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Volume 10 No. 23

Marketing and Sponsorship

Man City has signed a new partnership with Japanese auto manufacturer Daihatsu. The deal will see Daihatsu become the club’s official automotive partner in Indonesia next season. The new partnership will see Man City become Daihatsu's first football club partner in the vehicle maker's 106-year history. Daihatsu will be activating its partnership with Man City's crest and players throughout its vast dealership network, spanning 52 cities. Man City players will also film a TV advert later in the year and visit Indonesia this summer to take part in local promotions, as part of the club's tour of Southeast Asia (Man City).

Spanish bank BBVA and the Spanish Football League (LFP) on Tuesday announced an extension of their agreement. The first league will continue to be known as Liga BBVA for another three years, renewable in '18. The agreement was announced in N.Y. by BBVA CEO Francisco Gonzalez and LFP President Javier Tebas. The investment is slightly more than €70M ($93M), €23.5M ($31.2M) per season. Gonzalez: "Renewing this sponsorship is a natural step for BBVA and it gives us great satisfaction. Since joining forces with the LFP in '06, we have come a long way in promoting Liga BBVA internationally. Our association with the LFP survived some of the worst moments of the crisis thanks to BBVA's strong position and the way we navigated the difficulties without aid, generating profit and maintaining dividends. Many sporting activities lost their sponsors but that didn't happen to Liga BBVA, which we are renewing today" (BBVA). In Barcelona, Carlos F. Marcote wrote that La Liga currently has a world audience of 800 million people in 189 countries. The sponsorship agreement is, however, far from the Premier League's with Barclays Bank, which invests €34M ($45.2M) per season (EL PERIODICO, 6/11).

EPL Aston Villa has struck a two-year deal with Dafabet to be its main club sponsor. Part of the deal will have the Dafabet logo on the home and away shirts of Aston Villa, and the company will enjoy a host of sponsorship benefits (Dafabet). In Birmingham, Steve Nichols wrote the betting site, "which carries an endorsement" from former England player Alan Shearer, was ranked 21st in the eGaming Review Power 50 list of online gaming operators. Aston Villa CEO Paul Faulkner said, "Crucially for us, during negotiations Dafabet displayed a strong willingness to work with us in our continued support for Acorns, and we look forward to progressing some ideas around that in the near future." Aston Villa's new home and away kits for the '13-14 season "will be launched during a two-day music festival at Villa Park" on Saturday and Sunday (BIRMINGHAM MAIL, 6/11).

The Lawn Tennis Association has extended its sponsorship deal with life and pensions firm Aegon UK through '17. The new four-year deal will see Aegon continue as title sponsor of three of Britain's most prestigious grass court tennis events -- the Aegon Championships at the Queen’s Club, London, the Aegon Int'l at Devonshire Park, Eastbourne, and the Aegon Classic at Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham. Aegon UK will also be the team sponsor of the Great Britain Davis & Fed Cup teams, all national age group British teams and will continue to support the future talent of British tennis through the Aegon FutureStars program. The partnership will also see Aegon UK support a number of professional and recreational competitions including the GB Pro-Series events, the British Tour and County and Club Team Tennis (LTA).

MONEY MATTERS: In London, Paul Newman reported the initial deal with Aegon was believed to be worth more than £25M ($39M) over five years and was "regarded as a major coup." The extension of the partnership, particularly in the light of the current economic climate and the difficulties within the financial services sector, "is a significant boost for the LTA, who have so often been the butt of criticism." All three tournaments "have been performing well commercially." Queen’s continues to sell out every year, Eastbourne has reported a 33% improvement on ticket sales compared with 12 months ago and Edgbaston is up by 13.5% (EVENING STANDARD, 6/12). In London, Kevin Mitchell reported Aegon "will not say how much it is putting up." Aegon pledged just less than £25M in Sept. '08 -- a day after Lehman Brothers went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and "not a great time for financial service institutions." Its continuing commitment "is encouraging." Outgoing CEO Roger Draper "explained in outlining where the money will go." Draper said, "I think the dial has certainly shifted towards participation. A couple of weeks ago we had some good news. I think we were the only sport that actually showed any increases whatsoever in 5-to-10-year-olds playing sport, and 11-to-15-year-olds" (GUARDIAN, 6/12).

Senegal national team striker Papiss Cisse is set to discuss his concerns about wearing the EPL Newcastle shirt "sponsored by a loans firm when he returns from duty with Senegal," according to Chowdhury & Smith of the BBC. Cisse "wants to remain at the club, but is worried his Muslim beliefs would be compromised if he were seen to promote the company." Professional Footballers' Association Deputy Chief Bobby Barnes said it was a "difficult situation," but hoped that the club would respect Cisse's views and there would be a "compromise." Barnes: "We're all aware that clubs need to generate revenue and sometimes have to use a wide range of companies." A similar conflict occurred at La Liga Sevilla in '07 when striker Frederic Kanoute, who like Cisse is a devout Muslim, "covered the logo of a betting company on his shirt. Gambling is forbidden in Islam" (BBC, 6/12).

La Liga side Osasuna on Wednesday presented a new agreement with adidas to outfit the club for the next four seasons (EFE, 6/12). ... German 3rd League football club Stuttgarter Kickers has signed a new kit supply with Uhlsport. The three-year deal will start on July 1 and end on June 30, 2016 (Stuttgarter Kickers).