An online dating service encouraging extra-marital affairs "has offered to sponsor" National Rugby League side Cronulla in a deal worth more than A$10M ($8.7M), according to Adrian Proszenko of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Int'l social networking service Ashley Madison -- whose company slogan is "Life is short. Have an affair"-- has prepared a record sponsorship offer to the cash-strapped club. In a letter to Cronulla CEO Steve Noyce, Ashley Madison Founder & CEO Noel Biderman "outlined a proposal" which included covering a A$1M fine provisionally imposed by the NRL over the club's supplements program in '11 in return for naming rights sponsorship on its jersey. All up, "the deal is worth" A$11M over a decade. It is "the second time Ashley Madison has attempted to get into bed with the Sharks." Noyce said that "he was unaware of the offer when contacted during the week." No other NRL club has been harder hit by the fallout from the infamous "darkest day in sport" press conference. The Sharks have since spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal fees and face a fine of A$1M and the suspension of coach Shane Flanagan for up to a year if the NRL’s provisional sanctions become permanent. Even if the new Cronulla board accepted the proposal, "the Australian Rugby League Commission could block the deal if it felt the association tarnished the image of the code" (SMH, 2/1).
Marketing and Sponsorship
The Ghana Premier League will receive a "massive boost" when one of the fastest growing banks in the country, First Capital Plus, is announced as the headline sponsor of the top-flight league in a $10M deal, according to MODERN GHANA. The Ghana FA will receive $2M per year in a five-year sponsorship deal "which will come as a massive boost." The league "will now be named the First Capital Plus Premier League." An unveiling event "will be held next week where the exact details will be revealed as the immediate details of the deal can only be called speculation" (MODERN GHANA, 1/29).
The German women's ice hockey team risks losing sponsorship money if it fails "to finish sixth or higher at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games," according to XINHUA. The German women "currently have 12 players sponsored by the government's Ministry of Defence and the financial support doubled after they qualified for the Sochi Games." Coach Peter Kathan said, "Before we qualified, six players were sponsored by the army. Now there are 12. If we don't finish sixth or better in Sochi that financial support will be cut. I don't know by how much, but it is vital that we do well here" (XINHUA, 2/2).
Procter & Gamble brand Gillette today announced that footballer Lionel Messi will be the face of its upcoming int'l football campaign, entitled "Inner Steel." The brand also is partnering on a local level with other teams and players. To mark the launch, the Barcelona player stars in a spot entitled "Trading Places" alongside tennis player Roger Federer. Gillette also has become a partner of the Leo Messi Foundation (Gillette).
Gillette named footballer Lionel Messi as its new global ambassador. Gillette also became a partner of the Leo Messi Foundation. Gillette's partnership with Messi will launch the brand's "Inner Steel" campaign (Gillette). ... Swiss watch brand Omega is in talks to extend its sponsorship of the Dubai Desert Classic and Ladies Masters golf tournaments. Omega President & Int'l Dir/Sales, Retail & Distribution Raynald Aeschlimann said that the current five-year agreement "expired this year but ensured negotiations were under way to renew the contract" (GULF NEWS, 2/2) ... Samsung UK revealed the "Samsung Galaxy Team," its selection of top U.K. winter sports athletes who will open up their lives and training regimes through the Samsung UK Sochi 2014 hub. The U.K. contingent of the Samsung Galaxy Team includes slopestyle snowboarder Billy Morgan, Skeleton World Champion Shelley Rudman, European champion speed skater Elise Christie, Paralympic alpine skier Kelly Gallagher and guide Charlotte Evans, freestyle skier James Woods and world champion curler Eve Muirhead (Samsung). ... Eurosport has become a national sponsor of the ongoing 2014 UEFA European Futsal Championship (SOCCEREX, 1/31). ... Co-operative Energy has become the official energy partner of the Supporters Trust, a body aimed at promoting supporter and community involvement in the ownership and running of sports clubs in England. The two-year agreement will see Co-operative Energy offer English sports fans "competitive energy tariffs'' (SOCCEREX, 1/31). ... Aberdeen Asset Management won the Business-to-Business category at the 2013 ESA European Sponsorship for its sponsorship of the 2013 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open (European Tour). ... MB Partners will be representing the commercial rights for F1 driver Kimi Räikkönen in collaboration with his management and advisors (MB Partners).
IN AUSTRALIA: Netball Australia has announced a new three-year deal with ASICS. The deal will see ASICS continue as the official footwear supplier to the Australian Diamonds, Australia's U21 squad and Australia's elite umpires through '16 (Netball Australia). ... The Australian Rugby Union announced that global logistics firm TNT Express has extended its decade-long partnership with the Australian Rugby Union through '16 (Australian Rugby Union).