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Volume 6 No. 213

Marketing and Sponsorship

Coca-Cola Great Britain is launching its "biggest and most expansive" campaign for its 35-year association with the Special Olympics as it looks to raise awareness of the event it claims is often confused with the Paralympics, according to Sebastian Joseph of MARKETING WEEK. The campaign launched Wednesday "to mark the Special Olympics National Games held in Bath" to be held on Aug. 28. Outdoor, print and Facebook ads "feature 12 competing athletes from each of the sports at the Games alongside a takeover of the brand's Piccadilly Circus sign." A film "Let Me Win" will also be promoted across Coke's social media channels. The Special Olympics is a global charity backed by the IOC. Despite its scale, organizers do not have the financial support of other int'l sporting events and Coke hopes its campaign will help it achieve a "fitting legacy of increased awareness and participation." Coca-Cola GB corporate responsibility and sustainability manager Liz Lowe said that it wants to tap the "wave of enthusiasm" the British public has for disability sport after last year's Paralympic Games to help establish a "stronger" Special Olympics brand. Lowe: "This isn't a brand building platform for us. It's about giving the Special Olympics the wherewithal to achieve marketing success that they would never be able to normally do" (MARKETING WEEK, 8/14).

ManU and Bulova signed a three-year sponsorship agreement to become the club's official timekeeper and global partner. As the club's official timekeeper, Bulova branding will be prominent on the club's scoreboards at Old Trafford, feature on the stadium's digital advertising boards during all EPL home matches and be seen daily on MUTV. Bulova will also produce co-branded timepieces utilizing the ManU crest. The global partnership will see specially-crafted Bulova timepieces displayed around ManU 's Old Trafford stadium including in the players' dressing room, at the Club's Aon Training Complex and its offices in Manchester, London and Hong Kong (ManU). BLOOMBERG's Paul Jarvis wrote LVMH's Hublot, based in Nyon, Switzerland, had been the club's official timekeeping partner since '08, when the parties signed what they said at the time was a "multimillion-pound" agreement. That deal "expired at the end of June." ManU spokesperson Kate Lowe declined to comment Wednesday on the value of the new partnership, "which places Bulova alongside existing sponsors including Aon Plc, Nike Inc. and DHL." Lowe said that "a Hublot clock that was installed in a tower at the entrance to Old Trafford has been removed." LVMH did not immediately return a call seeking comment (BLOOMBERG, 8/14).  

Discount clothing chain NKD "will cancel its title sponsorship deal with Bundesliga side FC Nuremberg in June," according to the BR. In addition, NKD announced that "it will cut almost 100 positions at its headquarters and close unprofitable stores." The cancelation of the sponsorship deal "is part of the company's cost-cutting measurements." The contract between NKD and Nuremberg "was supposed to run for four years, but it will now be terminated after only two seasons" (BR, 8/13).

China market leader Nike "is expecting sales to fall in the next two quarters," but adidas is "bucking the trend," according to Anita Chang Beattie of AD AGE. Adidas "is gaining on Nike's top spot," reporting 6% revenue growth in greater China in the first quarter of '13, following 15% growth there in '12. Analysts "credit adidas fashion apparel like high-heeled sneakers" coming from sub-brands such as Originals, NEO and Y-3. Adidas China Sport Performance Marketing VP Jens Meyer said that its success "comes from striking a balance between fashion-forward appeal and staying true to its roots." Meyer: "The challenge for us is 'How do I, as a sports brand, capture a part of the leisure market without compromising my positioning in sport?'" Meyer added, "If we move too much into the fashion side ... the consumer will say 'I don't see adidas anymore as a sports brand, I'll go to others who just do sport.'" A key part of its strategy "is targeting women, an influential group that has been largely ignored by sports brands." To start, the adidas China team "made strategic tweaks to the global 'All in for My Girls' marketing platform," choosing as campaign ambassador Taiwanese pop star Hebe, "who is stick-thin, as are the other women featured in the visuals." It "was a deliberate choice reflecting Asian ideals of beauty." Online, adidas "has featured female sports groups from across China." It "invested heavily" in TV, with an ad showing Chinese women running, dancing and doing parkour. Nike's marketing in China, meanwhile, "remains driven by sports stars like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant." Messaging highlights the technical performance of Nike products, which "consumers find to be cool." However, China Market Research Group Associate Principal Ben Cavender said, "there's no emotional connection for them. They're failing to grab people's interest on a more visceral level" (AD AGE, 8/14).

U.S. bank Wells Fargo on Wednesday announced its sponsorship of the Mexican National Football Team for its annual U.S. tour, which started with Wednesday's game in East Rutherford, N.J. against Ivory Coast. The sponsorship follows Wells Fargo's July 31 announcement of a national sponsorship of Major League Soccer, with both agreements running through '16. Wells Fargo Chief Marketing Officer Jamie Moldafsky said, "Football is a growing sport in the U.S., with a dedicated fan base, and Wells Fargo is proud to support MLS, the Mexican National Team and the 'beautiful game' of football." Mexico Football Federation President Justino Compean said, "We welcome and thank Wells Fargo for its support of the tour which allows 'el Tricolor' to visit all of its fans across the U.S. annually." Wells Fargo aims to strengthen its brand in the minds of the 90 million football fans across the U.S. (Wells Fargo).

The Brazilian national football team has named OptaPro as its official data partner. Brazil's coaching and analysis staff will use OptaPro's products for team analysis, squad selection and opposition scouting through the 2014 World Cup (Brazilian National Team). ... Premium drinks business Diageo Australia has extended its partnership with the Australian Masters through its Talisker brand -- a Scotch whisky. It will remain the Talisker Masters in '13 (PGA). ... Specialist sports insurance broker Doodson will be the title sponsors of this year’s Slovenian FIM Speedway Grand Prix on Sept. 7. Doodson is heavily involved in motorsport, and is the main sponsor of Tom Tunstall’s British Superbike Team, as well as a partner of the Fixi Crescent Suzuki World Superbike Team (Speedway World Championships). ... Spanish national basketball team sponsor electric utility company Endesa is allowing fans to "tweet their support and encouragement" by using the hashtag #vamosespaña and tweeting at Endesa's @actitudazul handle. Endesa will "make 15 shirts featuring fans' tweets that one fan will get to bring to Slovenia and give to the players before the first game of the tournament on Sept. 4" (LIBERTAD DIGITAL, 8/13).

IN THE U.K.: Office technology company Brother UK has brought on sport and entertainment consultancy firm Clifford French to help promote its work with Fulham Football Club. French was assigned the account to activate a variety of partnership rights throughout the '13-14 season after Brother UK signed a deal to become the team's "official technology partner" (PR WEEK, 8/13). ... Marketing agency BabyGRAND "has created a commemorative piri-piri chicken pasty" to celebrate the return of Portuguese football coach Jose Mourinho to Chelsea on behalf of the West Cornwall Pasty Co. A campaign "on traditional poster sites and digital screens around the Chelsea stadium will promote the limited edition pasty during Chelsea’s first Premier League match against Hull on Saturday" (CAMPAIGN LIVE, 8/14). ... League One Oldham Athletic "has secured an extension of its sponsorship deal" with stationery and print management firm ZenOffice. The three-year agreement "will see the Chadderton Road End at Oldham’s Boundary Park known as The ZenOffice stand" (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 8/14). ... Topps trading cards will release a '13-14 Topps Premier Gold set featuring "past and present players" (BECKETT, 8/9).

: Bundesliga club Eintracht Braunschweig "has signed a sponsorship deal with German supermarket Edeka Minden-Hannover as its offical nutrition partner." The company "will provide the team with fruits and in return receive ad space on boards in camera view." The two-year deal was brokered by sports marketing agency SPORTFIVE (NEW BUSINESS, 8/12). ... Second Bundesliga side Greuther Fürth has signed a two-year sponsorship deal with Nuremberg-based clothing store Wöhrl. The company will become the club's official menswear partner and provide the team with suits, shirts, ties and shoes (Wöhrl).