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Volume 10 No. 25

Marketing and Sponsorship

General Motors announced "its sponsorship deals with Liverpool FC and Manchester United would not be affected in the wake of its decision to pull the Chevrolet brand from Europe" in '15, according to Sebastian Joseph of MARKETING WEEK. Despite the withdrawal, GM said that there would be a "level of continuation of experiential and digital work" across the region over the next two years, but the volume of it is currently "unclear." Chevrolet "struck ties to both Premier League clubs last summer in a bid to support a revamped global marketing strategy to build awareness" in markets outside the U.S., "particularly Europe and Asia." The automaker's "football-themed activity has struggled to accelerate European sales over the last 12 months." Industry experts said that the car brand's "exit from Europe is borne from pure economics but it could inadvertently prove to be a 'smart move' in light of its sponsorship strategy," reflecting a "wider shift affecting the sporting landscape." MediaCom Sport UK Managing Dir James Hough, whose company "works with Audi on its Chelsea FC sponsorship," said that Chevrolet will be "investing in tactical promotions moving forward to make the brand more relevant in the markets it is concentrating on" (MARKETING WEEK, 12/5).

Sports marketing agency IMX has been "appointed to manage the marketing of hospitality and VIP areas at the Beira-Rio stadium in Porto Alegre, Brazil," according to SOCCEREX. IMX, a "50/50 joint venture" between IMG Worldwide and "Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista’s EBX Group, will be responsible for selling a sector of the stadium known as the Beira-Rio Premier Club, which includes 70 suites, 55 skyboxes and 5,050 premium seats." The news comes with the 51,300-capacity venue "currently being upgraded" ahead of next year’s World Cup. IMX, which currently controls "hospitality sales at Rio’s Maracana stadium and the Pernambuco Arena, has assigned two IMG executives, Diarmuid Crowley and Tom McCann, to manage efforts in Porto Alegre" (SOCCEREX, 12/4).

Swiss watch brand Rotary and EA Sports have "both come out with new promotions" ahead of the Christmas season, while footwear manufacturer Puma "has launched a limited edition boot with BMW," according to Paul Nicholson of INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL. Rotary has signed an exclusive four-year sponsorship deal as the ''Global Official Timekeeper" of Chelsea. To mark the sponsorship, Rotary has "developed two Swiss made 'Special Edition' individually numbered, quartz, chronograph watches." EA Sports, an official partner of Liverpool, is "tasking its mobile gaming suite to the Family Park at Anfield and want fans to sign up to the FIFA 14 tournament." Meanwhile, Puma, the official supplier of team and racewear to BMW Motorsport, has "launched the evoSPEED 1.2 BMW M football boot." Only 535 pairs of this limited edition boot are available globally -- the number was chosen because the first M5 was hand-built around the 535i chassis in '79 (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 12/5).

La Liga side Real Sociedad is "set to change its kit supplier for next season from Nike to Adidas," according to Lluís Regàs of DIARIO GOL. Should the deal "go through, it would mean Nike's contract with the team lasted just three seasons and Real Sociedad would become the fourth La Liga side -- along with Real Madrid, Osasuna and Celta -- to have its kit supplied by adidas." Currently, "16 of the 20 teams in La Liga have shirt sponsorships with foreign brands." Valencia, Getafe, Granada and Levante are the "only clubs with Spanish shirt sponsors." Nike "currently serves as the kit sponsor for six of the clubs." Nike, adidas and Puma are the kit sponsors for 10 of 20 La Liga sides, "with Italian companies Macron, Acerbis and Errea providing the kits for Betis, Elche and Rayo Vallecano, respectively" (DIARIO GOL, 12/4).

La Liga Teams' 2013 Kit, Shirt Sponsors
 Almería Nike  Urcisol
 Athletic Bilbao Nike  Petronor
 Atlético Madrid Nike  Azerbaijan
 Barcelona Nike  Qatar Airways
 Betis Macron  Cirsa
 Celta adidas  Citroén
 Elche Acerbis  Giosseppo
 Espanyol Puma  Cancún
 Getafe Joma  Confremar
 Granada Luanvi
 Levante Kelme  Comunitat Valenciana
 Málaga Nike  Unesco
 Osasuna adidas  Lacturale
 Rayo Vallecano  
 Real Madrid adidas  Fly Emirates
 Real Sociedad Nike
 Sevilla Warrior
 Valencia Joma  Jinko Solar
 Valladolid Hummel
 Villarreal Xtep  Pamesa

Australian telecom Telstra has signed a deal with Football Federation Australia, according to Wenlei Ma of AD NEWS. The deal is the first the telecom has signed with the FFA "following the separation of the football organisation with major sponsor Optus earlier this year." The partnership is for Telstra's "Thanks" loyalty program, which "will see the telco offer existing customers ticket upgrades and access to pre-sales to select A-League matches." The move "signalled a shift in Telstra's relationship with the FFA, which had previously been hampered by the FFA's close ties to rival Optus" (AD NEWS, 12/5). In addition to A-League ticket upgrades, Telstra Thanks will offer the chance for Telstra customers to win a "money can’t buy" experience which includes a VIP Grand Final Experience for 10 people. Details of the pre-sale opportunities will be announced in the coming weeks (FFA).

Former ManU player Denis Irwin "is set to arrive in Doha this weekend" as part of Commercial Bank of Qatar's "five-year exclusive partnership" with ManU (GULF TIMES, 12/3). ... In an enduring collaboration, Pirelli will equip French constructor Peugeot Italia once more in '14 (Pirelli). ... Canon Europe was on Wednesday announced as the imaging solutions supplier for the 2014 Ryder Cup in Scotland. Canon will undertake a range of activities at The Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire from Sept. 25-28, including photography, video, print and copying solutions. Canon will work with Ryder Cup Europe to deliver image-related initiatives to enhance spectator experience (European Tour).