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Volume 10 No. 25

Marketing and Sponsorship

Arsenal and Puma have "struck an agreement worth in excess of £30M-a-year which could see the five year contract worth £170M ($263M)  in total," according to John Cross of the London DAILY MIRROR. It would mark the "biggest kit deal in English football" and is not expected to be officially announced "for some time." It will give Arsenal "major additional financial clout on top of the £150M five year shirt sponsorship deal with Emirates." Manager Arsene Wenger "has already been promised £70M to spend on transfer targets this summer." The deal is also "a major coup" for Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis on top of the Emirates deal and "will strengthen his belief that the club are making major strides forward off the pitch which will enable them to compete for the biggest signings" (DAILY MIRROR, 5/8).

Chevrolet hopes that football "can do for it in China what baseball did for it in the U.S.," according to Nathan Bomey of the DETROIT FREE PRESS. A year after GM signed a $559M sponsorship "that will put the Chevrolet name on uniforms" of ManU beginning next year, the deal is "beginning to attract consumers in China." Chevrolet China General Dir Richard Choi said, “One of the reasons we’ve grown so fast is we have these road shows. It’s essentially an auto show in a truck. We’ll go out to these rural markets and we open up. It becomes like the thing to do in that city that day.” The road show “sets up a kicking contest for kids, displays Manchester United gear and introduces Chevy to consumers who know nothing of GM’s recent travails that culminated in the 2009 bankruptcy.” Customers at the Dongchang Chevrolet dealership in Shanghai “come face to face with a huge Manchester United poster splashed across a wall.” Bomey notes China is GM’s “biggest market, but it was Chevy’s third-biggest market in 2012, behind the U.S. and Brazil.” Choi said that China “would pass Brazil this year.” If ManU “has an excellent year, there may be room for more growth” (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 5/7).

Sports Revolution's Creative & Integrated Solutions Dir Josh Robinson penned a piece for BRAND REPUBLIC under the header "The New Breed of Sports Rights Holder." In it, Robinson wrote, "Do a quick Google search for any sports club fan base." One will see that "many ‘unofficial’ fan bases enjoy numbers that far exceed those of their official counterparts." Fan hubs that are "raw, rough and ready" are often run by the sports industry’s "answer to the bedroom DJ" and are rampant. These are "gathering and keeping crowds with only self-generated insight, content creativity and a healthy appetite for experimentation to play with." Sports fans "have taken to social with little regard for where content comes from." Their motivation "is to show the world that they belong to a tribe of passionate people, by consuming and sharing content that reinforces their place in the world." Rights holders "are now challenged by a new breed of competition." A restless "band of social renegades that are capturing the hearts, minds and clicks of sports fans with a daily desire to share." If federations, associations and clubs want to compete, "they need to think like NetFlix, not Blockbuster and make assets work harder." Rugby Football Union Digital Head Nick Shaw said, "We need to behave more like a creative agency and be the experts on how to engage our fan base, not just how many of them there are" (BRAND REPUBLIC, 5/7).

Second Bundesliga club Energie Cottbus has extended its shirt sponsorship deal with European tropical leisure resort Tropical Islands. The contract was extended by the club's marketing partner Infront Sports & Media. The main sponsor package includes Tropical Islands' logo placed on the team shirt as well as extensive perimeter advertising at the club’s home ground -- Stadion der Freundschaft ("Stadium of Friendship.") Tropical Islands benefits from full integration across all other facets of the club, including print and online publications. A ticket and hospitality contingent is provided with supplementary marketing activation opportunities also featured as part of the package (Infront Sports & Media).

T-Mobile Czech Republic has "become an official partner of the Czech Olympic team." The partnership has been scheduled until '16, which "means that the operator will accompany Czech athletes" to the 2014 Sochi Games and the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games (TELECOM PAPER, 5/6). ... The Swiss Ski Federation, Swiss Ski, has extended its sponsorship deal with St. Gallen-based insurance company Helvetia for another three years until '17. Helvetia has been a partner of ski sports since '05 (Swiss Ski). ... Fuji Xerox Printer Channel has become the latest corporation to join the Singapore Badminton Association's Adopt A Player scheme, "adopting the Republic's top mixed doubles pair Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Vanessa Neo." The Japan-based company presented a $35,000 sponsorship to SBA CEO Bobby Lee on Tuesday (STRAITS TIMES, 5/7). ... Swindon Engines has been appointed by the Chinese Touring Car Championship to supply a 1.6 turbo engine to CTCC competitors (Swindon Engines). ... Premiership rugby team Leicester Tigers announced that Caterpillar has renewed its support of the club by signing a new three-year sponsorship agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, Caterpillar remains the main sponsor of the Tigers (Leicester Tigers).

ADIDAS, WEST HAM PARTNER: EPL West Ham and adidas announced a commercial partnership which sees the sportswear company become the club's official technical supplier beginning June 1. Adidas will produce the Hammers' team kit, replica kit, trainingwear and equipment for the '13-14 and '14-15 seasons and will feature adidas performance fabrics (West Ham United). ... To celebrate ManU's 20th league title win, the club's official credit card provider in the U.K., MBNA, is offering eligible fans 0% interest on balance transfers for 20 months with its limited edition Champions Credit Card. The credit card will replace the official ManU Credit Card launched earlier this season (MBNA).