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Volume 10 No. 22

Marketing and Sponsorship

A source has said that Nike "will not renew a long-running kit supply deal" with ManU "because of the cost of a new contract," according to Keith Weir of REUTERS. Nike "has been supplying United's famous red shirts since 2002 but the current agreement expires next year." Its withdrawal "is expected to clear the way for the club to sign a lucrative new deal" with adidas. The source said, "Clearly Nike's football business is booming and they could easily afford to do this (deal). They had the right to match any other offer but looking at the deal on the table, they will walk away as it doesn't make commercial sense" (REUTERS, 7/7).

NEW KIT UNVEILED: ManU took to Twitter on Monday to debut the club's new kits for the '14-15 EPL season, the first year under a jersey sponsorship deal with Chevrolet (TWITTER, 7/7). The red shirts with white shorts will feature the logo of new sponsor Chevrolet for the first time. It will be worn for the first time against MLS side L.A. Galaxy as part of the Tour 2014, presented by Aon (ManU). The London TELEGRAPH reported the button "hidden in the collar is unique to the shirt -- it's red with a black trim and engraved with the club name." Inside the back of the neck is a small label with the message: "Youth, Courage, Greatness." The words "represent the club’s values." On the back of the shirt below the neck "is a black devil from the club crest, and across the back is a series of chevrons in engineered mesh to emphasise the importance of the shape to United" (TELEGRAPH, 7/7).

Etihad Airways "has sealed a sponsorship agreement" with A-League side Melbourne City as the Middle East "displaces Asian cities as the main transit point for flights from Australia to Europe," according to Mahmoud Kassem of THE NATIONAL. The five-year sponsorship agreement and a new team kit "were unveiled." Melbourne City is owned by Man City, which is in turn owned by Abu Dhabi and also sponsored by Etihad. Behind football, there are "more serious shifts happening in global airline routes from Australia." The steady rise in the past decade of Dubai Int'l Airports as well as the airports of Doha and Abu Dhabi "have been steadily eroding market share for the transit links of Singapore and Bangkok" (THE NATIONAL, 7/7). THE DRUM's John McCarthy reported the agreement includes "jersey naming rights as well as joint initiatives to develop junior football schools, and competitions and promotional airfares for club fans." In addition to Melbourne City, Etihad’s sponsorship portfolio includes Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium, Manchester’s Etihad Stadium, Man City, the All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, and the F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (THE DRUM, 7/7). In Melbourne, Sam Edmund reported Melbourne City Manager John van’t Schip admited that "there will be more pressure on him to get results." Van't Schip: "The expectations are going to be far higher and that’s normal. But it’s more what you put on yourself with expectations and I’ve always put that on myself ... so for me it doesn’t really change." Van’t Schip and Melbourne CEO Scott Munn "refused to elaborate" on reports Chelsea’s all-time leading scorer Frank Lampard "was also on his way to the reformed club" (HERALD SUN, 7/7).

Spanish bank Bilbao Bizkaia Kutxa, a subsidiary of Kutxabank, will become La Liga side Athletic Bilbao's "principal sponsor in a three-year deal that will start with the '15-16 season," according to MARCA. Oil company Petronor "will not remain the club's principal sponsor after the conclusion of the upcoming season." During the season that will start in September, the club's shirts will feature Petronor's name for La Liga and Copa del Rey matches, while the BBK logo will "be seen on the left sleeve." In European matches, "possibly Champions League, or Europa League if Bilbao does not qualify for the Champions League, the only shirt advertising will be that of the BBK." During the '15-16, '16-17 and '17-18 seasons, Kutxbank will be the club's only sponsor, "though it has not been decided" whether the shirt will advertise BBK or Kutxabank (MARCA, 7/4).

Cristiano Ronaldo "has launched a new fashion website under his CR7 brand, with the Portuguese footballer adding a line of shirts to his underwear range launched last year," according to Alex Brownsell of MARKETING MAGAZINE. Ronaldo unveiled a "premium" range of shirts at the Bread & Butter fashion exhibition in Berlin, alongside an int'l brand website, The shirts, created by N.Y.-based designer Richard Chai, "are the latest phase of Ronaldo’s partnership with Danish manufacturer JBS Textile Group, which launched the footballer’s underwear range last year" (MARKETING MAGAZINE, 7/7).

EPL side Crystal Palace has agreed to a sponsorship with global online payments provider Optimal Payments. The company will have the name of its Neteller service on the front of the team's shirts. Neteller replaces global logistics provider GAC, which has been on Palace's kits since the '06-07 season. Neteller will be the first EPL sponsor with online payments space. Neteller will provide customer service support and deliver merchant objectives. Neteller's key growth markets are in Asia, Africa and the Americas (Crystal Palace). GAC Group Marketing Dir Sean Bradley said, "It is with great sadness that GAC will no longer be shirt sponsor of Crystal Palace Football Club" (CROYDON ADVERTISER, 7/7).

American athletes like the NBA Miami Heat's LeBron James and NFL Denver Broncos' Peyton Manning "are not just athletes, they are global brands," according to Michael Chammas of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. While there "isn't the same amount of money or interest in Australian sport for athletes to demand anything near the money on offer in the US," New South Wales fullback Jarryd Hayne believes the National Rugby League "could learn a lot from the American sports when it comes to turning their players into businesses." Hayne "is frustrated by the sponsorship hurdles players have to overcome, adamant it is to the detriment of the game." The players "are the intellectual property of the NRL," which currently earns around 12% royalty on any sponsorship deals the players make, and "prohibit them from linking with brands that compete with the NRL's sponsors." Hayne: "The NRL want to own their players' image so the players are very restricted in what they can do. In the NFL, because they are in the market of competing with so many sports, they want their players to take up as much of the corporate sponsorship as possible. In league, the NRL try to take the most out of it then go to the players. Well it's the players who are the ones who are attracting the corporates and the dollars. If the players had more ownership of their image, they'd have more responsibility. If [NFL Seattle Seahawks running back] Marshawn Lynch goes and eats Skittles, the next day he's got a Skittles contract. Just little things like that, they are all about making the most of it while you can. The NRL is behind and it hasn't hit them yet" (SMH, 7/7).

Swiss Super League side FC Luzern has signed an early extension with shirt and main sponsor Swiss department store chain Otto's for another two years until June '17. Otto's has been the club's main sponsor since '11 (FC Luzern). ... German 3rd League football club  SG Sonnenhof Großaspach has found a new naming-rights partner for its stadium. The Mechatronik Fahrzeug- und Motorentechnik GmbH has signed on as the naming-rights partner of the stadium for the next five years. The stadium will be renamed the mechatronik Arena (Mechatronik). ... U.S. audio electronics company Bose has signed a sponsorship deal with the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux, the new stadium being built in the French city ahead of Euro 2016. Bose will become the official sound system of the new 43,000-capacity venue, which is scheduled to open in May (Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux). ... Viagogo has signed a three-year deal with the Professional Darts Corporation. Viagogo will become the official ticket marketplace for the World Darts Championship and Premier League Darts (Viagogo). ... British Swimming is teaming up with the Royal Navy (British Swimming). ... ManU "revealed their new home kit" for the '14-15 season. The red shirts with white shorts will feature the logo of new sponsor Chevrolet "for the first time." It will be worn for the first time against MLS side L.A. Galaxy "as part of the Tour 2014, presented by Aon" (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 7/7).

LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP DEALS: League Championship side Millwall has announced a new five-year, seven-figure kit deal with Euroferries Express (Millwall). ... Consulting firm MBi has entered into a partnership with League Championship side Leeds United. The grassroots scheme allows groups of juniors to attend games at Elland Road and take part in matchday activities (Leeds).