Vietnamese rubber and timber tycoon Doan Nguyen Duc, sponsoring Arsenal's tour to Vietnam, "has dismissed allegations his companies are behind widespread environmental and social crimes, and suggested the fact the North London club had made the trip showed they were not that concerned either," according to the AP. Duc said, "You can see that the team have come, can't you. Nothing has happened." The claims made by Global Witness in an investigation of the practices of the business group run by Duc came in the run-up to Wednesday's Arsenal match, "the first by a Premier League team in the country." Some supporters in Britain "have urged the club to sever their links with Duc, one of the richest men in Vietnam," and questioned why the club did not carry out a more thorough check on his business group, Hoang Anh Gia Lai. As well as sponsoring the tour, Arsenal has partnered with Duc, "who is the president of a local team, in establishing a training academy for youth players in central Vietnam" (AP, 7/17).
Marketing and Sponsorship
Chinese sportswear brand Li Ning "has suspended its deal with Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell as the fallout from his positive drugs test escalates," according to Sebastian Joseph of MARKETING WEEK. The company said it "strongly" supports the star's "proactive" approach toward the incident and his cooperation with the Anti-Doping Agency, but it has put its deal on hold. In a statement it said: "Li Ning company has always adhered to the spirit of sports, and is firmly opposed to any acts of deceit that tarnishes the principles of fair competition. The company will be following the incident closely and has suspended its sponsorship with Powell pending the outcome of the investigations." Li Ning's announcement comes just days after adidas suspended its tie-up with American 100m record holder Tyson Gay, "who is also being investigated" (MARKETING WEEK, 7/17).
LeadDog Deportes, the new Hispanic sports marketing arm of LeadDog Marketing, announced it has signed Mexican footballer Rafa Márquez to a marketing representation contract. LeadDog Deportes will represent Márquez and The Rafa Márquez Foundation, which helps raise awareness for children’s education and health initiatives, on various marketing initiatives throughout North America. Márquez is LeadDog Deportes's first client (LeadDog Marketing). ... Ligue 1 side Stade Rennais has signed a three-year shirt sponsorship deal with restaurant chain Del Arte. The company's logo will be featured on the team's jersey starting with the '13-14 season (Stade Rennais). ... London-listed online gambling group 32Red Plc "has entered into a sponsorship deal with Nottingham Racecourse." The deal "will see the group sponsor several races at Nottingham throughout this year." The first sponsored event will be held Friday (GAMBLING KINGZ, 7/17). ... Paint manufacturer Dulux has teamed with A-League club Melbourne Victory, signing on as membership partner for the '13-14 season -- its ninth season with the club (Melbourne Victory). ... A-League club Perth Glory has changed its major sponsor, announcing on Tuesday that "it is now backed by the West Australian government's health promotion foundation, Healthway." Glory "had previously had a major sponsorship with fast food chain Chicken Treat." The team said that "it will be ambassadors of the LiveLighter program to tackle obesity, jointly promoted by Healthway and the Heart Foundation" (AAP, 7/16). ... Liga MX side Toluca on Tuesday presented its new uniforms for the upcoming season that starts this weekend. Toluca's primary uniforms will be red, with red shirts with white trim on the neck and shoulders, along with red shorts and socks (LA AFICION, 7/16).