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Volume 10 No. 22

Marketing and Sponsorship

Real Madrid's signing of James Rodríguez has "generated a fever called 'Jamesmanía' that has been evident beyond the stands" at the Santiago Bernabéu, according to Hugo Téllez of MARCA. Following the team's introduction of Rodríguez at the stadium on Tuesday, fans purchased 900 "James" shirts in "just one hour," showing that the excitement has "also carried over to Real Madrid's team store." Each of the shirts was sold at a price of €101 ($136), giving the store €90,900 ($122,400) in sales -- "15 shirts were sold per minute." Once the supply of the shirts ran out, "fans arriving late had to visit the printing machines to have a 10 stamped on their shirts." The rate of sales "fell after the initial rush, but given the boom, it can be said without fear of being mistaken that the shirts will be the most-sold" (MARCA, 7/23).

Media coverage "has dwelled on the continued relevance of an event which, some claim, will compare unfavourably with the rampant success" that was the 2012 London Games, according to Alex Brownsell of MARKETING MAGZINE. The level of brand activity around the Commonwealth Games "has been unquestionably lower than that of two years previously." Official sponsors such as Virgin Media and SSE "have invested in activation marketing, but, in terms of non-sponsors, only a handful of brands have so far looked to gatecrash the party." Yet, according to marketer Angus Kinnear, who sits on the board at Commonwealth Games England, "the comparison is both unfair and irrelevant, in particular given the presence of rising economies such as India and Nigeria." Kinnear, who is also the managing director of EPL side West Ham United, said, "Some see the Commonwealth Games as slightly anachronistic, so the team and our partners have worked hard to communicate that the event is as relevant as ever -- many of these nations really value their Commonwealth membership." Kinnear claimed that the spectre of the London Games "has, in fact, benefited the Commonwealth Games." He said, "It is fantastic to have such a recent benchmark to look at." He added, "It is a unique chance to see athletes represent England. Brands value that expression of Englishness, in competing with England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man" (MARKETING MAGAZINE, 7/23).

Cricket Australia entered into a partnership with the Clontarf Foundation to help improve the well-being of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men around the country. CA has invested funds to support the introduction of a cricket program into the Clontarf Foundation's curriculum that uses sport to improve the education, life skills, self-esteem and employment prospects of young Indigenous Australians. The cricket program will be introduced into Clontarf Foundation's 57 academies, which cater to more than 3,000 students across Western Australia, Northern Territory, Victoria and New South Wales (CA).

Australian tennis player Bernard Tomic's father and coach, John, "has vigorously challenged reports that his son was dumped by his long-time management company, IMG, claiming the Tomics instigated the recent contractual release" and that the former world No. 27's rankings decline after double hip surgery had helped him to avoid a A$1.5M ($1.4M) early-exit penalty, according to Linda Pearce of THE AGE. Tomic Sr. said that "he had sought an end to the IMG deal for about 18 months, but only now was it able to be negotiated without financial penalty." An IMG spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday that "the relationship ended by mutual consent on July 14." John Tomic said, "Bernard left IMG -- IMG didn't sack, didn't dump Bernard. That is strongly 110 percent true story. One-and-a-half year we are looking to leave IMG ... but they look to us for A$1.5 million to pay to them to let us go." Tomic "would not be drawn on the specifics, but said there had already been 'plenty' of interest from rival firms, and acknowledged that much would depend on his son’s results" (THE AGE, 7/23).

Bundesliga side FC Schalke signed a deal with Meliá Hotels Int'l to become the new official hotel partner of the club for the new season. Meliá is one of the biggest resort hotel groups in the world and is represented across the globe (Schalke). ... German 3rd League football club Dynamo Dresden has extended its partnership with environmental services provider Veolia for another two years. Veolia, which has been a partner of the club for six years, will receive ad space on boards in camera view as well as extensive logo presence. The deal was brokered by Sportfive (Dynamo Dresden). ... British club Bristol Sport unveiled RSG as the headline sponsor of the British Basketball League side Bristol Flyers Basketball Team. The deal builds on the support RSG has already shown in being shirt sponsor for Bristol City FC. The deal underlines RSG's commitment to the stable of clubs associated with Bristol Sport and Stephen Lansdown (Bristol Flyers). ... Stella McCartney "will once again be designing the Team GB kits" for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games. The kits will be part of McCartney’s "ongoing collaboration with adidas." For the London Olympics, McCartney "designed 590 different items for the 900 athletes competing in 46 sports, incorporating the colours of the Union Jack -- but with an emphasis on blue and white" (HARPER'S BAZAAR, 7/23).