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Volume 10 No. 23

Marketing and Sponsorship

Nike's latest World Cup ad features Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and "was seen by 78 million people in four days" before it "went to television," according to Aaron Ricadela of BLOOMBERG. Though the vast majority of fans will still watch World Cup matches on TV, the "marketing battle has gone online." Nike’s four-minute spot was released on YouTube and Facebook during an April 25 event in Madrid "showcasing the shoemaker’s latest cleat." Within hours, Ronaldo -- the most followed athlete on Twitter -- "had sent it to his 26 million followers." A shorter TV version "wasn’t broadcast until April 29." Nike Brand President Trevor Edwards said, “I’m pretty sure what I launched today will be around the world in a second.” Nike said that its TV ad buying during the World Cup "is declining" as it increasingly uses Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to reach fans in a battle with adidas "for supremacy in the global soccer-products market." Adidas "will spend more on Internet promotions than on television for this year’s World Cup: about half of its media expenditure for the tournament will go online, versus a fifth at the 2010 event in South Africa," according to CEO Herbert Hainer. Neither adidas nor Nike "would reveal how much they spend" on football advertising. Though there are no statistics that break down World Cup ad outlays, online promotions "are quickly catching TV in global expenditures." Corporations will spend about $68.5B on TV this year and $56B online, according to researcher eMarketer. In '10, TV advertising "was more than double online," eMarketer reports. Facebook Marketing Exec Carolyn Everson said, “The marketing of the World Cup has changed dramatically since 2010. Four years ago the centerpiece was television. This is going to be a mobile World Cup” (BLOOMBERG, 6/3).

The FIFA World Cup has come as "a big boon" for Bangladesh's ready-made dress makers who landed about $1B in export orders "to sew clothing for fans," according to XINHUA. Bangladesh garment makers said that they "have made millions of pieces of soccer jerseys, T-shirts, flags and hats for fans of all the World Cup's 32 teams and already sent their products to all across the world." Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers & Exporters Association acting CEO Mohammad Hatem said, "It's not possible for us to tell an exact figure of the total value of the World Cup related merchandise exports. But we can estimate that it will be in no way less than $1 billion." Leaders of the two apex bodies of Bangladeshi ready-made garment makers -- BKMEA and Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers & Exporters' Association (BGMEA) -- said that a big part of the current growth in Bangladesh's overall export "came from the World Cup merchandise." Hatem said that they "have so far supplied some 500 million pieces of jerseys to buyers across the world." Hatem: "My factory alone supplied 250,000 soccer jerseys for eight teams like Brazil, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany and Portugal" (XINHUA, 6/3). The Indian BUSINESS STANDARD's Vinay Umarji reported India "has been playing its role." Indian manufacturers "have been exporting sports products to Brazil" for the World Cup. Jalandhar-based Rattan Brothers has supplied around 80,000 balls through a U.K.-based Hy-Pro that "has the official FIFA license for supplying the product for the World Cup this year." Rattan Brothers Exports Dir Tilak Khinder said, "This being the soccer World Cup year, we have seen a 20 percent jump in orders for soccer balls from other regions such as Australia, New Zealand, England, Ireland and France, among others." Rattan Brothers "is exporting another 200,000 soccer balls to these regions." Meanwhile, overall football sports goods exports could see a 20-30% rise in the fiscal '14-15 year (BUSINESS STANDARD, 6/4).

The Czech football association FACR "has signed a sponsorship deal" with betting operator Synot which will replace the Gambrinus beer brand "as the title sponsor of the country's top tier league," according to Jaroslaw Adamowski of INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL. The four-year contract "has an option to extend it by a further four years." Synot "is scheduled to replace Gambrinus this June." The amount of the Synot deal "was not disclosed by the football association." However, local daily Mloda fronta DNES reported that the new contract "is worth more than the previous deal," under which Gambrinus paid the league about 50M krona per year. The beer brand "served as the league's main sponsor for 17 years" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 6/4).

The German and French ice hockey federations (DEB, FFHG) have partnered with Infront Sports & Media for the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, to be co-hosted by the two countries. The agreement has led to a joint venture between Infront and DEB in Germany, to be based in Munich. DEB General Secretary Franz Reindl has been appointed managing director of the company. In France, Infront has signed an advisory contract with the FFHG to consult the Local Organizing Committee in promotion and marketing. Infront will market hospitality for games at Paris' Bercy Arena (Infront).

Barcelona-based beer brand Estrella Damm has become the "first official sponsor of the 2017 Mediterranean Games," which will take place in Tarragona, Spain. Tarragona Mayor Josep Fèlix Ballesteros and Grupo Damm Dir General Enric Crous signed an agreement in which the beer brand will contribute €3M ($4M) over the next four years as an official partner of the event. Mediterranean Games organizers are "planning to raise" €30M ($41M) in private sponsorships, "a sum that would cover 76% of the event's total cost" (EL PERIODICO, 6/3). ... Spanish Football League (LFP) North Africa & Middle East Dir General Fernando Sanz on Tuesday announced an agreement between the LFP and Chinese energy company Sunrain. Sanz called the partnership a "key point for the international development of the LFP" (EP, 6/3). ... EPL side Sunderland and South Africa-based BFC Group announced Bidvest "will continue" as the Black Cats' main kit sponsor for home and away games next season (SUNDERLAND ECHO, 6/4). ... AirAsia has agreed to a one-year extension of its shirt sponsorship with EPL side Queens Park Rangers (QPR). ... Dutch side Ajax has agreed to a three-year sponsorship with Chinese company Zhejiang Shenghui Lighting (Ajax). ... Chinese Super League club Shanghai Greenland Shenhua "has launched a charm offensive to win over disgruntled fans by inviting them to redesign the club’s emblem for next season." The new emblem "must contain" elements of the club sponsor Greenland as well as the previous brand “Shenhua.” It "should carry the team’s jersey color -- blue, while the team’s lucky mascot, the leopard, is desired but not necessary, the club said on its official website" (SHANGHAI DAILY, 6/4). ... The British Basketball League named the official ticket provider for the 14-team league. Each club will utilize's ProVenue suite of products to manage ticket sales and provide feedback into purchasing and attendance traits (BBL).