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Volume 10 No. 25

Marketing and Sponsorship

Australian Sports Commission Chair John Wylie "is taking the direct approach to boost corporate support for women's sport," according to Nicole Jeffery of THE AUSTRALIAN. Wylie declared this month that "the focus on troubled major men's sports was obscuring the strong performance of female athletes, leaving them 'under-appreciated' by the public and the corporate world." Wylie, an investment banker, "now intends to play matchmaker between the nation's corporate heavyweights and sport's leading ladies by establishing a series of lunches around the country to bring together some of Australia's best female athletes, sports administrators and the chairmen and chief executives of major Australian companies." Wylie said, "We will be inviting the chairmen and CEOs of ASX 100 companies. One of the things that's holding (women) back is lack of awareness in the corporate world. I know the corporate world and 89 percent of the directors of public companies are male and they naturally support the traditional male sports. That's not a criticism, it's just the way it is." He expects the ASC "to host the first Women Achievers lunch before Christmas, gathering a handful of leading female athletes and administrators, along with about a dozen corporate leaders, and putting them around a table together." Wylie: "We will have a set of specific ideas for those companies to get involved in women's sport, whether it's sponsoring a sport, a team or individual athletes" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 10/30).

Public relations firm BIG Partnership "has secured the contract to work for the Scottish Professional Football League," according to Greig Cameron of the HERALD SCOTLAND. Separately, it was also confirmed the Glasgow agency "has recently amicably wound down its nine-year working relationship with Celtic." The SPFL deal "is for an initial 12-months and is said to have been awarded following a competitive pitching process." BIG "is often described as the largest public relations agency outside of London." In its most recent set of accounts, which covered the 12 months to May 31, 2012, BIG's pre-tax profits increased from £707,414 to more than £1M, with turnover rising 4.6% from £6.15M to £6.43M (HERALD SCOTLAND, 10/29).

Chinese telecom company Huawei "has reaffirmed its sponsorship deal" with the National Rugby League Canberra Raiders "will not be impacted should the federal government refuse to overturn a ban on the Chinese company tendering for work on the National Broadband Network," according to Jon Tuxworth of the CANBERRA TIMES. Reports suggested on Tuesday the Coalition "had decided to keep the ban in place, initiated by the Labor government early last year on advice from security agencies." But Huawei Australia spokesperson Jeremy Mitchell said that "a decision had yet to be made, and its relationship with the Raiders will not be affected regardless of the outcome." Huawei signed a two-year, A$1.7M ($1.6M) deal to be the NRL club's major sponsor early last year. Mitchell said, "The Raiders are nothing to do with the NBN. We signed up to the Raiders without an NBN contract, and we re-signed with the Raiders without an NBN contract" (CANBERRA TIMES, 10/29).

The FA has signed a new five-year deal with London-based sports independent Input Media to provide coverage around England Internationals at Wembley and highlights programs for the FA Cup. Under the new agreement, Input Media will continue to provide a range of production and technical services to the FA. This includes live programming around England Internationals at Wembley for the FA’s int'l rights holders, live match coverage, turnaround highlights shows and a magazine program around each round of the FA Cup, which is sponsored by Budweiser. In addition, Input Media will continue to produce an FA Cup super-feed featuring several live games for int'l audiences, along with a range of digital content and content for big-screen displays at Wembley (FA).

The two naming-rights partners of the Austrian football Bundesliga, which is called the tipp3-Bundesliga powered by T-Mobile, "are reportedly considering not extending their expiring deals with the league at the end of the season," according to Alexander Krei of DWDL. Austrian sports betting provider tipp3 and mobile phone company T-Mobile "have been the naming-rights partners of the league since '08-09." Should both partners "actually walk away from their deals, then Austria's top two football leagues would be without any naming-rights partners." The Erste Liga, which is Austria's second-tier football league, "has been without a naming-rights sponsor since '10-11" (DWDL, 10/28).

Handball Bundesliga (HBL) club SG Flensburg-Handewitt has signed a new partnership deal with fashion company Carl Gross. The fashion company will become the club's official outfitter and provide team, coaching staff and officials with classic outfits consisting of a dark-blue suit, white button-up shirt and blue tie. In addition, the club has signed a business partnership with Danish driving school and racetrack Padborg Park. The new partner will receive ad presence in club publications and on its website (SG Flensburg-Handewitt). ... HBL club Rhein-Neckar Löwen has extended its sponsorship deal with personnel service provider TimePartner. The company also has extended its sponsorship deal and its logo will be featured on the back and collar of the players' jerseys during the '13-14 season (Rhein-Neckar Löwen). ... IRWIN Tools has announced it will not be renewing its naming-rights sponsorship of the #4 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG from Erebus Motorsport V8 beyond the 2013 V8 Supercar Championship Series and will be exiting the sport (IRWIN Tools). ... Super League rugby side Warrington Wolves and Emirates have announced a four-year agreement appointing Emirates as official airline and main sponsor for both the club and the team. The deal is one of the most high-profile partnerships within the sport of Rugby League as well as the biggest in the club's history. As part of the partnership, Emirates will benefit from significant branding on the home and away shirts as well as within the stadium and on the Warrington Wolves website (Warrington Wolves).