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Volume 6 No. 212

Marketing and Sponsorship

The Lotus F1 team has "sealed a new contract to continue with Renault engines" for the next five years, according to Andrew Benson of the BBC. The announcement "was timed to coincide with the first public appearance" of the car at the second preseason test after missing the first test in Spain. The two parties said they had signed a deal "for 2014 and beyond." The contract reportedly lasts until '18, which "underlines both parties' commitment to F1 despite Lotus's recent cash-flow problems" (BBC, 2/20). REUTERS' Alan Baldwin reported Lotus, the former Renault-owned team, "had financial problems last season and were the last to announce officially their engine supplier." Renault "are also supplying power units" to champions Red Bull, sister team Toro Rosso and Malaysian-owned Caterham. Mercedes and Ferrari "are the sport's other engine makers" (REUTERS, 2/20). The PA's Ian Parkes reported Lotus' off-track difficulties, with the departure of key staff and its ongoing financial woes, "played a part in the delay." However, Renault has "endured a troubled start to preseason, most notably encountering a number of issues with two of their other teams" (PA, 2/20).

Bundesliga club FC Schalke has, together with pay-TV network Sky Deutschland, launched a promotion for its fans under the slogan "MITSPIELER GESUCHT! Mit Dir im Rücken ins Saisonfinale" ("Looking for teammates! With you on our backs in the season final"). Fans can buy a space for their picture in the jersey number on the back of their favorite player. Each picture or pixel will be 4x4 millimeters in size with a jersey number providing space for an average of 1,000 pixels. To take part in the promotion, fans have to go to, pay €4.04 ($5.50) and upload their picture. The players will wear the special jerseys during the club's final Bundesliga home game of the season on May 10. The promotion period started Wednesday and will run through March 23 (FC Schalke).

German Hockey League (DEL) club Augsburg Panther has signed a deal with Ticketmaster to become the club's new ticketing partner. The long-term deal includes ticket distribution for all Panther games as well as marketing support starting with the '14-15 season (Augsburg Panther). ... Super Rugby side NSW Waratahs has named Magners Cider its official cider. Magners' logo will be featured on the club's jersey sleeve. It is NWS Waratahs' third sponsorship announced in as many weeks (NWS Waratahs). ... Athletics Australia has agreed to a multi-year deal with adidas as its official football and apparel sponsor (Athletics Australia). ... Grace Foods and Services Company, through its premium product, Grace Frankfurters, "has pledged its sponsorship" of Jamaican Premier League side Harbour View FC for J$1M ($9,200). GFS Senior Brand Manager Suwannee Stewart said that the sponsorship "would include the endorsement of two of the team's national players," midfielder Joel Senior and former team captain Montrose Phinn. The endorsement is valued at J$200,000 ($1,800) (JAMAICA OBSERVER, 2/19). ... Polish side Ruch Chorzow "has signed an innovative sponsorship deal" with Germany's Fuchs Oil. Under the first long-term deal of this kind in Poland, the new sponsor "will pay the club a fee each time it scores a goal." The contract, whose amount was not disclosed by Ruch, "will be valid at least until the end of this year" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 2/20). ... German auto manufacturer Adam Opel AG and second Bundesliga side SC Freiburg have extended their partnership beyond this season. The deal was negotiated by Infront Sports & Media (Infront).