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Volume 6 No. 197

Marketing and Sponsorship

Former 2nd Bundesliga side 1860 Munich President Dieter Schneider "has canceled his sponsorship deal with the club," according to ABENDZEITUNG MÜNCHEN. The club's beer partner, Hacker-Pschorr, "is also considering not extending its deal." Schneider, who "sold his stake in the club to investor Hasan Ismaik in '11 to save the team from bankruptcy," transferred around €200,000 ($275,000) annually as part of his sponsorship deal. Schneider "decided not to extend his sponsorship contract, which will expire at the end of the season." The brewery, which has been a partner of the club for decades and a premium partner since '04, currently pays a total of about €500,000 ($688,000) a year as part of its sponsorship. The two parties are currently in negotiations. However, the tendency "leans toward a split" (ABENDZEITUNG MÜNCHEN, 4/2)

Coca-Cola on Wednesday launched “The World’s Cup” -- its campaign for the '14 World Cup in Brazil. Coke, an official FIFA sponsor, said it is the largest marketing program in company history. Coke Global Dir of Football Marketing Arnab Roy said, "The biggest one before that was the 2010 World Cup. In 2010, the campaign was run across 160 countries. For the Brazil World Cup, we’re reaching more than 190 countries.” Wieden + Kennedy is Coke’s creative partner on the campaign, which was devised and created over the last two and a half years and focuses on the power of football globally. Roy: “Given the way the world is moving, the need to be more inclusive was important. It’s about bringing people together. It’s not about the big stars or the fancy stadiums. It’s about how it affects people around the world.” The campaign includes a series of short documentaries entitled “Where Will Happiness Strike Next.” One film features a championship team of blind players from Brazil who get to touch the World Cup trophy. Roy: “No one is allowed to touch the World Cup except the national team that wins it every four years, but we asked FIFA for permission in this special case because the players are blind and it would be their only way to experience it. FIFA wanted to know if they were the best blind team in the world. When we told them they were, FIFA allowed it. Watching the filming of that segment is something I’ll never forget.” The musical anthem for Coke’s campaign is “The World is Ours” by Brazilian-born musician David Correy (Christopher Botta, Staff Writer).

PROTEST POSSIBILITY: The AP's Rob Harris wrote Coca-Cola "has disclosed contingency plans to adapt its World Cup sponsorship and soften its celebratory tone in Brazil if unrest returns to the streets." Coca-Cola Chief Marketing & Commercial Officer Joe Tripodi said that the company "would react rapidly to any protests 'to make sure our messaging better reflected the mood' of the country." Tripodi: "The Brazilian people are going to rise up and support this World Cup in a big way. Do I think there might be some protests? There may well be" (AP, 4/2).

POP SENSATION: Pepsi on Tueday premiered the latest evolution of the brand’s '14 football campaign. The "Now" creative, via 180, L.A., is set to air in nearly 100 countries and will feature ManU's Robin van Persie, Chelsea's David Luiz, Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos, Man City's Sergio Aguero, Arsenal's Jack Wilshere and Barcelona's Leo Messi. The spot fuses the world of football and music through singer Janelle Monae as she performs David Bowie’s “Heroes." The creative unfolds on the streets of Rio (Pepsi). AD AGE's Natalie Zmuda wrote Pepsi's campaign -- its first global campaign for football -- "marks the largest global effort yet for both the brand [and] the company: about 100 markets will implement some aspect of the effort." Stony, a YouTube personality "known for putting together digital beats, stars in the spot." But in the campaign, he "comes across an 'everyman,' an intentional approach for a brand known for its celeb-studded campaigns." Pepsi Global CMO Kristin Patrick said, "Celebrity is always going to be an element of this brand. It's definitely part of our DNA, and we're not walking away from that at all, but the idea of making things relatable for this new generation of consumers is really important." Pepsi in all has "19 players on its roster and local markets are given the option to feature players that will resonate in their markets" (AD AGE, 4/2).

Spanish travel agency Viajes Barceló became "sponsor No. 12" for Spain's Olympic Sports Association (ADO) for the 2016 Rio Olympics, according to Enrique Ojeda of AS. Viajes Barceló is the "only one of the 12 sponsors that did not sponsor the ADO during the 2012 Olympic cycle." During that period, the ADO raised €51M, while the association is expecting to raise €36M ($49.6M) for the 2016 Olympics, a "quantity far from" the €41.1M raised for the 2004 Olympics and the €63.1M for the 2008 Olympics. The agreement "was signed at the headquarters" of Spain's Superior Sports Council (CSD). CSD President Miguel Cardenal, Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) President Alejandro Blanco and Viajes Barceló co-President Pedro Simón attended the presentation. Simón said that as a family business, "It is very easy to identify with the values of sport" (AS, 4/2).

ManU announced a three-and-a-half year deal with Thai company European Food Public Company to become the club's official confectionery partner in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam beginning this month. The ManU crest and club imagery will appear on EuroFood products. EuroFood will also activate marketing campaigns in these five Asian regions (ManU).

British PM David Cameron has backed demands for a “rethink” of the new £90 ($150) England football shirt "amid growing criticism of the manufacturer’s price tag," according to Isaac Leigh of the LONDON TIMES. Cameron’s spokesperson said that Cameron agreed with Sports Minister Helen Grant, who said that the price being asked for the Nike "match shirt" -- identical to the ones that will be worn by players in this summer’s World Cup in Brazil -- was “not right.” An adult "stadium" England shirt is priced at £60 ($100), while shirts for children aged between 8 and 15 cost £42 ($70) with mini-kits priced at £40 ($67). Writing on Twitter Wednesday, Grant said, “On £90 England #football shirts for fans, it’s not right. Loyal supporters are the bedrock of our national game - pricing needs a rethink” (LONDON TIMES, 4/2). The PA reported Cameron's spokesperson said, "He does agree with Helen Grant. I'm sure all fans would welcome a rethink." The spokesperson said it was "clearly not" for the government to set the price of football shirts. The spokesperson added, "It is a matter for the manufacturers and the FA, but does he agree with Helen Grant that £90 is a great deal of money for a replica shirt? Absolutely. Would a rethink by the manufacturer be welcomed by all fans? I'm sure that would be the case." Shadow Sports Minister Clive Efford said the price of the shirts was "disappointing" while former England midfielder Joey Barton called it "appalling." The FA said that "it avoids any involvement with kit manufacturers about pricing" (PA, 4/2). REUTERS' Keith Weir noted Nike points out that "the top price applies only to a limited edition shirt which is an exact copy in terms of material, fit and finish of what the England players will wear in Brazil." A more basic replica shirt intended to make up the vast majority of sales "has a recommended retail price" of £60. British sports retailer Sports Direct "is offering the basic version online for a discounted price" of £47.99 ($79), "sacrificing part of its profit margin in an attempt to boost sales." Although attention in Britain is focused on Nike, adidas and Puma "are charging fans similar prices for national team shirts they are supplying at the World Cup" (REUTERS, 4/2).

IS IT CAMERON'S POSITION TO COMMENT? In London, James Kirkup opined "Where to start with this? How best to explain just how lamentably stupid, cravenly populist and intellectually vacuous this is?" He continued, "Let’s start with markets. Markets are great. They allow people who want to sell stuff and people who want to buy stuff to agree on a price for that stuff. People selling stuff generally think quite carefully about how much to ask for it, seeking the price that will allow them to sell that stuff at the greatest profit. Sorry if that explanation seems a bit simple or even patronising, but it appears to be necessary, because we live in a country where even our Oxford-educated Prime Minister doesn’t seem to understand it." Kirkup added, "Nike is a profit-making company, selling a commercial product in a free market." It "has decided to sell these particular products for £90." How many shirts it sells -- and whether it sells any at all -- "will be decided by the other participants in that market: consumers." Cameron is "using the might and majesty of his office to tell a profit-making company to rethink its pricing policy." It is an "embarrassingly incoherent position for a politician who claims to believe in free markets" (TELEGRAPH, 4/2).

The Australian Rugby Union has reached an agreement for Dove Men+Care to be the official deodorant and male grooming supplier of the Qantas Wallabies. The two-year deal runs until the end of '15. Unilever’s male deodorant and grooming brand will extend its association with rugby following similar partnerships with the Rugby Football Union in England, the Irish Rugby Football Union, the Welsh Rugby Football Union and the Scottish Rugby Football Union (ARU). ... Organizers of the UAE League Cup "have rebranded the competition the Arabian Gulf Cup ahead of this year’s final later this month." The name change "reflects the new title sponsor of the competition," Arabian Gulf Development (SOCCEREX, 4/1). ... The Turkish Football Federation "has entered into a new long-term rights agreement with media company Saran Media." The agreement gives Saran Media the first and third party exclusive media rights to all friendly matches involving the Turkish national football side until '18. Additionally, the group "will organise and market" the national team’s pre-World Cup summer tour in the U.S. (SOCCEREX, 4/1). ... The Int'l Cycling Union (UCI) announced that cycling video producer The Sufferfest will become the first major sponsor of the UCI Women Road World Cup. The partnership will see Sufferfest messages included in promotional clips for the UCI Women Road World Cup on TV and online. The Sufferfest and the UCI will also work together to promote women in cycling and develop concepts such as a UCI Women Road World Cup day to be advertised through the network of gyms the Sufferfest engages with (UCI).