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Volume 6 No. 212

Marketing and Sponsorship

Research firm GlobalWebIndex found out that Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Visa and adidas "were the most recognised sponsors of the World Cup in Brazil," achieving recognition among 50%, 39%, 41% and 36% of U.K., U.S. and Brazilian consumers respectively, according to Ben Bold of MARKETING MAGAZINE. However, 30% of those surveyed "still thought non-sponsor Nike was officially associated with the event," with similar levels of misplaced recognition for MasterCard (25%) and Samsung (20%). The research found that "no official partner brand had increased its recognition by more than 5% by the end of the tournament." McDonald’s "was the highest climber," with an increase of 5.3%. Of the official partners’ rivals, Subway "achieved the biggest boost to awareness levels," up 6%. GlobalWebIndex surveyed people who watched the competition in the U.K., U.S. and Brazil. The research found that "sponsor awareness was much higher in the host nation than the other two markets." GlobalWebIndex Head of Trends Jason Mander said, "Real-time, ambush, content and football-related marketing meant a wealth of content-spread across the globe and significantly influenced spectators’ brand awareness and reactions. Consequently, it became more difficult for consumers to differentiate between official sponsors and competitors" (MARKETING MAGAZINE, 7/24).


In acquiring Colombian James Rodríguez, Real Madrid has signed not only the World Cup Golden Boot winner, but also a "commercial gold mine," according to Carlos Forjanes of AS. The player represents six brands and it is estimated that he will earn €8.5M ($11.5M) from endorsements this year. Real has 50% of his image rights on "any new contract he signs, in addition to the revenue it will make from selling the new '10' shirts." Rodríguez's endorsements include shampoo brand Clear, deodorant brand Rexona, beverages Pony Malta and Milo and adidas. Management guru Fernán Martínez "also works behind the scenes as his advertising and marketing adviser." Martínez has managed Juanes, singer Julio Iglesias and his son, Enrique, and actress Sofía Vergara. Rodriguez was mentioned 8.8 million times on Twitter during the World Cup and has 4.2 million followers on the social network after "adding 200,000 since the announcement of his signing with Real Madrid." He has "taken advantage of the enormous pull he now has in Colombia to launch his own energy drink, Gold 10, the profits of which he has announced will be donated to his foundation, Colombia Somos Todos" (AS, 7/24).

The Australian national basketball team "signed online travel booking company Airbnb as its naming rights sponsor" in the lead-up to the FIBA World Cup in Spain, according to Roy Ward of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Basketball Australia "announced the sponsorship on Thursday morning at the Boomers training camp at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra." Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis and assistant coach Luc Longley "have advocated for someone to take on the vacant naming rights position so the team's budget could be boosted to include more training camps and more coaching staff members." The naming-rights sponsor "extends to the Australian under-19 and under-17 teams." BA "did not release the terms of the deal" (SMH, 7/24).

Australian Football League side Sydney Swans player Lance "Buddy" Franklin "has taken on a new celebrity agent and is believed to have split with his high-profile manager Liam Pickering on the eve of his first game against Hawthorn," according to Peter Lalor of NEWS LIMITED. The former Hawk came to Sydney on a nine-year, A$10M ($9.4M) deal that "was negotiated by Pickering." The richest deal ever inked in the AFL "was a windfall for both the player and manager." Despite the split, Pickering "will continue to get his cut of the contract for the next nine years." Franklin "has signed with SF Celebrity Management," which represents people such as Australian cricketer Shane Watson and Franklin’s model girlfriend Jesinta Campbell. Franklin's new agent Sharon Finnigan said that "the break-up with Pickering was not acrimonious." Finnigan said, "Buddy lives in Sydney and wants to have his affairs run out of Sydney. He has settled in Sydney and is devoted to the Sydney Swans" (NEWS LIMITED, 7/25).

Football Federation Australia announced that Telstra will be the front of shirt sponsor for the A-League All Stars for its upcoming match against Juventus at ANZ Stadium on Aug. 10. Telstra now joins other A-League All Stars partners which include Foxtel, Destination NSW and the Seven Network which is the the official broadcaster partner. The announcement was made on Tuesday at the Sydney Opera House, where the official A-League All Stars playing strip, from official apparel supplier BLK, was unveiled to the public. The  A-League All Stars match against Juventus will be broadcast live and exclusively on the Seven Network nationally (FFA).

La Liga side Espanyol reached an agreement with Italian designer Amy Gee, which will become the club's official provider of suits and clothing for the players and coaching staff during the '14-15 season (Espanyol). ... Bundesliga club Hertha Berlin has extended its partnership with airline Germania. The airline, which entered cooperation with the club during the '13-14 season, will increase its involvement and become an official "Hertha-Partner." The deal is for the '14-15 Bundesliga season (Hertha Berlin). ... Italian Serie A side AS Roma has "agreed a two-year partnership with ManpowerGroup." The firm, which specializes in workforce solutions including recruitment and training, "will handle human resources and security services at the Rome-based club’s Stadio Olimpico home ground." Financial terms "were not released." The contract "will run until the end" of the '15-16 season (SOCCEREX, 7/24). ... Serie B side AS Avellino renewed its partnership with energy and electricity company Metaedil Com. The company "will continue" as the club’s front-of-shirt sponsor for the '14-15 season (SOCCEREX, 7/24). ... Bundesliga side FC Schalke 04 and Condor extended their contract for a further year until June '15. Condor will remain the official airline of the Royal Blues (Schalke). ...Premiership Rugby on Thursday announced that Argentine wine brand Trivento signed an exclusive deal to be an official supporter. This collaboration will launch in September and run throughout the '14-15 season. Trivento, part of the Concha y Toro stable and one of the fastest-growing Argentine wine brands, will act as an official supporter throughout the year with the opportunity to extend the agreement for an additional two years (Premiership Rugby). ... League Championship side Derby County FC partnered with Professional Properties. The company "has become Derby's home team line-up sponsor at the iPro Stadium" for the '14-15 Championship season (DERBY TELEGRAPH, 7/24).