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Volume 6 No. 211

Marketing and Sponsorship

Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, "regarded as a demi-god in India," will hang up his boots after playing his 200th Test match next month, according to Pinto & Mitra of the Indian BUSINESS STANDARD. Will Tendulkar "remain the darling of advertisers as he has been through the years?" His agency managing his endorsements, namely, World Sport Group, said that "it has already factored in the batsman's retirement plans in their deals." WSG Senior VP & Country Head Harish Krishnamachar, implying that brands are not likely to desert him in a hurry, said, "The transactions we do for Sachin are normally those that are at least three years and above. Quite a few of them have been with Sachin for a while." Advertisers such as adidas, Coca-Cola, Toshiba and Aviva, who work with him, have said, when contacted, that "they have no plans to drop the ace cricketer." Adidas India Brand Dir Tushar Goculdas: "Sachin is one of the greatest the game has seen and he will continue to be an inspiration to many." Coca-Cola India said, "Sachin's appeal cuts across boundaries, genres and geographies. He is an icon of happiness much like Coca-Cola, and we will continue to look towards him for spreading happiness." Sports managers say that with Tendulkar's visibility coming down post-retirement, "chances of him charging a premium for his ads and appearances will increase." Krishnamachar hinted that Tendulkar's off-field exploits "will grow following retirement." Krishnamachar: "Brand Sachin transcends cricket. It is a name that has enough credibility to invoke trust and confidence. As an active cricketer, Sachin has barely had the time. Post retirement, he will have time on his hands" (BUSINESS STANDARD, 10/10).

CURTAIN CALL: In New Delhi, Aabhas Sharma wrote the Board of Control for Cricket in India "expects a full house" in Tendulkar's last two test matches, against the West Indies. What more "could brands and media planners want?" There "are all the ingredients to make the occasion ripe for picking." Indian ad film Dir Prahlad Kakkar said: "It is going to be one of the most anticipated events of the year." He feels that Tendulkar is more than a brand -- "an icon, for over two decades" -- and it is natural of everyone to rush to earn from his game, one last time. Adidas will launch an "SRTforever" campaign, "which will be released a few days before the two-Test series against the West Indies begins." Other brands, too, "are looking to do special campaigns around Tendulkar's exit." But "they refuse to divulge much." An exec of a fast food brand Tendulkar currently supports said, "We have plans, of course, but it's a bit early to reveal them." Media planners "are working on new rates for TV ad spots." A Mumbai-based media planner said, "Generally, Test matches don't garner too many eyeballs and the rates are not so high. But this one will be different." Future Brands CEO Santosh Desai said, "This isn't comparable with the World Cup but the magnitude of the event is certainly not to be underestimated." A 10-second ad spot during a Test series usually goes for around Rs 50,000 ($800), "but for Tendulkar's farewell series, the costs are likely to touch at least" Rs 80,000 ($1,300) (BUSINESS STANDARD, 10/13).

Proceedings in the Commercial Court in Dublin on Monday revealed that golfer Rory McIlroy "negotiated sponsorship contracts over the past two years" with a value of up to $129M, according to Colm Keena of the IRISH TIMES. Horizon Sports Management, with which he signed agreements in '11 and '13, said that "as a result of its work," McIlroy had contract earnings of $50M this year. Horizon said that a multi-year sponsorship deal with Nike negotiated in late '12 was worth $20M a year to him "and other lucrative sponsorship deals were also negotiated" (IRISH TIMES, 10/15).

The NHL has enlisted int'l licensees and retailers to broaden its merchandise offerings to hockey fans in Eastern Europe, Russia, Sweden, Germany, Finland and the U.K. Sales of merchandise in countries outside North America have steadily increased since '06, with average annual growth of 18% and revenue up by 225%. NHL-licensed products are now available outside North America via the following NHL int'l licensees: Sportmarket Nordic in the Nordic region and Russia, TShirt Store in the Nordic regions, Russia, Germany and the U.K., Almedahls in the Nordic region and Russia, Newtop in Finland, Sweden and Russia, LPP in Central and Eastern Europe and Russia, as well as Lassiaco Trading in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States and Atributika in Russia (NHL).

The German Table Tennis Association (TTBL) has partnered with sports marketing agent Jung von Matt/sports. In addition to advertising measures, Jung von Matt/sports will work on commercialization and sponsoring concepts for the TTBL (TTBL). ... Infront Sports & Media has been appointed as the official agency by the Consortium Stade de France. Infront will be responsible for the commercialization of hospitality packages for all events held at the Stade de France in '14-15. Infront France will also offer VIP hospitality for all events carried out at the Stade de France (Infront). ... The Rwanda National Olympic and Sport Committee "have reached an agreement with high-profile Italian sportswear manufacturer, Errea Sport to dress all national teams" (NEW TIMES, 10/5). ... Premiership rugby side Harlequins announced that financial services company IG has joined the club as an official sponsor. The IG logo will appear on the sleeve of the Harlequins playing shirt as well as across items of the matchday and non-matchday training kit. In addition, IG will benefit from stadium branding, matchday activation and player appearances (HRU). ... English Super League rugby side Castleford Tigers announced a new kit sponsorship deal with Crossley Tyres. The agreement will see the Crossley Tyres logo emblazoned on the rear shoulders of Castleford's home and away pro and replica shirts for the duration of the '14 Super League season (Castleford Tigers). ... Financial institution Absa "will not renew its sponsorship" of the South African FA at the expiry of the current deal later this year (SOCCER-LADUMA, 10/15). ... The Lawn Tennis Association announced a four-year extension to its partnership with Nike. The new arrangement, which will begin in January '14, will see Nike step up from official supplier to become an official partner of British Tennis and in doing so assume title sponsorship of tournaments including the LTA staged ITF Junior Int'ls, the British Junior National Championships and the Winter National Tour Finals, while the LTA will continue to oversee the delivery of the Nike Junior Tour in the U.K. (LTA).