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Volume 10 No. 22

Marketing and Sponsorship

Scottish Premier League side Heart of Midlothian received a "significant" payment from sponsor as it took a huge step toward survival, according to Barry Anderson of the SCOTSMAN. The digital finance company "has paid next season’s sponsorship money in full ahead of schedule to administrators BDO to help the ailing Edinburgh club." Added to players agreeing wage cuts, plus extra season ticket sales and fans’ rallying, the threat surrounding Hearts’ immediate future "has now reduced." Wonga’s gesture "provides vital funding to help BDO keep the club alive until the new season starts in August," by which time TV revenue and gate receipts "will generate more cash" (SCOTSMAN, 6/27).

FIVE-FIGURE SUM: The Scotland DAILY RECORD reported a source close to the club confirmed the amount was a "significant five-figure sum," with a number of installments, which "had been due to be paid before the company's three-year backing ends next summer, brought forward." Jambos officials -- which still need to raise £750,000 ($975,000) to keep the club afloat until the start of the new season -- "feared that news of the cash advance would see season-ticket sales ease off" with them less than halfway toward the 3,000 target they still need to sell. Manager Gary Locke said, "It's great that one of our main sponsors has shown they are willing to back the football club" (DAILY RECORD, 6/27).

SETTING A DEADLINE: The BBC's McLauchlin & Dewar reported the administrators of Hearts have issued a deadline of July 12 for formal offers for the club. BDO has "sent a sales memorandum to all parties who have already expressed an interest in buying the club." The document indicates that "negotiations are ongoing with the relevant parties in Lithuania" (BBC, 6/26).

Trek Bicycle Corp. "agreed to take over the RadioShack Leopard cycling team from Luxembourg real-estate developer Flavio Becca next year," according to Alex Duff of BLOOMBERG. Waterloo, Wisconsin-based Trek, a sponsor of the team since its inception in '10, is in talks with "several marquee athletes" and will start seeking partners immediately, according to a team statement. The team’s riders include Luxembourg’s Andy Schleck, Jens Voigt of Germany and Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland. Trek sponsored Lance Armstrong during his seven Tour de France wins, and a two-year comeback. The bicycle maker "ended its association with the Texan last year" (BLOOMBERG, 6/26).

Bundesliga club Hamburg SV has extended its exclusive partnership with betting provider tipico for another three years. Tipico will continue to receive ad space on boards in camera view at the team's home games. The deal was brokered by sports marketing agency SPORTFIVE (Hamburg SV). ... Austrian football Bundesliga side FC Wacker Innsbruck "has extended its title sponsorship deal with utility company Tiroler Wasserkraft AG (TIWAG) for another two years." The extension "will be have the same value as the club's current deal with TIWAG." The utility company "has been the club's title sponsor for 13 years" (ORF, 6/26). ...  German Hockey League (DEL) club Cologne Sharks has extended its sponsorship deal with department store chain HIT for another year. The company has been a partner of the club since '04. HIT's logo will continue to be featured on the players' shoulders (Cologne Sharks). ... Handball Bundesliga (HBL) HSG Wetzlar has extended its title sponsorship deal with private brewery Licher. The brewery's logo will continue to be featured on the club's jersey for the next two seasons. Licher has been the club's title sponsor since '10 (HSG Wetzlar). ... Taittinger was announced on Thursday as FIFA's official champagne of the 2014 World Cup -- "while embers still smouldered in Belo Horizonte from violent unrest." FIFA's "ill-timed announcement will do nothing to abate anger in Brazil at the conduct of world football's governing body" (London DAILY MIRROR, 6/27). ... South African Breweries is extending its SAB Regional League sponsorship for another five years to the tune of R7M ($700,00) (SOWETAN LIVE, 6/27). ... The Spanish Football League (LFP) has agreed to a two-year sponsorship deal with Chinese telecom firm Huawei (SOCCEREX, 6/27). ... Williams Advanced Engineering announced a new collaboration with Nismo, the performance-oriented brand of Nissan, to partner in the development of road cars (Williams). ... Watch maker TW Steel unveiled the design of its new six-model Sahara Force India F1 Team collection Thursday (TW Steel).