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Volume 6 No. 195


Adidas said that football sales will rise to a record €2B ($2.7B) next year, "boosted by the World Cup in Brazil," according to Julie Cruz of BLOOMBERG. Adidas CEO Herbert Hainer said, "Through the World Cup we will once again underline our leading position." Adidas said that it will start introducing new products for the World Cup in the second half of this year. The company "is one of six global marketing partners for the tournament." Adidas had football sales of more than €1.7B last year, helped by interest "surrounding the European championships held in Ukraine and Poland." Adidas faces competition from Nike, whose football sales rose to $2B in '12 from $1.8B in '11. Adidas has supplied the official match ball to all World Cup matches since '70. It sold 13 million official match balls at the last World Cup in South Africa in '10 and "expects to beat that number next year" (BLOOMBERG, 6/18).

British horse racing has had an overall impact of £3.5B on the British economy in '12, according to the "Economic Impact of British Racing 2013" published by the British Horseracing Authority and Deloitte. The figure is only a marginal rise since the last report in '09. However, once inflation is factored in the overall result is one of minor contraction of around 1.2%, only slightly greater than that for the wider economy. Racing remains the second largest sport in Britain on most metrics, including attendances, with a total attendance figure of 5.6 million in '12 despite competition from the London Olympics and the exceptionally wet weather prompting a record number of abandoned fixtures in the summer. Excluding the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, horse racing accounted for four of the top-10 attended sporting events in Britain in '12. The sport employs 17,400 full-time equivalents and more than 22,000 individuals in full-time and part-time roles. These employees were a significant contributory factor in the £275M plus tax generated by the sport, though they represent an 8% decrease in employment in response to lower activity levels and cost reduction. Media rights was the area of largest growth in the industry, generating £173M, up from £104M in the '09 report. These increased media rights contributed heavily to racecourse cashflows being up by 1% overall, despite a marked decline in funds from the Levy. Almost £950M of capital investment has been made over the last decade in the industry's infrastructure, more than £700M of which is at racecourses. The majority of this investment was made in the earlier part of the decade. Every £1 spent in the horse racing industry generates an additional spend of £1.53 in the wider, particularly rural, economy through secondary and business-to-business expenditure. Owners' gross expenditure was £389M, while receiving an income of £85M through prize money and sponsorship, down from £92M in '08 (BHA).

CONCERN GROWING: In N.Y., Ryan Goldberg reported many in the industry "acknowledge great concern over racing’s financial future, none more so than horse owners." British trainer Mark Johnston said, "We’re seeing a situation now where prize money for many of our races is less than it was 10 years ago." Yet despite its poor return, Britain "still hosts some of the best racing in the world." In '11, six of the 10 fastest horses in the world "called the country home," and eight of the 10 fastest ratings "came on British racecourses." Last year, the undefeated British superhorse Frankel "drew crowds worthy of the Beatles." Johnston: "Our racing is holding its head up very well indeed. But on a financial front -- that’s where the problems are here" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/17).

F1 team Lotus, featuring drivers Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean, has sold 35% of the team's shares to investor group Infinity Racing, according to the EFE. Infinity Racing joins Genni Capital, which controls the majority of the team, and Lotus President Gerard López will remain in his current role. Lotus currently occupies fourth place in the standings (EFE, 6/18).

Former Argentina striker and Manager Diego Maradona won a 3M yuan ($490,000) lawsuit in Beijing Monday "against two Shanghai firms which used his name and image without permission," according to the SHANGHAI DAILY. The Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court ruled that Shanghai The9 Information Technology Co. Ltd. and The9 Computer Technology Consulting (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. pay 3M yuan "for the infringement" and 1 yuan ($0.16) "for mental distress." The 52-year-old "filed the lawsuit last year after he discovered that his name and image were being used at an online gaming website." Beijing Sina Internet Information Service Co. Ltd. -- operator of -- "was also sued for releasing reports saying the player had endorsed the game." But the court said that "Sina was not liable for any infringement because it used images according to its contract with the Shanghai firms" (SHANGHAI DAILY, 6/18).

Spain's tax agency "may expand an investigation" of Lionel Messi that has already led to charges against Messi, according to the EFE. Messi "stands accused of defrauding the Spanish state" of some $5.5M in taxes on income from endorsements that he allegedly failed to report on his '07, '08 and '09 tax returns (EFE, 6/17). FOOTBALL ESPANA reported the tax authorities' investigation into Messi's alleged fraud "could include activity up until" '12. Messi and his father were last week the subject of a lawsuit filed by tax authorities. The investigation for civil and criminal responsibility over the sale of Messi's image rights to third parties may be extended through '10, '11 and '12 once the current tax year has ended (FOOTBALL ESPANA, 6/18).

Spanish football club Unión Deportiva Salamanca, which was this year celebrating its 90th anniversary, ceased to exist on Tuesday morning, according to INSIDE SPANISH FOOTBALL. The club had "been in administration for some considerable time." Due to "crippling debts," Salamanca, which spent twelve seasons in La Liga, most recently in '98-99, "was officially wound up at a court hearing." Salamanca was relegated from the Spanish second division at the end of the '10-11 season (INSIDE SPANISH FOOTBALL, 6/18). In Madrid, Cayetano Ros reported former Salamanca coach Juanma Lillo said, "It is a pain, of course, but they were warning us in recent years." The club's Twitter account said, "Today is the saddest day in our 90-year history. We are in each of your tears. We will live forever in your hearts." A meeting of creditors on Tuesday did not reach an agreement, so the club proceeded to open the liquidation phase under €23M ($30.8M) in debt (EL PAIS, 6/18).