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Volume 10 No. 22

Marketing and Sponsorship

The Community of Madrid Sports Palace will be known as the Barclaycard Arena starting on Sept. 1 after Impulsa Eventos e Instalaciones, which manages the facility, reached an agreement with Barclays through '23, according to the EFE. The agreement between the Palace and Barclaycard will "allow for the improvement of the facility and the programs at the Palace, which has a capacity of 16,500 and will be one of the venues for September's FIBA World Cup." Improvements to the venue "will be carried out short-term." The sponsorship with Barclaycard will "see tickets for all events at the venue sold online." In addition to hosting the FIBA World Cup in September and next year's Euroleague Final Four, Barclaycard Arena will host Spanish Basketball League (ACB) clubs Real Madrid and Estudiantes games (EFE, 7/3).

The England & Wales Cricket Board has signed a three-year sponsorship deal with Etihad Airways, making the carrier England cricket's first official airline. All England national squads will fly with the UAE national airline. Etihad will have access to England's players for promotional appearances, advertising at int'l grounds in England and Wales and ticket and hospitality packages. The agreement includes England's domestic int'l and overseas touring program from '14-16 and extends to winter training camps in the UAE (ECB).

The Commonwealth Games "have not even begun yet, but the Australian national team are causing a stir Down Under after critics slammed their latest swimsuit kit for drawing attention to the 'crotch' area," according to Jack de Menezes of the London INDEPENDENT. The swimsuits "are gaining a lot of attention for their newest design, which have also been labelled 'confusing' due to the new green and yellow patterns used to represent the country’s official colours." Both the men’s and women’s outfits "have been slammed for being particularly unbecoming and guiding the eye 'to the wrong place.'" Swimwear brand Speedo "unveiled the new outfits on Wednesday ahead of the Games, with one featuring a print of kangaroos, emus and maps of Australia laid out in green and gold." Brisbane stylist Di Cant claimed that "her main issues lies with the shaping of the outfits" -- in particular the green and black one -- and how the colors meet. Cant said, "My main issue is with the green and black suits and the emphasis on the crotch. The shaping in the crotch and with the black leg, something is not quite flattering." However, freestyle swimmer Bronte Barratt believes the new designs are “great” and feels it does the right job in representing Australia (INDEPENDENT, 7/3).

League One Oldham Athletic has "signed the biggest sponsorship deal in the club’s history," which saw Boundary Park change its name on Wednesday to " Park," according to the OLDHAM EVENING CHRONICLE. The five-year agreement with sportswear retailer Sports Direct is "believed to be worth" around £1M ($1.7M). As part of the "huge deal, a new 2,000 sq ft club shop will open in the new North Stand in the new year." Sports Direct "will operate the shop and pay sales royalties to the club." "will also become the main shirt sponsor on all home, away and replica kit." The upcoming friendly with EPL side Newcastle United -- owned by Sports Direct Founder Mike Ashley -- "is an integral part of the contract." The deal says that Newcastle "must send its strongest-available team to Boundary Park," already known by its new name, on July 15. The new store in the North Stand "is expected to be open by early next year, with alternative arrangements in place for purchasing club merchandise before then" (OLDHAM EVENING CHRONICLE, 7/3).

Ambev SA "is pitting its top Brazil beer against the company’s Argentine best seller in World Cup advertisements that play up a rivalry between the soccer-obsessed nations," according to Sciaudone & Spinetto of BLOOMBERG. In Skol’s TV ad, Brazilian fans "lure their Argentine counterparts into a house that’s then packed up and shot out of a cannon back to Buenos Aires." Quilmes’s dig "is more subtle." At the end of the commercial a narrator intones, “You’ll regret you issued even one ticket,” referencing reports that demand for tickets from Argentines topped supply. Houston-based marketing strategy consultant FrogDog CEO Leslie Farnsworth said that the fact that both brands belong to Anheuser-Busch’s Ambev SA "makes the strategy unusual." Leuven, Belgium-based Inbev "also owns U.S. favorite Budweiser and Belgium’s Stella Artois." The two nations "faced off on the soccer field earlier this week, with Belgium beating the American team 2-1." Farnsworth: “Playing into that national fervor, especially around the World Cup, makes a lot of sense. I don’t know of a precedent where a company has owned both brands and then has decided to position them like this” (BLOOMBERG, 7/2).

National Rugby League side Cronulla Sharks "have pulled off one of the most remarkable marketing coups in sport, signing a major sponsor amid the most dramatic week in the club’s history," according to David Riccio of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. Just four days after sacking coach Todd Carney and interim head coach Peter Sharp resigning, national safety management company Labour Health "has signed on to feature on the front of the Sharks jersey for the remaining 10 weeks of the season and possibly next year." It also "comes as the shadow" of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority investigation "looms large over the club." Labour Health, which conducts drug and alcohol testing in the workplace throughout Australia, "has paid a six-figure sum to promote its brand," starting with Friday night’s clash with the Sydney Roosters (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 7/3).

Haas Automation has signed on to sponsor F1’s Scuderia Ferrari team for the remainder of the '14 season and entirety of the '15 season. Financial terms of the agreement were not available. Haas’ logo will be featured on the sidepods of the Ferrari cars beginning this weekend at the British Grand Prix in Silverstone. The deal is designed to give Haas Automation a chance to begin promoting its brand in F1 before it becomes a fulltime, primary sponsor of the Haas F1 team in '16. Haas Automation Founder Gene Haas is committed to become the only American owner of an F1 team in '16. He believes the move can help raise the profile of his machine tool building company overseas and boost its overseas revenue by as much as $900M. In a statement about the Scuderia Ferrari deal, Haas said, “Scuderia Ferrari is F1’s most prestigious and decorated team with a large, loyal and passionate fan base. Exposing Scuderia Ferrari fans and Ferrari customers to the quality of Haas Automation CNC machine tools is an important first step to expanding our global reach.” Haas has held talks with Ferrari about becoming the manufacturer for the Haas F1 team in '16 and said publicly that he is leaning in that direction, but they have not announced a deal. The team is slated to become the first American-based F1 team since '86.

Spanish electric company and principal Spanish Basketball League (ACB) sponsor Endesa has "extended its sponsorship" through '17, according to MARCA. Endesa has sponsored the ACB for the past three years. Endesa President Borja Prado and ACB President Francisco Roca "presented the continuation of the project, which constitutes the most important business agreement in the history of Spanish and European basketball." Endesa also sponsors Spain's men's and women's national basketball teams and is a sponsor of the upcoming FIBA World Cup (MARCA, 7/3).

Bundesliga club Werder Bremen "has traveled to China on behalf of the German Football League (DFL)," according to BILD. The Bundesliga "wants to conquer the Asian market." In addition to the league's goals, Bremen "has its own agenda, which includes new sponsorship deals." Werder Bremen Managing Dir Klaus Filbry said, "We want to establish contacts in the area in terms of sponsorships with Chinese companies that are interested in the European market." The club "is already in negotiations with electronics firm Hisense." Filbry "confirmed talks with the company through Werder Bremen's marketing partner Infront." In addition, the club "is in negotiations with Turkish Airlines, which sponsors Werder's China trip, about a long-term deal" (BILD, 7/2).

Fubon Financial Holdings "will sponsor the Taiwan leg of the LPGA tour" through '16. Since '11, the tournament had been hosted by the Sunrise Golf & Country Club in Taoyuan County under a three-year contract with the U.S.-based LPGA, but Sunrise Chair Hsu Tien-ya "decided this year to end the sponsorship, citing financial considerations" (CNA, 7/3). ... Lloyd Shoes "has extended deals" with two Bundesliga clubs, Werder Bremen and Bayer Leverkusen, and added a third, Hertha Berlin. The Leverkusen deal "includes signage rights at BayArena." The Werder Bremen deal "will run for two more seasons, with extra signage built into the new package of rights" (SOCCEREX, 7/3). ... Ligue 1 side AS Monaco has "tied-up a long-term deal with AIM Sport." AIM Sport "will serve as Monaco’s sponsorship and marketing agency for a long-term -- though undisclosed -- contract" (SOCCEREX, 7/3). ... NBA Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin "is set to land in Taiwan July 16 for a week-long visit" sponsored by adidas. Adidas will sell limited edition Lin sneakers at its flagship store in Taipei on Saturday (CNA, 7/3).

INFRONT, PITCH DEALS: Infront Sports & Media has agreed to a deal with the French sailing team to aid in all marketing operations for the 35th int'l sailing challenge (Infront). ... NordicBet will become the official partner of the Champions Hockey League when it launches in August. Infront Sports & Media secured the deal, which runs through the '16-17 season (Infront). ... Virgin Racing Formula E Team "has appointed" sports and sponsorship communications agency Pitch "as it prepares to compete in the inaugural 2014 FIA Formula E Championship." The agency "will provide all PR and social media support for Virgin Racing as the team gears up for the first race of the championship" (THE DRUM, 7/3).