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Volume 6 No. 215

Marketing and Sponsorship

Uruguay striker Luis Suárez "could be dropped by adidas as the backlash grows" against him in the wake of the biting incident "that has overshadowed the World Cup," according to Mark Cue of the LONDON TIMES. The boot company held a meeting in Brazil "to decide whether to end its multimillion-pound association with the 27-year-old." Adidas had warned the player in April last year about his behavior after he bit Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic "and this incident could be the final straw" (LONDON TIMES, 6/25). REUTERS reported poker brand 888 is "reviewing" its sponsorship deal with Suárez. Suárez became one of the online gambling firm’s "official worldwide ambassadors" last month. The firm released a statement, saying, "Following the allegations made against Luis Suárez in regards to his behaviour during Uruguay’s World Cup match against Italy, 888poker is seriously reviewing its relationship with the player as we will not tolerate any unsporting behaviour" (GUARDIAN, 6/25). 

Evian "has created a music video by the hip-hop duo Rizzle Kicks" featuring tennis player Maria Sharapova as the "centerpiece of a new Wimbledon-themed viral marketing campaign," according to Ian Griggs of CAMPAIGN LIVE. The original video, which was created by Kameleon and doubles as the video for Rizzle Kicks’ new summer single, "will be accompanied by outdoor screens, print ads and social media, as part of the Danone brand’s ongoing 'live young' activity." Evian "is the official bottled water of the Wimbledon tournament and Sharapova is the brand’s global ambassador." The campaign "will be supported by a dedicated microsite within, while the Rizzle Kicks YouTube video was officially released on Monday for the start of the tournament." The campaign "will also use social media as well as display and point-of-sale units in retail outlets such as Tesco, Boots and WHSmith" (CAMPAIGN LIVE, 6/24).

There is so much gear in tennis these days that players are “hauling an extra bag to the court,” and the sport's top stars often have “sponsorship deals that require them” to do so, according to Tom Perrotta of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Roger Federer walked onto Wimbledon’s No. 1 Court on Tuesday with an “extra-wide Wilson tennis bag and a white and black bag with his personal RF logo on it.” His opponent, Paolo Lorenzi, “also had two bags.” Serena Williams “walked on Centre Court with her racket bag on her back while holding a white bag with black handles that was big enough for a day at the beach.” But it “isn't just the stars who are weighed down by baggage.” On the outer courts of Wimbledon, “second bags abound.” Bags “stand out more” at Wimbledon than at other tournaments because the All England Club “restricts players to white clothing, shoes, sweatbands and headbands, but it doesn't regulate bags.” Agnieszka Radwanska has a “pink bag to go along with her racket bag.” Varvara Lepchenko's second bag is “tan, pink and peach.” Defending Wimbledon champion Andy Murray “carried a racket bag and a black Adidas bag on court with him for his first-round match on Monday.” Novak Djokovic “carries matching Head racket and clothing bags that are white with green trim.” Ana Ivanovic certainly has “enough star power to land a sponsorship for a second bag,” but she “can't break her one-bag habit.” Ivanovic said, "It's very heavy, but I just fit everything in one" (WSJ, 6/25).

Nike reportedly will not grant golfer Rory McIlroy's former agent "access to confidential details of its dealings with him," according to Dearbhail McDonald of the BELFAST TELEGRAPH. Nike "has objected to the production of confidential documents in an Irish High Court action" brought by McIlroy against Horizon Sports Management, which "helped negotiate the Nike deal." Nike said that "confidential information can not be shared in the Irish proceedings -- and has invoked a protective order issued in the U.S. Courts" (BELFAST TELEGRAPH, 6/25).

Investment holding company Dubai Holding "announced a five-year sponsorship agreement with the Dubai Women’s Run" worth Dh5M ($1.4M), according to Ashley Hammond of GULF NEWS. The annual five and 10km event through Jumeirah, which will celebrate a fifth year since its inception on Nov. 7, "will now be known as the Dubai Holding Women’s Run until 2019." The event started off with 1,000 runners of all abilities in '10, but has now grown to incorporate professional athletes, "with more than 5,000 participants taking part last year." The target this year "is to attract more than 7,000 runners, between 25 and 30" of whom will be int'l elite athletes (GULF NEWS, 6/25).

Singapore's Southeast Asian Games organizing committee "has secured its first Tier One sponsor" for the '15 event, according to Fabius Chen of the STRAITS TIMES. In an announcement made Tuesday afternoon at FairPrice Xtra@Nex, the supermarket chain NTUC FairPrice and FairPrice Foundation "were confirmed as the first main backers for the 2015 Games, which Singapore will host." The sponsorship is worth $3M-$5M in kind from NTUC FairPrice and $2M in cash from FairPrice Foundation, "its charity arm" (STRAITS TIMES, 6/24).

Bundesliga club Hannover 96 has signed a new shirt sponsorship deal with contruction company Heinz von Heiden. In addition to having its logo on the front of the club's jersey, the three-year deal will provide the company with ad space in camera view, cam carpets and logo presence in the club's surrounding area (Hannover 96). ... Bundesliga club FC Cologne has extended its exclusive partnership with suitcase producer Rimowa for another season. The company has been a partner of the club for 10 years (FC Cologne). ... Mondogoal announced its collaboration with a third European club, Man City. Man City joins Liverpool and Serie A side AS Roma as team partners promoting the daily fantasy football site (Mondogoal). ... EA Sports signed deals with former ManU football player Rio Ferdinand and UFC fighter Brad Pickett. Ferdinand and Pickett "have been recruited to promote the launch of EA Sports’ new MMA game, EA Sports UFC, which was released last week." The pair "have starred in a video in which Pickett teaches Ferdinand the fundamentals of MMA" (SOCCEREX, 6/25).