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Volume 6 No. 216

Marketing and Sponsorship

Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen has reportedly found a new shirt sponsor. The club, which has been looking for a new shirt and main sponsor since the end of last season, has reportedly signed a deal with LG Electronics. The South Korea-based company reached a three-year deal with the club until the end of the '15-16 season. Sources revealed that the contract value will increase to €5M ($6.7M) during the final year. Neither Bayer Leverkusen nor LG officials confirmed the deal. In early August, LG made the club a shirt and main sponsorship offer. The company reportedly offered €4.1M ($5.5M) a year. However, the proposed offer was seemingly not high enough, and the two parties were unable to reach an agreement (SPONSORs).

Premier League side Arsenal has reached a partnership deal with Paddy Power to become its official betting partner in the U.K., Ireland and Italy. The Irish betting company has signed a three-year agreement with the Gunners which sees it return to the club following a successful partnership in previous seasons. Paddy Power will expand its online offering to customers and Arsenal supporters through a combination of offers and exclusive bets around key fixtures throughout the season. Paddy Power will aim to develop exclusive marketing opportunities with Arsenal through access to first-team players for promotional activities, hospitality at Emirates Stadium and the club’s marketing database (Arsenal).

SBOBET: EPL side West Ham United signed a deal with SBOBET to become the club's Asian betting partner. SBOBET is one of the leading online bookmakers in Asia, having twice been named Asian Operator of the Year at the influential eGaming Review Operator Awards (West Ham United). EPL club Southampton FC also signed a deal with SBOBET to become its Asian betting partner (Southampton FC).

Red Bull's marketing strategy was examined on HBO's "Real Sports" on Tuesday night, with host Bryant Gumbel noting the brand "spends nearly all of its advertising dollars sponsoring daredevil athletes eager to push the bounds of both safety and sanity." Gumbel added, "It's an unconventional strategy, but one that's also been wildly successful." HBO's Jon Frankel said after 20 years, Red Bull is "still trying to keep people interested" by sending "athletes across the globe to defy gravity in the most spectacular ways." Frankel added, "They film every second of it, making sure the Red Bull logo is right in the middle of the action, then spread the footage far and wide." Frankel noted extreme sports athlete and current NASCAR driver Travis Pastrana was "one of the first athletes" to sign up with Red Bull. Pastrana said that "every year, Red Bull goes to every athlete asking, 'How can we help you progress your sport and in doing so, how can you help us take something and make it bigger than it's ever been done? Not just by a little bit, but by a lot.'" Pastrana: "Red Bull's whole branding strategy is, 'Hey, let's do the coolest stuff. Let's have the most fun.'" Frankel noted, "Red Bull's revolution in extreme sports is just a happy by-product of the company's actual goal: Selling cans of energy drink."

WE WANT MORE! WE WANT MORE! Frankel added with "extreme sports now on a mainstream stage, Red Bull is stepping on the gas and pushing out more content than ever." Red Bull North America Managing Dir Werner Brell said, "Red Bull has become a global lifestyle brand." Red Bull was filming a made-for-TV BMX event on a very challenging course, and Frankel noted, "Whether it's a sporting event or one big ad, well, that's in the eye of the beholder." Brell said, "At the end of the day, if it's marketing, if it's advertising, if it's a TV series, the lines are blurred. To the consumer, he just wants to enjoy and be inspired by good content and that's our mantra" ("Real Sports," HBO, 8/20).

VisitBritain "has extended its five-year partnership" with the Premier League through '16, according to Magda Ibrahim of MARKETING MAGAZINE. The new deal "will target football fans around the world who follow English football" with a season-long digital game to win a trip to the U.K. The campaign -- which has the tagline "Take Me There" -- will feature England and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard in its "Great" advertising promoting Britain, as well as "new player interviews and information on a range of football clubs." The new campaign "will promote the destinations" behind the Premier League with regular digital and social media activity "to highlight key football regions, such as Wales, home to Swansea City and newly promoted Cardiff City." "Take Me There" will be supported by targeted media buys across China, UAE, Norway, Sweden and Hong Kong (MARKETING MAGAZINE, 8/21).

David Beckham "has stripped to his underwear for H&M once again, this time to promote the brand's autumn winter 2013 Bodywear collection." The images feature Beckham "posing in cotton loungewear and underwear from the collection in an old-style sports changing room." They are accompanied by a "behind the scenes" video of the photo shoot on the official H&M YouTube channel. H&M Redroom "created the campaign in house." The art director for the print campaign was Lee Swillingham, Josh Olins shot the photos and Clare Richardson was the stylist (CAMPAIGN LIVE, 8/22). ... Andy Murray has agreed to a sponsorship deal with technology company Fuse Science (Fuse). ... Team GB has announced a partnership with Oliver Brown to be the official supplier of formalwear to Team GB's delegation participating in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Oliver Brown will provide more than 1,100 items of formalwear to Team GB (Team GB). ... League Two AFC Wimbledon announced a new partnership with South Korea noodle manufacturer Nongshim through the end of the season. Nongshim will also become the official sponsor of the new North Stand beginning with the Port Vale game on Jan. 24 (AFC Wimbledon). ... Second Bundesliga club FC Union Berlin has extended its partnership with car retailer Koch Automobile AG for another season. Koch Automobile, which has been a partner of the club since '99, increased its sponsorship involvement and is now a club top sponsor (Union Berlin). ... Wattbike announced a four-year agreement with the Royal Yachting Association to become the official supplier to the British Sailing team. The Wattbike will be used for training and testing during the next four-year competition cycle, which includes the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics (Wattbike). ... The Int'l Cricket Council "has appointed Tobasgo Creative to a new two-year contract marking the 17th consecutive year the ICC has worked with the design agency." The account covers publications including the ICC Annual Report, ICC Playing Handbook and media guides in relation to ICC events (THE DRUM, 8/21).