Sailing and rowing, two of Great Britain’s most successful Olympic sports, are "still without a frontline sponsor" more than a year after they delivered a combined total of 14 medals at London 2012, according to Alex Lowe of the LONDON TIMES. The lack of financial support "threatens to harm the chances of repeat success in Rio de Janeiro." British Rowing received £6M during its six-year association with German multinational Siemens. Having drawn up a list of 300 potential sponsors, British Rowing "has engaged in talks with a handful of companies with the aim of securing a partner that can help to increase the sport’s profile as much as providing financial backing." However, British Rowing has "yet to strike a deal." British Rowing lost Skandia, its principal partner, and G4S as the main contributors to sponsorship worth £1M ($1.6M) a year. UK Sport CEO Liz Nicholl said, “The profile of the home Games was absolutely massive and there was a lot of interest coming behind British sporting success. It might be that some sponsors are looking at it and thinking ‘can it ever be that good again?’ ” That is "a worrying prospect." Rowing and sailing receive lottery funding via UK Sport -- £32.6M ($52.5M) and £24.5M ($15.2M), respectively, between '13 and '17 -- and they are "supported by other minor commercial partners." However, top-end sponsorship backing "is the difference between high performance and elite performance." Royal Yachting Association Olympic Manager Stephen Park is "surprised that sailing and rowing have struggled to attract new principal sponsors." He believes that the legacy of London 2012 means that commercial opportunities around Olympic sports "should be more attractive and urged prospective backers to step forward, arguing that the mutual benefits are greater the longer the partnership." Park: “Having a long-term partnership is far better from a performance perspective -- and in most cases from a business perspective. What you are doing in commercial terms is enhancing an existing program, which is underwritten by the lottery funding. We have managed to provide a great business return for the sponsors” (LONDON TIMES, 10/8).
Marketing and Sponsorship
IMG Worldwide announced that it has signed an exclusive agreement with the Nigerian Basketball Federation to develop and grow Nigerian basketball, including on a professional level, for up to 20 years. Exact terms of the deal were not disclosed. IMG said that it entered into the deal since the NBBF is an affiliated member of FIBA and the official governing body of basketball in Nigeria, Africa's largest country by population, and one of the fastest growing economies in the world. IMG said its local partnership group is led by Tayo Amusan, one of the most prominent businessman in Nigeria. IMG Chair & CEO Mike Dolan said, "Sub-saharan Africa is one of the largest and fastest growing economic regions in the world today, led by Nigeria and its 170 million population, the largest and youngest on the continent. We believe there is an enormous appetite for basketball on the continent, and led by the economic and cultural force of Nigeria, we have only begun to scratch the surface of what's possible" (IMG).
Bundesliga club FC Augsburg has extended its partnership with Coca-Cola for another three seasons. The soft drink producer will continue to provide spectators at the SGL arena with its products. The deal was brokered by sports marketing agency SPORTFIVE (FC Augsburg). ... The German Volleyball League (DVL) has renewed its deal with Japanese sports equipment producer Mikasa. The company will continue to be the league's official ball provider for another three years (DLV). ... Canterbury and England Rugby unveiled the new England home kit, which will be worn by the England squad during all QBE Internationals as well as next year's RBS 6 Nations (RFU). ... Ligue 1 Olympique de Marseille has agreed to a one-year extension to its contract with main partner Intersport. The sporting goods retailer "has backed the Ligue 1 club for the past five years" and first became its main partner in '12-13. The extension "will ensure Intersport remains as Marseille’s main shirt sponsor" through the '14-15 season (SOCCEREX, 10/8). ... Reports in the Italian Press have claimed that Seria A side Inter Milan "will announce a new 10-year shirt manufacturing deal" with adidas on Wednesday (FOOTBALL ITALIA, 10/8).