EPL Newcastle player Papiss Demba Cissé's position with the club "is becoming increasingly untenable" after he "failed to travel with his team-mates to their training camp in Portugal because of his reluctance to wear Wonga-branded playing kit," according to George Caulkin of the LONDON TIMES. Newcastle has given Cissé "permission to train alone on Tyneside, but are no closer to resolving their dispute with the striker, who is refusing on religious and ethical grounds to be associated with the club’s new kit sponsor." Cissé, a practicing Muslim, "has objections to promoting Wonga, the controversial payday lender" (LONDON TIMES, 7/18). The BBC's Ben Smith reported Cissé and his representatives "have been in talks" with club officials and the Professional Footballers' Association in recent days, but "neither the club nor their shirt sponsor have been able to find a solution." Cisse's Newcastle teammates Cheick Tiote and Moussa Sissoko are also Muslim, but "have told the club they have no issue with wearing the sponsor's logo" (BBC, 7/17).
UNCERTAIN FUTURE: In London, Martin Hardy reported the compromise so far has been to officially let Cissé "remain in the North-east for the following week and train on his own." However, that "uneasy truce will be cast into further doubt when Newcastle return from their base in Portugal next Wednesday." At that point, Newcastle seems "certain to look for ways to offload the forward, or risk a potentially damaging row with the PFA and the individual rights of one of their players" (INDEPENDENT, 7/18). The AFP reported other sports teams "have made concessions to the faith of their Muslim players." South Africa cricketer Hashim Amla is "allowed to wear shirts without the logo of team sponsor Castle Lager because of the Islamic prohibition on drinking alcohol." The BBC quoted sources saying Cissé's refusal to wear the sponsored shirt had left him in a "strained" relationship with the Premier League side (AFP, 7/18). MARKETING MAGAZINE's Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith reported Cissé "offered to wear a non-branded Newcastle shirt or a charity branded shirt in order to play" (MARKETING MAGAZINE, 7/17).
Taiwanese tennis player Hsieh Su-wei "has reached a preliminary agreement with Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Co. to endorse Taiwan Beer," according to the TAIPEI TIMES.
TTLC Chair Hsu An-hsuan said that the deal, which will reportedly pay Hsieh NT$5M ($167,000) a year, "could be signed by the end of the month at the earliest."
Under the agreement, Hsieh "will wear the Taiwan Beer logo during her matches and shoot commercials pitching the product" (TAIPEI TIMES, 7/17).
Tennis player Caroline Wozniacki is "no longer under contract with Yonex," according to Matt Cronin of TENNIS. A report in Danish tabloid Ekstra Bladet stated that Yonex was "upset with Wozniacki for playing with a blacked-out racquet this spring and negated their contract." The racquet was "presumed to be a Babolat, as she once played with one before." Wozniacki's reps indicated that "no new deal has been struck with another racquet company" (TENNIS, 7/16). TENNIS WORLD USA's Federico Coppini noted Wozniacki, the former top-ranked player in the world, "enjoyed her best results using a Babolat racquet," but she "stands to lose a lot of money from the Yonex contract." Wozniacki is currently ranked No. 10 and "will not find it easy to get a similar contract elsewhere" (TENNIS WORLD USA, 7/17). Wozniacki signed with Yonex in '11 (THE DAILY).
BrandRapport sports marketing exec Nigel Currie said that tennis player Andy Murray's Wimbledon championship will be worth about £50M ($75M) as global consumer companies such as Gillette and Coca-Cola "will consider bidding for Murray's signature," according to Danielle Rossingh of BLOOMBERG. Currie said that the title "gives him the chance to earn as much as Nike players Rafael Nadal of Spain and Roger Federer of Switzerland." Murray "was beaten in last year's Wimbledon final by Federer." Currie: "The British side is important, but he's moved into a global range now. It showed when he moved from Fred Perry to adidas. He moved from being a big U.K. athlete to being a world athlete, and that will continue for the next few years." Murray "is the company's main tennis endorser." Currie: "Adidas will be desperate to hold on to him. Nike has been pretty dominant in recent years. Murray is now becoming a big established name, and that will be a big bonus for adidas." Branding consultant Jonathan Gabay said that the tennis player's annual earnings potential "may triple from endorsements and prize money." A person with knowledge of the player's thinking said that Murray is targeting clothing makers such as Ted Baker Plc. and Burberry, "which are the type of fashionable consumer product makers he wants to be associated with." Gabay said that Murray has a chance to end the year as the No. 1 player on the men's ATP World Tour and his Wimbledon victory "will have resonance as the U.K. economy struggles to grow." Gabay: "Having a home-grown champion means a lot in the U.K. He will be inundated with offers, but he has to choose the appropriate offer. It's all about very astute brand management" (BLOOMBERG, 7/18).
Second Bundesliga side FC St. Pauli has signed a new shirt sponsorship deal with energy drink brand Relentless. The two parties agreed to a deal for the '13-14 season with an option for an extension. The brand's logo will be featured on the club's jersey. In addition, Relentless will receive exposure at club events (FC St. Pauli). ... Last season, South Africa football club Orlando Pirates "opted for a white home jersey as a celebration of some of the great Orlando Pirates team kits of yesteryear," but for '13-14, the club has returned to full black for its home strip, with some new designs. The club will play in the jersey for the first time during the Confederation of African Football Champions League game against Congo side AC Leopards (SOWETAN LIVE, 7/16). ... Super League rugby club Castleford Tigers announced a new sponsorship deal with local taxi firm Arrow Cars. Arrow Cars will be featured on signs around the club's Wish Communications Stadium (Castleford Tigers).