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Volume 6 No. 212

Marketing and Sponsorship

UAE Pro League side Al Ain FC has announced a partnership with Nike "through its UAE distributor Sun and Sand Sports," according to Neil Churchill of GULF BUSINESS. Nike "will become the official kit supplier to the UAE side and provide all training equipment to the first team and all subsidiaries of the club." Through Sun and Sand Sports, Nike will assist the club with its '14 merchandising strategy "including the design of the flagship store at the new Hazza bin Zayed Stadium." The partnership "will begin at the opening of the stadium, where the new Nike kit will be available to fans" (GULF BUSINESS, 10/29).

In the same week that golfer Lydia Ko "made her boldest statement yet" about playing for New Zealand for life, that very move "could cost her big money," according to Matt Richens of FAIRFAX NZ NEWS. At least a couple of major golfing brands "have passed on signing Ko, partly because they do not believe they will get a financial return from her." That "seems strange" as she has won four professional tournaments, including two on the popular LPGA, and has often been referred to as "women's golf's hottest property." But an industry insider said that there "wasn't the endorsement bang for the buck in women's golf." The insider said, "Especially from someone in New Zealand." When asked if Ko's mother and Manager Tina Hyon was expecting and asking for too much from endorsement deals, the insider said, "that could well be the case." He said when Hyon worked out why companies "might be" passing on her daughter, she would look at switching allegiances back to Korea, the country of Ko's birth. The insider said, "She [Hyon] will at least investigate it I believe." It makes sense that Korean companies "would be more interested in Ko if she were playing as a Korean, though there are plenty of strong women golfers from Korea." Ko said that she "had yet to sign a management deal or any major endorsement deals, while Hyon was unable to be reached for comment" (FAIRFAX NZ NEWS, 10/30).

Chinese telecom firm Huawei has become the official mobile partner of AC Milan. The sponsorship "was aimed at creating synergy" between the two brands and included the use of AC Milan's logo and player images for Huawei's communication and promotion activities (CHINA DAILY, 10/31). ... Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund has released a new winter jersey. The team will wear the shirt for the first time during its home game against Stuttgart on Friday. The top part of the shirt features a graphic print of the packed stands at the home games. Every shirt is unique, as a different snapshot of the crowd is shown on each individual one (Borussia Dortmund). ... The Asian Golf Industry Federation announced the addition of John Deere to its membership (Asian Golf Industry Federation). ... The Telegraph Media Group "has extended its commercial partnership" with the Rugby Football Union to beyond the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The partnership extension "will see copies of the Telegraph available in corporate areas of the stadium on match day, as well as the TMG becoming an official digital news channel to England Rugby" (THE DRUM, 10/30).