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Volume 6 No. 192

Marketing and Sponsorship

Tesco, Paddy Power and adidas "are among the brands to have made the most of Germany's 7-1 thrashing of the hosts, Brazil," in the first World Cup semifinal on Tuesday night, according to Maisie McCabe of CAMPAIGN LIVE. On Twitter, Tesco "made a joke referencing the way pool players sometimes place a piece of paper under a pool table if the surface is wobbly." Tesco also "made a German-related pun on the word 'worst' and a type of German sausage."

Sony, meanwhile, "recreated the game with Subbuteo figures in a Vine that has been retweeted more than 300 times since being posted" at 12:44am Wednesday morning. Paddy Power, which is "no stranger to making jokes central to its marketing, posted a picture of Brazil’s injured star striker Neymar holding a can of 7-Up, in reference to Germany’s seven goals." Adidas, which is the kit sponsor for Germany, "was magnanimous in victory by tweeting that 'only the best teams make it to the semi-finals of the World Cup.'" Brazil’s kit sponsor Nike "has not tweeted about the result since the game ended" (CAMPAIGN LIVE, 7/9).

London-based sponsorship agency brandRapport will be rebranded after undergoing a management buyout as it looks to offer a more comprehensive offering to clients. The revamp, which includes a new logo, was instigated by changes in the sponsorship landscape, with clients increasingly demanding to work with agencies which have skillsets beyond solely buying sponsorship properties and which have an int'l reach. BrandRapport CEO Andy Dwyer, Managing Dir Andy Kenny, Finance Dir Marie Still and Strategy Dir Rob Pope have orchestrated the buyout. Kenny said, “I think the days of a standalone agency are numbered. We need to widen our services. We need to act like a brand agency rather than a sponsorship agency. That means we need to have more research, planning and insight models. We need an enhanced digital and social media offering. We need to be set up and act like a brand agency and have those services for our clients.” Currently, brandRapport has a flagship London office, along with smaller offices in Hong Kong and Singapore.

LOOKING FOR PARTNERS: However, Kenny said brandRapport has struggled to compete against the big network agencies in pitches. Therefore, brandRapport is looking for int'l agency partners to bolster its proposition. Kenny: “We have come up in pitches where we know we need an international offering." Kenny will also announce new account wins for Jaguar and sports nutrition specialist CNP Nutrition this week, along with supplementary work for Clydesdale and Yorkshire bank and Samsung. Kenny: “We will now look at opportunities at partnerships with other agencies to give us a global presence.” BrandRapport, which has over 40 staff globally, was purchased by Ingenious Media Active Capital, the investment fund, in '07. However, the deal did not work out as planned, as Ingenious Media Active Capital was not as forthcoming as anticipated to build an int'l network because of the economic crisis of '08. Kenny said the new-look agency will be “flexible” and “nimble,” which will allow it to juggle standalone sponsorship deals and work with brands on community projects, short term projects, and other types of partnerships. Kenny flagged up sponsorship agency M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment as the blueprint for brandRapport to follow. BrandRapport’s key clients include German bank Allianz, which along with the Bayern Munich football team sponsors the Saracens rugby union club in the U.K. However, the agency recently suffered a setback when it lost Barclays as a client, which resulted in “a few people” leaving the business.
John Reynolds is a writer in London.

Virgin Atlantic Caribbean "is sponsoring not one but two teams" in this year’s Caribbean Premier League, according to NATION NEWS. The airline "is sponsoring" the Antigua Hawksbills and St. Lucia Zouks. Virgin Sales, Marketing & Corportate Manager Andre Bello said, “We wanted to have an opportunity with even more cricket enthusiasts." The five-week CPL tournament begins on Friday in Grenada, where the Hawksbills will play the Guyana Amazon Warriors. In addition to the team sponsorship, Virgin "will be sponsoring the Zouks’ and Hawsbkills’ Man of the Series competition for fans" (NATION NEWS, 7/9). The ST. LUCIA TIMES reported two-wheeler automobile company Hero will be the presenting sponsor for Barbados and St. Lucia. Hero "has been a major sponsor of world cricket over the past two decades" and was a "Global Partner of the ICC World Cup, staged across the West Indies in 2007." Barbados is part-owned by actor Mark Wahlberg. England's leading int'l run-scorer, Kevin Pietersen, will take the field for St. Lucia this year (ST. LUCIA TIMES, 7/8).

Serie A side Atalanta is "set to announce a multi-year front-of-shirt sponsorship deal with SuisseGas," according to SOCCEREX. According to Italian press reports, Atalanta has "agreed to a deal running to the end of 2015." The natural gas firm’s logo "is set to replace that of Axa Insurance on the front of the first team’s playing jerseys, as well as those worn by reserve and youth teams." SuisseGas "already has a significant footprint in European soccer, having sponsored both Inter and AC Milan last season." A front-of-shirt sponsorship of this type in Serie A "is likely to be worth a seven-figure sum annually" (SOCCEREX, 7/9).

League Championship side Ipswich Town is reuniting with Greene King in a five-year sponsorship deal that will see the pub retailer and brewer pump a six-figure sum into the club. The new partnership will also include a revamping of the bars at Portman Road, including Legends in the Sir Alf Ramsey Stand, while the corner bars at either end of the Sir Bobby Robson Stand will be renamed the "78 Bar" and the "81 Bar," recognizing the club’s triumphs in the FA Cup and UEFA Cup in those years. Greene King IPA will be served at all the bars at Portman Road alongside Foster’s and Heineken lager (Ipswich Town).

The NFL announced an agreement with AB InBev, expanding its rights with the league to a global relationship through the end of the '16 season. As part of the relationship, Budweiser and Bud Light will be the official beer partners of the NFL Int'l Series games in '14 through to the end of the '16 season. The renewal also adds Mexico territory rights to the sponsorship agreement for the first time. The NFL Int'l Series enters its eighth year of bringing regular-season games to the U.K. in '14. This year, the Jacksonville Jaguars will play the second game in their four-year commitment, while the Atlanta-Detroit game will be a historic first Sunday morning kickoff in the U.S. (AB InBev).

Thomson Sport, an arm of global travel provider TUI Travel, "has signed a three-year deal" with Man City. The deal sees Thomson Sport "become the club’s official travel provider." The travel company "will provide City fans with official match break packages for all matches at their home, the Etihad Stadium, as well as a range of travel packages for European away matches" (SOCCEREX, 7/9). ... EPL side Sunderland has extended its partnership with Sportfive by installing a new ADI LED system at the Stadium of Light. The ADI system will be in place for the club's home opener against ManU on Aug. 23. It will provide high-impact, moving imagery (Sunderland). ... BH Telecom has agreed to a deal "to sponsor the Bosnian Premier League" for the '14-15 season. A two-year contract "has been agreed, with the deal including a broadcast element as well as title sponsorship." BH Telecom "will continue to broadcast the league via its pay television service, Moja TV" (SOCCEREX, 7/8). ... EPL side West Bromwich Albion announced Intuit QuickBooks as its new principal partner. Intuit QuickBooks' logo will be featured on the club’s home and away shirts during the '14-15 campaign (West Brom).