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Volume 6 No. 217

Marketing and Sponsorship

A decision by Nike and adidas to "supply only major outlets has been referred to a government anti-cartel unit," according to Benedict Moore-Bridger of the London EVENING STANDARD. Small independent retailers "rely on the brands to attract customers," and said that without them "they could be forced to close." London 2012 sponsor adidas and Nike, which sponsors the England football team, "no longer supply outlets" which sell less than £25,000 ($41,000) worth of their products a year. The move "has been roundly criticised," with former Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell "urging the two companies to reconsider." The Office of Fair Trading’s cartels unit "has now been asked to investigate the decision, which small businesses say is 'cutting off their lifeline.'" Investigators "may examine whether Nike and adidas’s behaviour could be in breach of the Competition Act or Article 81 of the EC Treaty," or whether a criminal offense under the Enterprise Act "has been committed." Nike claims that the move is "intended to cut costs and improve consumer experience," while adidas said that supporting small shops was "not efficient" (EVENING STANDARD, 1/9).

Irish bookmaker Paddy Power "has a reputation for risque marketing and its helped make the brand famous," according to Chris Arnold of MARKETING MAGAZINE. However, the problem with having a brave culture and few boundaries "is the risk of things going horribly wrong and a backlash of bad PR." Newspaper websites "may love to feature your maverick stunts to entertain." Their latest idea, "billed as 'basketball diplomacy, hoops not nukes' pushed things too far and created a negative reaction." Who on earth at Paddy Power "thought it was a good PR move to sponsor Rodman's visit to North Korea." Or "to think it was some form of CSR?" Rodman "brags about being a friend of Kim Jong-Un, who recently executed his uncle Jang Song Thaek and has a dubious human rights record having imprisoned and murdered thousands of his own citizens." It is "not a relationship that any brand should be comfortable with, and to see it as marketing opportunity for the sake of generating controversy is a little naive, if not stupid." For Paddy Power to see itself as some kind of diplomatic peace maker, in a complex political world, "shows the brand is living in a world of its own making rather than the real world" (MARKETING MAGAZINE, 1/9).

Brazilian food manufacturer Sadia acquired the naming rights to Brazil's Copa do Brasil club tournament starting in '14, according to EXAME. Sadia announced a sponsorship with the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) in '13. Sadia "is replacing the event's previous sponsor, Perdigão, which is Sadia's sister brand." Both companies are part of Brasil Foods (EXAME, 1/7).

HERBALIFE JOINS FOLD: EXAME reported global nutrition company Herbalife announced a sponsorship of this year's Copa do Brasil. The partnership ensures LED exposure for Herbalife and in-stadium promotions (EXAME, 1/9).

Polish side Korona Kielce has signed a sponsorship deal with press distribution company Kolporter, according to Jaroslaw Adamowski of INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL. Under the contract, which will be effective "until at least" the end of June '18. The club's stadium "will be renamed Kolporter Arena." The deal is estimated to be worth about 10M zloty ($3.2M). Kolporter CEO Krzysztof Klicki "was also Korona's owner" from '02 to '08 (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 1/10).

ManU announced a multi-season sponsorship agreement with int'l spirits brand Aperol to become the club's official global spirits partner. The deal, which will run until the end of the '16-17 season, will see Aperol branding visible during all domestic games at Old Trafford, as well as official club publications, MUTV and the official website. The partnership will also see the signature drink, Aperol Spritz, available in the stadium's hospitality areas (ManU). ... Austrian top flight football club SV Reid has extended its main sponsorship deal with window and door manufacturer Josko for another two years. Josko, which has been a partner of the club since '98, will continue in its role as shirt sponsor until the end of the '15-16 season (SV Reid). ... The German Ski Federation (DSV) has extended its partnership with adidas until '18. For the next four years, adidas will be the official main sponsor of the German Ski National team and provide around 650 athletes, coaches, supporting staff and officials with its products. The cooperation will include biathlon, Nordic combined, cross-country skiing, Alpine skiing, ski cross, freestyle skiing and ski touring (DSV). ... The Sauber F1 Team will continue its partnership with Jose Cuervo. The multi-platform marketing partnership began in '11 and will continue to promote Jose Cuervo's tequilas worldwide through the team (Sauber). ... LX Ventures and Mobio announced that Mobio has signed Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo as a social media influencer on Mobio INsider, the fan-directed platform that enhances relationships between stars and their fans (LX Ventures).

PLAY THAT FUNKY MUSIC: French Ligue 1 club Toulouse FC has "agreed a partnership with music streaming service Deezer." Toulouse FC "launched a new Deezer app that asking fans to vote for the new 'goal music' that will be played after every goal scored by Toulouse FC at the Stadium Municipal." The TFC Deezer app "also lets fans listen to every club player’s playlist and to the Toulouse FC Radio" (FOOTBALL MARKETING, 1/10). ... Brazilian non-carbonated beverage producer Viton 44 has signed an extension and expansion to its sponsorship deal with Rio-based Brasileiro side Botafogo. The new deal will see Viton 44 continue to promote its Guaraviton drinks on the front of Botafogo’s playing shirts, as well as on the sleeves (Botafogo). ... Portuguese marketing university IPAM published a study using a "scientific formula" indicating that Cristiano Ronaldo is currently worth €43M ($58.7M) and will increase to €50M ($68.3M) if he wins the Ballon D' Or. He "would become the most valuable footballer in the world and join a small group of the best-paid athletes in the world" (AS, 1/12). ... The official football of the upcoming Argentine first division season will be the Argentum, an adidas-made ball with a name selected in a vote by thousands of Argentine fans (CLARIN, 1/10).