Year In Review: Real Madrid, Barcelona, ManU, F1 Land Notable 2013 Sponsorships
SBD Global takes a look at the top global sponsorships from '13.
RUSSIAN ROULETTE: The financially-stricken Sauber F1 Team revealed in July that it signed a multi-million dollar partnership deal with three Russian investors: the Investment Cooperation Int'l Fund, the State Fund of Development of North-West Russian Federation and the National Institute of Aviation Technologies. Only days later it was revealed that the three Russian companies, which all have links to the Russian government, will invest a reported $499M and therefore erase the team’s reported debt of $112M. However, the joy of the anticipated rescue did not last very long. In mid-August, it was reported that the NIAT board voted “in overwhelming fashion” against the large investment. Reacting to rumors that the deal was falling through, Sauber said in August that it had already received money. Since then, it has become very quiet surrounding Sauber and its Russian investors.
SIGN ON: Real Madrid announced in late September that it is seeking a stadium naming-rights partner to help fund stadium renovation costs, which are expected to exceed €400M ($541M). Real already received interest from current team sponsors Audi and Emirates for a stadium naming-rights deal. The most intriguing offer for the club’s Santiago Bernabéu stadium has come from Microsoft. The company confirmed in early November that it is “discussing becoming the partial title sponsor” of the stadium, only to deny a few weeks later. To be continued in ‘14 …
INSIDE OUT: Intel signed a unique sponsorship deal with FC Barcelona in December that will see its logo placed on the inside of Barcelona’s jersey. The positioning of the logo follows the company’s current ad slogan, “Look inside,” and its previous “Intel Inside” ad campaigns. FORBES’ Mike Ozanian reported that Intel will pay $5M a year over five years to be the team’s official technology partner. The big question is how much exposure Intel will get from the unusual logo placement as players are “under no obligation to display the logo.”
A NEW LOOK: Indian media and entertainment company Star India landed a landmark deal as the new sponsor of the Indian national cricket team starting Jan. 1. Star India won the bid for the team’s sponsorship rights for Rs 1.92 crore ($314,000) per match in December. The new deal represents a 40% drop from the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s previous Rs 3.34 crore ($546,500)-per-match deal with Sahara India. The BCCI’s decision to reject a bid by Sahara marked the end of a 12-year association between the brand and the national team. The Indian BUSINESS STANDARD wrote that Star India’s move “represents its new strategy to extend its association with cricket beyond broadcasting rights."
THE END OF THE ROAD: South Korean electronics group LG announced in November that it would end its five-year global partnership with F1 at the end of the ’13 season. In a statement, the company said that it is "refocusing its sponsorship strategy towards regional platforms from 2014 onwards." LG agreed to a deal with F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone in Nov. ’08 to be a technological partner of the series. LG was not the only big name that announced its withdrawal from F1. In March, telecom company Vodafone revealed that it will pull out of the sport at the end of the season. Sources said that Vodafone, whose sponsorship package was centered around the McLaren team and its drivers, paid as much as $75M per year.
SHOW ME THE MONEY: Indian cricket player Virat Kohli signed a three-year, Rs 10 core ($1.6M)-per-year sponsorship deal with adidas. The three-year deal, “perhaps the most lucrative to be signed by an Indian sports star,” according to the Times of India, will see Kohli endorse adidas’ apparel and shoes. In addition, the 25-year-old inked a deal with tire brand MRF for Rs 6.5 core ($1M) annually. In ’12, Kohli pocketed around Rs 40 crore ($6.4M) from endorsements. He currently has deals with as many as 13 brands, including Pepsi and Toyota.
Other top sponsorships:
ManU signs $485M kit sponsorship deal with Nike.
Paris St. Germain confirms agreement with Qatar Tourism Authority worth a reported $200M.
Neymar signs reported $7M deal with Italian eyewear brand Police.
William Morris Endeavor, Silver Lake Partners acquire IMG for estimated $2.4B.
Austrian football Bundesliga rejects title sponsorship offer from unnamed bookmaker.
GM’s decision to pull Chevrolet from Europe will not affect football sponsorships.
Juventus announces a six-year, $192M kit deal with adidas; will leave Nike in '15.
National Rugby League will not pursue an official betting partner, fears bad publicity.
Football Federation Australia is looking for new sponsor after Qantas drops out.
F1's Red Bull Racing boosts WPP sponsorship revenues by almost 60% to £27.6M.