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Volume 10 No. 24

Marketing and Sponsorship

Watchmaker Hublot said that Alex Ferguson’s retirement as ManU manager "contributed to its decision to end five years" sponsoring the club, according to Paul Jarvis of BLOOMBERG. Hublot Chair Jean-Claude Biver said, "We had a certain disappointment when I heard that Sir Alex was going to retire. That fact that Sir Alex was going to put a certain distance between him and Manchester, and still be involved but not anymore at the same level of command, was an element that helped us to make a change after five years." Biver said that the "arrival of several new sponsors at ManU was another reason behind Hublot’s decision not to renew its association." Pepsi last month "joined a list of more than 30 sponsors of the club, following last year's addition of Chevrolet." Biver: "When a new partner is coming in, sometimes they might not have the same coherence." Biver said that "Hublot has no regrets over the partnership with Manchester United, which more than paid for itself in advertising and sales." Biver: "Manchester United was a golden contract for us. It was really one of the best contracts I ever did." Football will remain "the biggest element of sponsorship spending for Hublot, which last year entered a partnership with European champion Bayern Munich." Biver said that Hublot is "also a corporate sponsor of the 2016 European championships and the next three World Cup tournaments." Biver added that football represents 40% of Hublot's sponsorship budget, "compared with 30 percent for Formula 1 and 20 percent for basketball." Biver said that Hublot's "biggest sponsorship agreement is with Ferrari" (BLOOMBERG, 8/15).

GE is the only corporate sponsor of the Olympics that is "pressing the International Olympic Committee publicly for action in support of human rights," according to Geidner & Maheshwari of BUZZFEED. The site reached out to each of the Olympic Games' 10 "marquee sponsors, as well as several other sponsors." While several companies "pointed to their own support" of LGBT rights, "few of the Games' key sponsors were willing to engage the IOC in any specific request for more action." A GE spokesperson said, "We expect the IOC to uphold human rights in every aspect of the Games." Panasonic "dismissed the notion of engaging on the question of civil rights." A Panasonic spokesperson in an email wrote the company "has no involvement in, and is not in a position to comment on political and social matters related to the Olympic Games or specific governments in any country or region." An Adecco spokesperson's email read, "We cannot offer comment at this stage." Neither Procter & Gamble nor Microsoft provided a response to a request for comment. Meanwhile, several major corporations said that they would "defer" to the IOC. Reps for Dow Chemical, Samsung, McDonald's and Visa all provided statements "that were similar to one another -- down to the adjectives used, suggesting coordination among the sponsors or directly from the IOC itself -- and which back the IOC's cautious engagement" (BUZZFEED, 8/14).

Arsenal has agreed to a three-year sponsorship deal with Bodog, naming it the club's official Asian betting partner. Arsenal recently completed a preseason tour of Indonesia, Vietnam and Japan. The deal will allow Bodog to use Arsenal's database to provide fans in Asia with tailored betting offers around matches (Bodog).

MAN CITY, 188BET PARTNER: Man City has announced a two-year deal with online gaming company 188BET to become the club's int'l betting partner. 188BET will use Man City's crest and player imagery throughout key markets in addition to having a strong presence on the club's Malay, Thai, Chinese and Indonesian websites (Man City).

Austrian Bundesliga club FC Admira Wacker Mölding has signed a new stadium naming rights deal with the federal department for sport facilities, Bundessport- und Freizeitzentren (BSFZ). The club was looking for a new naming-rights partner after former title sponsor employment agency Trenkwalder, which canceled its title sponsorship of the team in June '12, decided to terminate its deal. Trenkwalder canceled its naming-rights deal for the 10,600-seat arena in July. The stadium, which was opened in '67, will from now on be called BSFZ-Arena (Admira Wacker).

EPL Tottenham fans have taken to social media sites to criticize the color of AIA's logo, "after the club announced the insurance firm will sponsor this season's cup shirts" according to Tom Dutton of the London EVENING STANDARD. The deal "will see the company's red insignia stand in for Spurs' Premier League sponsor Hewlett Packard in every one of their Europa League, FA Cup and Capital One Cup exploits next term." Early responses suggest that "the shirt has gone down badly with supporters." AIA's partnership with the north Londoners "represents the end of a three-year relationship with Investec," which has sponsored the cup shirt since '10 (EVENING STANDARD, 8/15).

Bundesliga club Hamburg SV has extended and increased its partnership with cruise line MSC Kreuzfahrten for the '13-14 season. The deal includes several promotional events as well as logo presence at the Imtech Arena. The deal was brokered by sports marketing agency SPORTFIVE (Hamburg SV). ... Bundesliga club FSV Mainz has extended its sponsorship deal with lawn specialist Heiler for another five years. The company will continue to be the club's official lawn partner until '18. In additon, the club has extended its partnership with professional material supplier Würth for the '13-14 season. The company will continue to receive ad space on boards at the Coface Arena (FSV Mainz). ... Hockey India on Wednesday "announced Shiv Naresh as its apparel partner" for the national field hockey team as well as the Hero Hockey India League. As a part of the partnership with Hockey India, Shiv Naresh "will provide both on and off-field playing and training uniform ranging from training shorts and shirts to tracksuits and equipment bags to the teams" (PTI, 8/14). ... The French Football Federation "has added a new sponsor to its ranks with aperitif biscuits brand Belin coming in to back the national team." The deal "will initially run" for the '13-14 season (SOCCEREX, 8/15). ... Fan-generated football media brand FTBpro "is the new Online Media Partner of the League Managers Association" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 8/15). ... The all-India Buchi Babu cricket tournament "received a shot in the arm with Kalpathi Investments coming forward to sponsor the competition" (THE HINDU, 8/14). ... Red Bull "has challenged Norfolk-based microbrewery Redwell over its similar-sounding name." The microbrewery, which makes lager and ale, "registered the Redwell name as a trademark within the drinks category, which includes energy drinks" (MARKETING MAGAZINE, 8/15).