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Volume 6 No. 197

Marketing and Sponsorship

Germany's armed forces, called Bundeswehr, "are fighting for recruits and increasingly advertise at professional sports clubs," according to the AFP. The defense ministry said that the Bundeswehr spent about €453,000 for recruitment advertising in sports in '13. That was 80% more than in '12, when the army spent about €253,000 on such efforts. The advertising measures "included signage inside stadiums, ads in club magazines and video clips that air during halftime." The "majority of the money went to football clubs." The club that "made the most money was Bundesliga side Hannover 96," which received €65,000 from the Bundeswehr. Left party member Ulla Jelpke "criticized the measures." She said, "The Bundeswehr is massively pushing into the sports world to attract recruits within fans. Every club should closely examine if it really wants to ask its fans to endure Bundeswehr advertisements" (AFP, 8/20).

ManU is leading the way in capitalizing on new localized sponsorship deals, generating more than 350% more income via this new strategy than the next biggest earner, Barcelona, according to Repucom’s latest European Football Club Income Stream Report. The report examines a selection of 20 of the biggest revenue-generating clubs in Europe, whose combined cumulated income totals approximately €5B ($6.6B). Alongside the traditional match day, broadcasting, licensing and retail revenues these clubs continue to produce, there is a growing trend toward capitalizing on localized sponsorship strategies. The jump in income generated through this approach, where a club sells its commercial rights locally within a specific market instead of globally and exclusively, is now producing significant returns. During the '13-14 season, 84 localized sponsorship deals accounted for more than €54M ($72M) in income for European clubs. More than 59% of that revenue was generated by ManU alone, totaling approximately €32M ($43M) through 38 deals. Other clubs in Europe to take advantage of this approach last season were Chelsea (13 deals), Barcelona (11 deals), Arsenal (eight deals), and Man City (six deals). The strategy is growing in popularity. Repucom’s football expert Andrew Walsh said, “Whilst broadcast rights remain the biggest income stream for clubs in Europe, commercial activities are the second largest contributor" (Repucom).

Source: Repucom

The FA is in the process of "renewing a contract with bookmakers William Hill despite the considerable conflict of interest because of the blanket ban on gambling for anyone working in English football," according to Charles Sale of the London DAILY MAIL. William Hill was a "controversial" £2.5M-a-year sponsor of England and the FA Cup "when the deal was first signed" in '12 because of the regulations against footballers betting. Yet the FA, which rules on "gambling breaches, still intend to keep an official betting partner, with William Hill close to agreeing a new four-year deal for the next World Cup cycle." However, the deal will be "considerably less" -- around £1.5M ($2.5M) annually -- because the FA is in a "weak negotiating position after such a woeful World Cup performance and players' appearances being taken out of the rights because of the gambling implications." William Hill is also having to save "significant amounts because of a new law" which obliges it to pay U.K. tax on its "off-shore earnings" which will cost around £70M ($116M) a year. The new agreement "has still to be rubber-stamped by the FA and William Hill boards" (DAILY MAIL, 8/20).

Michelin extended its official tire supplier agreement with the FIA World Rally Championship to the end of '16. The French firm has been a partner of the WRC since it took over from Pirelli in '11 and supplies tires to most of the rally teams. The new deal will bring more Michelin branding to WRC stages, to TV coverage and the WRC’s digital services. Michelin will also continue to use WRC content in its own promotions. Michelin Motorsport Dir Pascal Couasnon said, "This cooperation also facilitates a significant global media visibility throughout almost the entire year. In 2013, more than 600 million fans worldwide followed the WRC on TV and more than three million visited the rallies on site. These numbers speak for themselves" (WRC).

With "just two weeks to go before the start of the Central American Cup," telecom Tigo has "stepped up as title sponsors" for the championship which is being played in the U.S. for the first time, according to Paul Nicholson of INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL. Tigo is a Latin American mobile phone brand that operates in the U.S. via distributors. The brand joins Avianca, Forward and Curacao as "official sponsors of the tournament, with more expected to be announced in the coming days." No figure "has been announced for the sponsorship." The seven-team tournament kicks off Sept. 3 in Washington, D.C. before moving on to Dallas and Houston. The final, "as well as third- and fifth place matches," will be played on Sept. 13 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 8/20).

Barcelona and Indonesian mobile phone and tablet manufacturer Advan announced a two-year regional sponsorship deal. The presentation of the agreement took place at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta. The partnership follows Barcelona's recent opening of a new office in Hong Kong. Indonesia's 7.7 million Facebook followers of Barcelona give it more than any other community. Four Indonesian cities -- including Jakarta at No. 2 -- are among the top 45 cities in the world in terms of fans of Barcelona on Facebook (Barcelona).

A new advertising campaign for Nike’s Hypervenom football cleats that features Barcelona's Neymar "has become a viral phenomenon" on social media. Nike released its "Mirrors" spot on Tuesday, with the commercial featuring Neymar "leading a team consisting only of himself and a maze of mirrors," leaving the opposition "disoriented when trying to take the ball from the Brazilian" (SPORT, 8/19). ... EPL side Aston Villa announced William Hill as its official U.K. & Ireland online betting partner. William Hill sports betting and igaming services "will be promoted throughout Aston Villa’s Villa Park stadium." The operator "will also receive extra coverage on the football club website and social media channels" (SBC NEWS, 8/20). ... Gym and fitness provider Anytime Fitness has been named A-League club Central Coast Mariners' gym and warm-up partner for the '14-15 season (Central Coast Mariners). ... Handball Bundesliga (HBL) club SC Magdeburg extended its main sponsorship deal with energy service provider GETEC until '17 (SC Magdeburg). ... German Hockey League (DEL) club Hamburg Freezers has extended its partnership with public transportation service S-Bahn Hamburg for another year (Hamburg Freezers).