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Volume 10 No. 25

Marketing and Sponsorship

Major South Korean companies "are ratcheting up their sports marketing efforts by sponsoring upcoming global events in a bid to boost sales and enhance their brand image," according to Kim Tae-jong of the KOREA TIMES. Ahead of the Sochi Winter Olympics, the FIFA World Cup and the 17th Asian Games, many companies "have become official sponsors of events, organizations, teams or individual athletes, expecting direct or indirect benefits." Some "are planning promotional events linked to sports or top players." Samsung Electronics "has been active in so-called sports marketing, as part of an effort to enhance its brand awareness globally." The company "has launched an advertising campaign at home and abroad for the upcoming Winter Olympics." Hyundai Motor Group "is sponsoring the Korean speed skating team for the Sochi Winter Olympic Games." Kia Motors "has launched an advertisement featuring speed skating champion Lee Sang-hwa." For the world’s fifth-largest automaker, the Brazil World Cup "is also important as it has been trying to expand its presence in Latin American markets." LG Electronics "will focus on the World Cup." In December, it "started to promote its product lineups with the theme of the football event" (KOREA TIMES, 1/29).

Guinness released the most "tearjerking ad" of the 2014 Sochi Games so far on Monday, "telling the story of an athlete who gave up her spot in the Olympics so her twin sister could take part," according to THE DRUM. AdAge reported that viewers "will have to watch the ad quickly before it disappears on Thursday morning." The spot features U.S. biathlete Tracy Barnes, "who recently gave up her place on the U.S. Olympic Team to her twin sister, Lanny." Guinness said that the ad will disappear on Thursday because U.S. Olympic Committee rules "generally ban marketers who are not official sponsors from featuring Olympic competitors." This year's ad blackout runs from Thursday until Feb. 26 (THE DRUM, 1/28).

The new Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team "has received a sponsorship boost" from Audi Dubai in the build-up to next month’s inaugural Dubai Tour. The new sponsorship agreement was announced Wednesday. The Audi sponsorship covers the Skydive Dubai Pro Team’s full '14 race program (GULF NEWS, 1/29). ... Sabah Tourism Board has announced it will sponsor the Sabah Masters for another three years beginning in '15. The Sabah Tourism Board helped revive the event in '11 after a 10-year hiatus (THE STAR, 1/27). ... Energy drink brand DRIVE M7, which is part of Mutiara Motors, will sponsor Spanish team Aspar Team MotoGP. Aspar will have former world champions Nicky Hayden and Hiroshi Aoyama in its new lineup (THE STAR, 1/29). ... EPL side Crystal Palace has announced a four-year kit deal with Macron beginning in July (Crystal Palace). ... The Brazilian post office (known as Correios) has become the latest official sponsor of the 2016 Rio Olympics. The post office will deliver more than 30 million items for the event, including the athletes' equipment (Rio 2016). ... Italian vacuum cleaner manufacturer Vorwerk Folletto "has extended its sponsorship deal" with Serie A side Parma. Financial details "have not been released but the deal is likely to be worth a low seven-figure sum" (SOCCEREX, 1/29). ... Serie A side Lazio "has announced a new partnership" with MSC Cruises. Lazio unveiled the agreement on Tuesday, with the deal brokered by the Italian division of Infront. The club and company "will work together on marketing initiatives, aiming at both the consumer and business market." A special Lazio-themed cruise "will be created for fans" (SOCCEREX, 1/29). ... Spanish footballer Andrés Iniesta will be featured in the new Powerade campaign “There’s Power in Every Game.” The campaign, set to launch in close to 40 markets worldwide, kicks off later this year but the first wave of activity begins in January across the brand’s social channels (Coca-Cola). ... Hair styling brand Hairbond has named Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet as its brand ambassador. Mignolet joins English cricketer James Anderson as a '14 brand ambassador (Hairbond).