Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 6 No. 212

Marketing and Sponsorship

British Athletics announced that supermarket chain Sainsbury's has signed a new four-year deal. Sainsbury's remains the major event series partner, and previously sponsored the 2013 Sainsbury's Anniversary Games in London's Olympic Park. The major event series includes both indoor and outdoor Grand Prix meetings and British Championship events, starting with the Sainsbury's Glasgow Int'l Match on Jan. 25. The match kicks off a home Commonwealth Games year. The partnership will also include a sponsorship of the Great Britain and Northern Ireland Para-athletic team, which includes Jonnie Peacock and Hannah Cockcroft (British Athletics). In London, John Wragg reported the four-year deal is "part of a record sponsorship package" that will bring in more than £50M ($82M). British Athletics CEO Niels de Vos is "also negotiating a futher individual deal for the team" that will net more than £10M ($16M) a year (EXPRESS, 1/2). In London, Simon Hart reported UK Athletics, which lost its long-term principal backer, Aviva, at the end of '12, "signalled a change to its sponsorship strategy last year when it announced it was looking to team up with a family of commercial partners rather than with a single over-arching brand." It has since signed a seven-year kit deal with Nike, believed to be worth in excess of £15M ($24.6M), and is "in advanced negotiations with another company to sponsor the GB able-bodied squad" (TELEGRAPH, 1/1).

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank has renewed its three-year sponsorship of the Arabian Gulf League. ADIB will continue to serve as the AGL's exclusive banking partner, offering promotions and products geared toward football fans. Fans will be able to participate in various ADIB-sponsored in-stadium activities on matchdays, and will have chances to win prizes in a variety of competitions. The renewal continues the partnership for three years (Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank).

Chilean first division side Colo-Colo on Thursday presented its new Under Armour shirt. As part of a five-year deal, Under Armour will design the club's kits for games and practices, as well as replica attire available for fans in Chile and other countries. Colo-Colo President Arturo Salah said, "We are the first team in South America that will wear Under Armour. Colo-Colo is beginning a new era" (Colo-Colo).

Nike received an "early Christmas present in its legal dispute with Oakley" involving golfer Rory McIlroy, as U.S. District Court Judge James Selna ruled in favor of Nike on Dec. 18, according to Alex Miceli of GOLF WEEK. The decision "effectively ended the case." Oakley had filed a five-count complaint against Nike and McIlroy in '12 after the golfer "left Oakley and signed an endorsement contract with Nike." Oakley had "maintained that it had the first right of refusal in re-signing McIlroy and that McIlroy and Nike violated that right." McIlroy and Oakley on Nov. 24 "settled their dispute." The settlement "removed the breach-of-contract count from the list of allegations, and the court dealt with the other claims" in its ruling. McIlroy had signed a two-year endorsement deal for '11-12 that required him to "provide Oakley a right of first refusal regarding any offer received for an endorsement agreement." Nike, according to court documents, "steadfastly told McIlroy’s representatives it was not interested in signing a contract until McIlroy was legally able to do so." McIlroy's former agent -- Horizon Sports Management's Conor Ridge -- at a meeting "told Nike that Oakley was not going to match the Nike offer and signed the contract on behalf of McIlroy and also signed an additional covenant that McIlroy had no obligations that would prevent him from entering into an agreement with Nike" (GOLFWEEK, 12/30). In Dublin, Karl MacGinty reported McIlroy is "still locked in an acrimonious legal battle with his former agents at Horizon, which is scheduled to go to trial in the Commercial Court in Dublin next October." McIlroy in September "unveiled his own management company" and "at the same time filed legal proceedings against Horizon." The Dublin firm "defended itself vigorously and launched a counter-suit in November" (IRISH INDEPENDENT, 1/1).