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Volume 6 No. 215

Marketing and Sponsorship

Sponsors of the German Football Federation (DFB) "will likely have to pay a 'World Cup surcharge' if they want to renew their deals with the national team," according to Ulrike App of W&V. DFB Team Manager Oliver Bierhoff "wants to increase the national team's marketing revenue." He said, "Sponsors connect with us a certain presence at tournaments. If we are able to reinforce it through on-field success, it will be a great selling point." The DFB "will soon enter negotiations with several of its partners." Bierhoff said that "there is room for growth." The contracts with kit supplier adidas and general sponsor Mercedes-Benz "are set to expire shortly before the 2018 World Cup in Russia." DFB Marketing Dir Denni Strich said, "Should there be sponsorship areas in which we can grow, it would certainly be in the areas of general kit supplier and general sponsor." The federation currently generates an estimated €60M ($81M) annually through sponsorship deals (W&V, 7/16).

German tire manufacturer Continental "has decided to end its World Cup sponsorship," according to the DPA. Continental has been a World Cup sponsor "since the tournament in Germany in '06 and was visible on sideline signage during the games in Brazil." The World Cup deal reportedly cost the company €50M. Continental spokesperson Alexander Bahlmann said, "I can't tell you a specific euro amount. We are very happy about what the World Cup sponsorship delivered because internationally there are still numerous countries where we don't have any awareness as a tire brand." Continental said that its decision to end the sponsorship ahead of the controversial World Cups in Russia in '18 and Qatar in '22 "was not politically motivated" (DPA, 7/15).

The Australian Rugby Union announced Buildcorp as the official naming rights partner of Australian Rugby’s new domestic competition, the National Rugby Championship. Starting on Aug. 21, the 11-week competition will see almost 300 Rugby players, including current and former Qantas Wallabies, Super Rugby players and the best young talent in Club Rugby, take part in the nine-team national competition. The announcement of Buildcorp as the NRC's naming-rights partner coincides with the release of the complete competition draw (ARU). The draw for the inaugural NRC has been unveiled with Brisbane City and Sydney Stars set to open the competition on Aug. 21. Fox Sports will broadcast a live game each week with the first five feature matches to form part of a Thursday night rugby "feast" along with New Zealand’s ITM Cup -- the first of which sees North Harbour face Southland -- and Rugby HQ. In other first round matches, Melbourne Rising host North Harbour Rays, Canberra Vikings face Perth Spirit in the nation’s capital while NSW Country Eagles will play their only Sydney home game at Coogee Oval against Greater Sydney Rams (Fox Sports). The AAP reported the ARU "is invading enemy territory," with 18 matches in the new NRC to be played at the "spiritual homes" of National Rugby League clubs. The NRC draw was released with Leichhardt Oval, Brookvale Oval, Pirtek Stadium and AAMI Park -- the respective homes of the NRL’s Wests Tigers, Manly, Parramatta and Melbourne -- "all to host multiple fixtures." ARU CEO Bill Pulver is hopeful of building a “tribal” following among rugby fans with a competition he believes will rival New Zealand’s ITM Cup and South Africa’s Currie Cup in popularity (AAP, 7/16).

German kitchen appliance manufacturer Bora "will become the new title sponsor of German pro cycling team NetApp-Endura," according to the SID. Team Manager Ralph Denk "unveiled the new partnership together with Bora boss Willi Bruckbauer during the Tour de France's first rest day in Besancon on Tuesday." Bora "has signed a five-year deal with the team, which will take effect in January." The team's current sponsors Net-App and Endura "will withdraw their support of the squad." Denk: "It's a big, big day for us." Despite the new sponsorship, the team "will continue to compete as a second-tier Pro Continental squad." The outfit "plans on competing in the top-flight World Tour starting in '17." Denk: "We want to create a team which will be competitive then. There is a budget increase in the contract" (SID, 7/16).

ManU announced a multi-season sponsorship agreement with int'l food brand Nissin to become a global partner of the club. Founded in Osaka, Japan in '48, Nissin is famous for its instant noodles which were invented by its Founder, Momofuku Ando, who developed the convenience food as an answer to food rationing after World War II. In the first year of the partnership, the Japanese food brand will produce Nissin and ManU branded food products for sale across the globe and will unveil a campaign linking the club with its products. Nissin branding will also be visible on stadium perimeter boards at all domestic games at Old Trafford, as well as official club publications, MUTV and the club's official website (ManU). The IB TIMES's Sean Martin reported the club's latest deal proves that, "despite a dismal season, the Manchester United brand still presents an attractive offer for brands looking to affiliate themselves with the world's biggest sporting institutions." Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed, "but the agreement means that United now have 14 global partners," which will earn the club around £9M ($15M) a year. Nissin CEO Koki Ando said that the agreement "is just the beginning of a new project that will see the noodle makers forge associations with the biggest names in sports." Ando: "Nissin will start a new project in collaboration with athletes and sports teams. Our slogan for this project is 'Hungry To Win.' We strongly believe we can ignite a spirit of challenge across the world" (IB TIMES, 7/16).

Barcelona's partnership with Mexican beer brand Tecate, which makes Tecate the club's official Mexican sponsor until '19, will see Barcelona prepare a series of joint ventures to help the beer brand reinforce its market position. Analysis indicates that Barcelona has 25 million fans in Mexico, including 4.5 million on Facebook. With 865,000 fans, Mexico City has the third-most Barcelona supporters of any city in the world (Barcelona). In Mexico City, Daniel Blumrosen Juárez reported the Tecate brand will not be represented on the Barcelona kit. Tecate will be able to feature Barcelona players and coaches in its advertising campaigns. Barcelona Commercial Dir Laurent Colette said, "A football fan has two teams: local and international. We are not entering into a competition with Mexican clubs. ... Our ambition is to be Mexico's preferred international team. We know there are three teams competing for this: ManU, due to the 'Chicharito [Hernández] effect,' Real Madrid, thanks to Hugo Sanchez, and us" (EL UNIVERSAL, 7/16).

One of EPL side West Brom's sponsors that threatened to withdraw its support during the Nicolas Anelka "quenelle" saga earlier this year "has signed a new deal with the club," according to Ian Parkes of the London DAILY MAIL. Outdoor clothing, footwear and equipment specialist Jack Wolfskin considered ending its sponsorship of Albion "'as one option' as the debate rumbled on during January over a controversial gesture made by Anelka." Anelka "was handed a five-game ban" and fined £80,000 ($137,000) following an independent regulatory commission hearing, after which West Brom immediately suspended the striker. With the matter "now laid to rest," Jack Wolfskin has agreed to a one-year extension of an agreement that started at the beginning of the '13-14 campaign (DAILY MAIL, 7/15).

La Liga side Levante execs teamed up with kit supplier Nike to "show the team's new shirts in a totally new way." The club "displayed them through a hole in a shop window at the new team store." The store, which has not yet opened, has a vinyl cover over its front window featuring the phrase, "Do you want to see the new Levante uniforms? Look in and be amazed." The cover also features an arrow pointing to a hole "that fans can look through to glimpse the new shirts" (MARCA, 7/15). ... ManU's new away shirt "appears to have accidentally gone on sale" -- before it has even been officially unveiled by the club. A JD Sports shop "seems to have mistakenly started selling the new white away kit" (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 7/16). ... Serie A side Inter Milan has signed a new deal with mobile services provider MLJ Inc. to continue the club's digital offerings in Japanese. The deal was facilitated by MP & Silva. Under the two-year agreement, MLJ will have exclusive rights to develop Inter's Japanese mobile website for smartphones and non-smartphone mobile devices. Inter will provide MLJ with a range of exclusive content for Japanese fans (Inter Milan). ... Polish side Korona Kielce unveiled its new shirt for the '14-15 season following its announcement of a technical sponsorship with German brand Hummel, which replaces adidas. Korona will be the only Ekstraklasa side with a kit supplied by Hummel (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 7/16). ... Second Bundesliga side VfR Aalen has "signed a sponsorship and pouring rights deal with Rothaus, the state brewery of Baden." The deal was brokered by the Sportfive agency. Rothaus will become the club's exclusive beer partner for the next two seasons (SOCCEREX, 7/16). ... Danish football side Brondby IF has agreed to a shirt sponsorship deal with betting operator Bet25. The deal will begin immediately, with Brondby playing Liverpool in a friendly on Wednesday in Denmark. Bet25's official website will stream the game (SOCCEREX, 7/16). ... League Championship side Wigan Athletic announced a shirt sponsorship deal with retailer Intersport. The club's home and away strip will carry the Intersport logo for the upcoming season (Wigan). ... Spanish oil company Repsol renewed its title sponsorship of the factory Honda MotoGP team "until the end of 2017, extending a partnership" dating back to '95 (REUTERS, 7/16). ... The World Baseball Softball Confederation announced that Japanese oil company JX Nippon Oil & Energy's ENEOS brand will be the title sponsor of the 2014 Women's Baseball World Cup. The deal includes cash remuneration and will place the ENEOS brand on the event's logo. It will also have a presence around the event's venues in Miyazaki and on its digital platforms (WBSC).