Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 6 No. 196

Marketing and Sponsorship

Australia and New Zealand have combined to spend $880M on sports sponsorship, a study by Int'l Marketing Reports has found. The report lists and analyzes 1,405 deals in Australia and 257 in New Zealand. It estimates the value of sponsorships at $735M in Australia and $145M in New Zealand. Relative to GDP, the report says that sponsorship spend levels compare favorably with other developed nations. The 129-page report said that Australian rules football is the biggest recipient of corporate backing with $136M spent by sponsors annually. Rugby union is second at $105M, followed by rugby league ($90M) and motorsport ($77M). Football, cricket and tennis were the next three sports in line. Report author Simon Rines said, "Rugby union's high showing is down to the very large deals achieved by the All Blacks in New Zealand. Adidas pays in the region of $25M per year, and AIG, the shirt sponsor, $12.4M." Analysis of the data shows that in Australia, the profile of sponsorship differs from other Western economies. Rines: "In most countries the financial service sector is by far the dominant player in sponsorship, typically accounting for between 20% and 25% of total spend. In Australia, it is only 13.4%. Similarly, telecommunications is normally another major investor, but again, in Australia, Telstra's rugby league title sponsorship, at $21 million, is the only deal of major significance, and the sector is worth just 5.6% of the total." Instead, the car (13.2%), alcohol (7.4%), government (6.1%) and soft drinks (6%) industries contribute higher levels than in most countries. The report suggests that the recent reports of illegal doping and links to organized crime have not yet hit sponsorship in Australia. Rines said, "Many of the sponsors are still waiting to see how this will unfold. Because the sponsors are contracted over a number of years, it is a big decision to terminate the agreements" (IMR).

ManU has signed a four-year sponsorship with Mexican banking group INVEX, the club's first financial services partner in North America. The agreement will give INVEX the exclusive rights to produce and market ManU-branded credit cards to the club’s 24 million Mexican followers. INVEX has an annual turnover of $252M and a database of more than 100,000 credit card customers. The INVEX Manchester United Credit Card will offer Mexican fans discounts at the club’s online store and the ManU membership program. Cardholders will also be offered prizes such as signed shirts and match tickets. ManU Commercial Dir Richard Arnold: "Mexico is well known for its love of football and Manchester United is lucky enough to have some 24 million loyal and passionate followers in the country. Our partnership with INVEX shows our commitment to these fans and we are delighted to be partnering with such an innovative organization" (ManU). LA AFICION reported "with the intention of taking advantage of more than 20 million ManU fans in Mexico, the football club, INVEX and Visa launched a credit card that will give cardholders discounts on ManU merchandise." Visa Dir General Eduardo Coello said that "the card will be directed at people aged 20-30, and it will look to become another tool to collaborate with banking in the country." Coello said, "The way to bring more people closer to banking is to offer services that grab the population's attention." Annuities will be exempt for customers' first year, but will be set at 595 pesos ($46) starting in the second year. Depending on the level of use, interest rates will range from 18-40% (LA AFICION, 6/10).

Nike and adidas "are embracing 3D printing to speed up the shoemaking process, using the technology to make multiple prototype versions at a previously impossible speed," according to Barney Jopson of the FINANCIAL TIMES. While 3D printing "has generated hype" over potential home use, it is "becoming an important complement to the multinationals’ labour-intensive Asian factories." Nike Innovation Dir Shane Kohatsu said that 3D printing "had accelerated development of its Vapor Laser Talon boot for professional American footballers." Kohatsu: "Within six months we were able to go through 12 rounds of prototype iterations that we fully tested, and ultimately we were able to make super dramatic improvements to our products." Germany’s adidas said that 3D printers "had reduced the time it needed to evaluate a new prototype by four to six weeks to one or two days." Before the advent of 3D printing, adidas prototypes "were handmade by 12 technicians." With the new technology, "no more than two people are required to produce them." The three biggest makers of 3D printers are EOS of Germany, the U.S.’s 3D Systems, and a U.S.-Israeli company Stratasys, which has a client roster that includes Reebok, New Balance and Under Armour as well as Nike and adidas (FT, 6/9). CNBC’s Brian Sullivan noted that in F1, teams are now “bringing 3D printers with them and at the track, if something breaks, they will make the part right there” (“Squawk On The Street,” CNBC, 6/10).

Bundesliga club TSG 1899 Hoffenheim has reached an agreement with software company SAP to become the team's new title sponsor. The new three-year deal includes, in addition to the company's logo on the jerseys, ad space on boards in camera view during home games at the WIRSOL Rhein-Neckar-Arena as well as marketing packages for the stadium's video screen, print and online publications and in the hospitality areas (TSG Hoffenheim). ... The German Football Federation (DFB) has signed a deal with fashion company Hugo Boss to become the official fashion label for the men's national team and men's U21 team (DFB). ... The Int'l Ski Federation (FIS) "has tightened its rules on accepting sponsorships by gambling operators." The governing body said "title and presenting sponsor rights will not be awarded to commercial betting companies" (AP, 6/10). ... Ukraine side FC Dynamo Kyiv and Nadra Bank have signed a three-year sponsorship agreement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed (INTERFAX, 6/6). ... Senegal national team striker Papiss Cisse's representatives have informed EPL Newcastle officials that his religious beliefs "forbid him from representing or advertising a loans company, posing a dilemma for the club which has accepted sponsorship from pay-day loans company Wonga" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 6/10).