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Volume 10 No. 22

Marketing and Sponsorship

Ginger-beer maker Crabbie's "has been named new sponsor of the Grand National and race festival for three years," according to the BBC. The deal will see the Aintree steeplechase run for a £1M ($1.5M) purse "for the first time." The £1M prize money compares with prize money of £550,000 ($853,545) for the 2013 Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup, "considered the most prestigious race" of the U.K. jump season. Next year's Grand National meeting will be held from April 3-5 (BBC, 8/28). In London, Chris Cook wrote the news "is enormously welcome for Aintree racecourse and its owners, the Jockey Club, who were both shocked last autumn when it emerged that John Smith's were dropping the race after a nine-year link." Crabbie's "has been a prolific sponsor of low-value horse races for the past four years, its name regularly appearing in race titles at Perth and Uttoxeter and occasionally at more than a dozen other tracks" (GUARDIAN, 8/27). MARKETING WEEK's Ronan Shields wrote the brand also "claims the sponsorship deal will provide it with a potential audience of 9 million" -- via the Grand National's TV broadcast deal with Channel 4 -- plus the 150,000 crowd expected to attend the three-day Crabbie's Grand National next year. As part of the deal, "the drinks firm now has naming rights for the three races over the Grand National meet." These include: "the Crabbie's Fox Hunters' Chase, the Crabbie's Topham Chase and the Crabbie's Grand National." The sponsorship deal also builds on Hale International's sponsorship of the Scottish Open with the Crabbie's brand receiving extensive coverage throughout the three-day event, "an opportunity it used to introduce new flavours, including raspberry, and strawberry and lime drinks" (MARKETING WEEK, 8/28).

The South African Rugby Union said Asics "will replace Canterbury as the clothing and kit sponsor for the national side, the Springboks, and provincial teams from Jan. 1," according to Renee Bonorchis of BLOOMBERG. SARU Deputy President Mark Alexander said the deal was for six years. The Asics deal will cover the 2015 and 2019 Rugby World Cups (BLOOMBERG, 8/28). Asics will provide SARU with technical apparel, which will include compression fabrics to improve blood circulation, high-tech laser cut ventilation, ergonomic design and recycled materials. SARU CEO Jurie Roux said that the new apparel would be revealed later this year. It will make its first appearance in action in January's HSBC World Sevens Series event (SARU).

Telecom company GLOBUL, which is the second-largest in Bulgaria, announced that "it would not continue its cooperation" with CSKA Sofia "when the current sponsorship contract expires at the end of August," according to Alexander Krassimirov of INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL. GLOBUL "has been the main sponsor of CSKA Sofia for four years." The management of CSKA "is now becoming increasingly confusing as it is not clear who the real owner of the club is, and with the sponsorship ending, how the club will be funded in the near future." Earlier this year, former owners Titan AS gave ownership to a group of businessmen led by Alexander Tomov. GLOBUL is also "a partner of current English Premier League champions Manchester United." The board of CSKA confirmed the news and revealed that "the club is in advanced talks with an English and two Bulgarian companies for possible sponsorship" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 8/26).

U.S.-based beverage conglomerate Mondelēz Int'l is to launch Paralympic-themed campaigns for brands such as Cadbury, Oreo and Philadelphia "after signing its first major corporate sponsorship deal to partner with the British Paralympic Association," according to Sebastian Joseph of MARKETING WEEK. Mondelēz "will launch brand activations" featuring BPA and ParalympicsGB athletes such as IPC World Athletics Gold Medal-winning athlete Richard Whitehead and wheelchair racer Hannah Cockroft through March '17 "to exploit what it describes as a 'strong' Paralympic movement in the UK." It will also see the business "continue to support the organisation’s grassroots Sports Fest initiative, previously Paralympic Potential Days, through the Cadbury Foundation." Mondelēz "will launch the partnership next month" to mark National Paralympic Day, when top disabled athletes will return to Queen Elizabeth Park "to celebrate one year on from the London 2012 Paralympic Games." It is "the first major corporate sponsorship deal from the company since it was spun off from Kraft International last October" (MARKETING WEEK, 8/27).

The Sky Pro Cycling team and Italian cycling brand Pinarello "have confirmed that they will extend their current collaboration" until the end of the '16 season, according to VELO NATION. The three-year extension "adds on to the previous four year cooperation," with the Italian company "having come on board when the team was launched" in '10. In that time, the British squad has won the Tour de France twice, with Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, respectively, and also taken numerous Tour stages, Froome's Bronze Medal in the Olympic time trial title and "other additional success" (VELO NATION, 8/27).

Bundesliga club Fortuna Dusseldorf has extended its partnership with Coca-Cola for another three years until '16. The company will continue to provide non-alcoholic beverages to fans at the Esprit Arena (Fortuna Dusseldorf). ... The German Olympic Sports Association (DOSB) has extended its long-term partnership with shoe manufacturer Sioux. The company will be the official shoe partner of the German Olympic team during the 2014 Sochi Winter Games and 2016 Rio Summer Games (DOSB). ... Man City announced it has renewed its partnership with Heineken. The Dutch brand, now in its 136th year, will continue to serve as City's official U.K. beer partner on matchdays and during summer concerts until the end of the '17-18 season. As part of the four year-deal which is exclusive to the U.K. and the Etihad Stadium, the drink company's top selling brands, which include Foster's, Heineken, Strongbow, Bulmers, Amstel and John Smith's, will be served in the ground's concourse bars and hospitality facilities (Man City).

TAIWAN TIRE TIE-IN: ManU announced a sponsorship agreement with Taiwan tire manufacturer Federal Corporation. The three-year agreement will see the company become the Premier League champions' official tire partner in Russia and Taiwan (ManU). ... Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla "has signed a long-term deal" with Puma. The Spanish int'l "will mark the start of his new partnership by wearing Puma's evoSPEED 1.2 football boots" during the North London derby against Tottenham on Sunday (SPORTS MOLE, 8/28). ... EPL side Crystal Palace announced Holler Watches as the official timing partner for the '13-14 season. The initial one-year partnership will see Holler promote its brand at Selhurst Park throughout the '13-14 campaign and work with the club on a range of brand and marketing initiatives over the coming year (Crystal Palace FC). ... Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund "has extended its sponsorship deal" with tire manufacturer Hankook until '15. The Korean company has backed the club since '09 and will continue to serve as a champion partner -- "Dortmund's top sponsorship tier below that of main partners Evonik Industries, Signal Iduna and Puma" (SOCCEREX, 8/28).

FEELING THE STING: Premiership rugby side London Wasps announced a sponsorship deal with CVS, Britain's largest business rates specialists, which becomes the club's official main sponsor. The CVS brand will sit on the front of all London Wasps playing shirts and the back of the players' shorts this season, as well as on replica shirts and training kit (London Wasps). ... Squash World No. 1 Nicol David signed on "to become the ambassador to the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines." The seven-time world champion "has been training in Amsterdam for the past 11 years" (THE STAR, 8/28). ... Lindt Italia, the Italian arm of the Swiss chocolatier, has been named as the new title sponsor of the 70th Open de Italia, which takes place from Sept. 19-22 at Golf Club Torino (European Tour).