Adidas Senior VP of Global Football Markus Baumann told SBD Global that he thinks Argentine Lionel Messi is the best football player on the planet and his private off-field issues have no influence on the company's relationship with him. To underline the 26-year-old's privileged status in the adidas football family, the company launched its first range of Messi products earlier this year. A second line, expected to make an even bigger splash, will hit stores in the near future. Baumann: "This year, we very successfully launched the first Leo Messi icon ranges. We expect a second drop to hit consumers on Aug. 1, and we saw, based on the first range that we launched in the second quarter this year, how big the demand, how big the hype is around Leo Messi. With new products coming in August, we believe that this can be on an even higher level." Messi, who plays for Spanish side FC Barcelona on a club level, has been in the headlines recently as Spanish tax authorities accuse him and his father of alleged tax fraud. Asked if the recent news has any influence on Messi's deal with adidas, Baumann said, "First of all I think this is a topic which is Leo Messi’s private topic. It is nothing where we get involved or where we are involved. We are not considering that we will drop or terminate our contract because I think he is the best footballer on the planet."
Marketing and Sponsorship
Commonwealth Games host Glasgow 2014 "is taking its lead from the London 2012 Olympics and bringing outdoor media owners together to offer prime ad space for official sponsors," according to Arif Durrani of CAMPAIGN LIVE. The collaboration "will see space in and around venues offered up to sponsors and the Games organiser to help promote the overall look and feel across the city, and in an attempt to prevent ambush marketing during the event." Media owners who have agreed to work with Glasgow 2014 include: JCDecaux; CBS Outdoor; Clear Channel; Forrest Media; Primesight; SPD Media; BlowUp; Ocean Outdoor; Ubiquitous and T4 Media. Games Sponsors at Partner and Supporter level "will have first option to secure advertising space from the media owners" in January before space outside regulated Event Zones is offered back to the open market (CAMPAIGN LIVE, 7/3).
The "public introduction of Bayern Munich's new player Mario Götze has led to tensions with its kit supplier adidas," according to the SID. The 21-year-old midfielder, who came from league rival Borussia Dortmund to Munich, "was wearing a T-shirt of adidas' rival Nike at the his introduction at the new club." Adidas spokesperson Oliver Brüggen said, "The pictures from the press conference with Mario Götze have us negatively surprised. Contractually this is of course not acceptable because it was an official event of adidas partner FC Bayern. We have already talked to FC Bayern Munich about it." Bayern Munich Communications Dir Markus Hörwick "immediately after the press conference apologized to adidas." The club has promised the Herzogenaurach-based company "something like that won't happen again." We "simply missed" the shirt in all the commotion and we are "angry about it." In addition, Bayern Munich's second new player Jan Kirchhoff, who previously played for Mainz 05, "was also wearing a Nike shirt." Adidas "is not only Bayern's kit supplier but also owns 9.4% of the FC Bayern Munich AG" (SID, 7/3). SPOX reported Götze, who has a private endorsement deal with Nike and will wear its shoes during games, "has by wearing the shirt violated adidas' exclusive supply deal with the club." Götze is an official Bayern Munich player since Monday. The club paid a transfer fee of about €37M to his former club (SPOX, 7/2).
Molson Coors has "renewed and strengthened its agreement with the Canadian Olympic Committee for the next four years, which will take the deal through Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016," according to QMI AGENCY. The deal includes an initial C$10,000 ($9,500) "donation to the Canadian Olympic Foundation, a significant contribution toward helping athletes with their final push to get to Sochi, Russia for the Olympic Winter Games next February, and will continue to benefit athletes financially throughout the life of the agreement." Molson Coors has been "elevated to the level of Official Supporter of the Canadian Olympic Team." COC CEO Chris Overholt said, "The level of continuing support on the part of our marketing partners for our Olympic team has just blown us away. It’s really record-setting in every regard." Molson Coors Senior Dir of Public Affairs Gavin Thompson said that it is "especially important for sponsors to get behind the Olympic team right now." He added, "The fact that it’s going to be overseas in 2014 and 2016 means it’s going to be quite a drain on financial situations. We want to make sure we get behind the ones that have the greatest needs" (QMI AGENCY, 7/2).
Longtime NASCAR sponsor Whelen, which makes safety lights for police cars, fire trucks and other safety vehicles, has signed a seven-year agreement to title sponsor the Euro-Racecar Touring Series, according to Tripp Mickle of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. It is the largest sponsorship that NASCAR has brought to Euro-Racecar since it struck a licensing deal last year to lend its name and logo to the stock car series. Whelen’s deal is with both NASCAR, which sold the deal, and Team FJ, which owns and operates the European series. Financial terms were not available. The Connecticut-based company plans to use the series to boost its business in Europe. Whelen VP Phil Kurze said its sales representatives will attend events and take government officials to races in Spain, Germany, France and England. Kurze said it took a similar approach with its sponsorships of NASCAR’s Mexican and Canadian series and saw it boost sales in those markets. The deal highlights NASCAR's increasing involvement with the Euro-Racecar Touring Series (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 7/1 issue).
League Championship Sheffield Wednesday announced that exchange market leaders Bartercard will sponsor the club's away shirt for the '13-14 season. The kit will be unveiled at the SWFC Owls in the Park community fun day this weekend (Sheffield Wednesday). ... Anadolu Efes Istanbul has won the Euroleague Basketball gold Devotion Marketing Award for '13 (Euroleague Basketball). ... Man City has signed a two-year partnership in Thailand with est Cola to make it the official soft drink partner in Thailand (Man City). ... Barcelona has extended its partnership with financial institution MoraBanc through '15. MoraBank becomes the club's only regional partner in Andorra (SOCCEREX, 7/3).