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Volume 10 No. 25

Marketing and Sponsorship

The England and Wales Cricket Board has signed a "ground-breaking" contract with U.K. bank NatWest, according to the PA. NatWest has agreed to not only become the new backer for domestic Twenty20 -- currently sponsored by Friends Provident -- but "all short-format matches" in the U.K., including internationals. That includes England's eight Twenty20 fixtures against Sri Lanka, India, New Zealand, Australia, Pakistan, the West Indies and South Africa in the contract period. NatWest "will also become the lead sponsor of the national Twenty20 club competition and title sponsor of the women's Twenty20" (PA, 8/6). THE SPORTS CAMPUS reported the four-year deal will see NatWest become the title sponsor of the county T20 competition with the majority of matches being played on Friday nights beginning in '14. In recreational cricket, NatWest "retains the title sponsorship of the extremely successful" annual NatWest CricketForce weekend, where thousands of cricket clubs hold volunteer events to boost investment in grounds and facilities prior to each season. NatWest also retains sponsorship rights to the NatWest Outstanding Services to Cricket Awards, which "recognises and rewards the game's volunteers" (THE SPORTS CAMPUS, 8/6).

The Irish FA has announced a four-year sponsorship extension with British vehicle manufactuer Vauxhall Motors for the Northern Ireland national teams. The sponsorship, which began in '11, will now run through July '18. It will include Euro 2016 qualifiers and the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The deal includes the Northern Ireland women’s and youth teams (Irish FA).

REPUCOM and int'l children's charity Right To Play have agreed to a new partnership. The cooperation will see REPUCOM provide Right To Play with pro bono sports marketing research, evaluation and consultancy to highlight the charity's impact and engage further support from the wider sports industry. Meanwhile, REPUCOM staff will also take part in a number of fundraising challenges to raise money for the charity which uses sport and play to educate and empower children around the world (REPUCOM).

Mercedes-Benz has renewed its patron partnership with the PGA of America through '17. The brand became the official patron of the PGA in '10. The extension will allow Mercedes-Benz to be recognized as the official patron and official vehicle of the PGA of America, PGA Championship and Senior PGA Championship. It will also obtain U.S. rights as official patron of the 2014 Ryder Cup and global rights (excluding Europe) for the 2016 Ryder Cup (Mercedes-Benz). ... Premier League side Everton has teamed with The Protein Works for the '13-14 season. Everton Sport Science & Conditioning Head Steve Tashjian and Professor Don MacLaren have been working with The Protein Works this summer to develop recovery formulas for the club (Everton). ... Sportswear maker Asics "has organized a running school for beginners in collaboration with body fat scale maker Tanita Corp. and cosmetics maker Shiseido Co. in a bid to capitalize on the growing popularity of the pastime" (KYODO NEWS, 8/6). ... League Two Portsmouth has agreed to a £100,000 ($150,00) deal with telecom OneCom. Hampshire-based OneCom will directly invest £30,000 ($46,000) into Portsmouth as well as making further donations to the club's supporter's trust every time a Pompey fan signs up to its services (SPORTS MOLE, 8/3). ... Premier League club Norwich City "has announced a new commercial partnership with online bookmaker SBOBet." Under the terms of the deal, SBOBet "will become Norwich’s official Asian betting partner." The company "will also support the club’s charity work through its community sports foundation" (SOCCEREX, 8/6). ... Despite Barcelona's sponsorship agreement with Qatar Airways, the club "traveled to Bangkok using a different airline that did not cover Barcelona's travel needs." It is "curious that the club does not use the airline for its flights, not even on this trip, which Qatar Airways paid €600,000 ($797,640) to sponsor." Barcelona decided to contract a Portuguese charter company for the trip to Asia. For the 10-hour overnight flight from Tel Aviv to Bangkok, there were only 45 pillows on the plane. Taking "into account that players and coaches alone make up 52 people, it is normal that some in the group lamented the club preferring to think about money instead of club members" (EL PAIS, 8/5). ... La Liga Athletic Bilbao "has started a curious initiative: selling the playing field from the old San Mamés stadium." The grass, inserted on a rectangular (11x4x8cm) Plexiglass plaque, is selling for €40 ($53) (SPORT, 8/5).