media channels (American Swan). ... The Williams F1 Team has reached an agreement with Kazakhstani investment business TAK Group that will see the Kazakhstani capital, Astana, promoted as part of the arrangement with the team. The Astana name will be positioned on the SIS vane and outer nose struts on the Williams-Renault FW35 from the Spanish Grand Prix onward (Williams F1).