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Volume 10 No. 25

Marketing and Sponsorship

EPL side Tottenham has agreed to a "five-year sponsorship deal with insurance service providers AIA" from the start of the '14-15 season, according to SKY SPORTS. AIA "linked up with Spurs at the start of this season" as FA Cup shirt partner but "will become principal global partner from the start of next term." AIA's logo "will appear on the front of Tottenham's shirts in all competitions until 2019." The club hopes the agreement with the Hong Kong-based company "can act as a platform to grow the club's name in the Asia-Pacific region." Tottenham Chair Daniel Levy said, "Together we share long-term ambitions across Asia -- a region where the club has seen significant growth in recent years -- and this extended partnership with AIA ... will further help to support our objectives and engage with our supporters across the region" (SKY SPORTS, 2/13). The PA's Simon Peach reported the deal to be "worth far in excess of the £12 ($20M) million-a-year previously reported" (PA, 2/13). In London, Davies & Blitz reported Tottenham Hotspur "is chasing English football rivals Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool by launching a big push to win Asian fans after signing a multimillion-pound shirt sponsorship deal with AIA." Asia is a "huge market for the English Premier League, supplying by far the biggest share of overseas television broadcast rights money and more than 10 per cent of sponsorship revenue." The North London-based club said that it has 80 million fans in Asia and that Indonesia "is its largest single country for Facebook followers, ahead of even the U.K." But unlike its rivals, it "has failed to convert that fan base into revenues." ManU, for example, "has 17 of its 35 global commercial sponsorships in Asia." Coventry University sports business academic Simon Chadwick said, "Tottenham’s deal with AIA is part of a more coherent market-entry and development strategy, which involves engaging with fans on a more immediate, direct basis" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 2/13).

The Russian second-tier football club Alania Vladikavkaz, based in the Caucasian region of North Ossetia, is to be liquidated after its sponsor, the hydroelectricity company RusHydro, pulled out of a $40M-a-year deal. RusHydro said its decision came after North Ossetia's government, which owns the squad, refused to make the company its majority shareholder. “The company fulfilled its financial obligations [before Alania] in full,” RusHydro said in a statement. “To continue cooperation, some conditions needed to be implemented, particularly the incorporation of the club, with the controlling share transferred to the company, so that cooperation could graduate from charity to a business project.”

NO SPONSOR STEPPED UP: The government of North Ossetia was apparently unable to find another sponsor for Alania, which was on top of the second-tier table before the winter break and had good chances of returning to the Premier League, and the squad has submitted an application for pulling out of the league. Alania spent many seasons in the Premier League in the '90s and early 2000s and was the champion in '95 and runner-up in '92 and '96. The squad played in the Premier League in the '12-13 season and was relegated. In Russia, many football squads are owned by local authorities but funded by sponsors. There have been several cases when local and federal authorities bailed football squads out of financial troubles by encouraging businesses to sponsor them. Lately, however, businesses have been unwilling to pump their cash into sports teams.
Vladimir Kozlov is a writer in Moscow.

Property company OUE Ltd. "is the new title sponsor for this year's Singapore Badminton Open" to be staged from April 8-13, according to Patwant Singh of CHANNEL NEWS ASIA. The company "inked a one-year deal, worth a six-figure sum, with the Singapore Badminton Association." The partnership "was unveiled in a ceremony" attended by SBA President Lee Yi Shyan and OUE Chair Stephen Riady. Prize money for the event "has increased" from S$250,000 ($198,000) to S$300,000 ($237,000) (CHANNEL NEWS ASIA, 2/13).

BMW has extended its partnership with the PGA of Germany. The car brand, which has been a partner of the PGA of Germany since '10, will continue to support Germany's professional golfers as the organization's official car partner (MARKENARTIKEL, 2/12). ... Photovoltaic company GermanPV has signed a sponsorship deal with BMW to become an official partner of BMW Motorsport. As part of the deal the company will have its logo in a prominent position on each of the eight BMW M4 German Touring Car Championship (DTM) cars throughout the '14 season (BMW). ... Bundesliga Borussia Dortmund strike Robert Lewandowski "has made an investment in Berlin-based startup scondoo, which is an app for bargain hunters" (BERLINER MORGENPOST, 2/12). ... Adidas Mexico Dir General Pablo Lamo announced that El Tri’s "black road uniforms will no longer be worn by the team." Mexico’s new uniforms "will be presented Friday." Lamo said of the new uniforms, "It is a totally new, revolutionary model. We will launch the new shirts with the idea that the players will debut them in a friendly against Nigeria on March 5" (TELEVISA, 2/12).