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Volume 6 No. 197

Marketing and Sponsorship

Tennis icon John McEnroe launched Eurosport's coverage of the US Open with two ads highlighting the broadcaster's all-screen approach to the tournament while also acknowledging the event's history. The seven-time Grand Slam winner, who won the US Open four times, will be a pundit for Eurosport at the final Grand Slam of the year, which starts next Monday. The first ad sees McEnroe sitting in JP's Barber Shop in Brooklyn, N.Y., in the hope of doing "something special" for the US Open. In the sketch, after trying out several "new" hair styles, he eventually settles on a look akin to the McEnroe bubble perm worn by the man himself in the late '70s. The sequel shows McEnroe in the waiting area of the same barber shop watching tennis on his mobile phone before a friend enquires what he is doing. McEnroe responds by explaining it is now possible to watch Eurosport's live tennis coverage on TV or online and via tablet and mobile devices on the Eurosport Player. Eurosport Marketing VP Antonio Ruiz said, "We wanted to create an advert that captured the fun, exuberant side of New York and there is no better man for the job than John McEnroe" (Eurosport). 

David Beckham signed up "to be exclusively featured in the new edition of Pro Evolution Soccer," according to Amitai Winehouse of the London DAILY MAIL. The former ManU and Real Madrid player will join Usain Bolt, who has also been announced for PES 2018, "in the latest edition of Konami's football video game." He will be featured as "a legendary player in the PES myClub mode on the game." A video released by Konami "shows Beckham's avatar replicating his famous goal against Greece." PES 2018 will be released in the U.K. on Sept. 14 (DAILY MAIL, 8/18). 

La Liga signed a three-year regional partnership with telecom Zain Sudan, according to Paul Nicholson of INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL. The deal will see the two partners "collaborate in marketing and promotion, as well as via social media, and on corporate social responsibility activities through the LaLiga Foundation." Zain Sudan has a commercial footprint in Middle Eastern and African countries (Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and South Sudan) providing mobile voice and data services to more than 45.2 million customers. La Liga highlights Africa as a "strategically important market for Spanish football." The league has offices in South Africa and Nigeria. No monetary value was given for the partnership (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 8/21).

Man City and pharmaceutical company Mundipharma agreed to a new global partnership. The Man City medical team's uniform and kit will feature antiseptic Betadine logos and the club will be equipped with Betadine treatments for players. The brand will also receive enhanced exposure on digital display formats at home games. Earlier this year, Mundipharma announced a partnership with J.League club Yokohama F. Marinos, which is also part of City Football Group (Man City).

La Liga side Sevilla agreed on a shirt sponsorship deal with social game company Playtika that will see the World Series of Poker's free-to-play poker room branded on the first team's shirts. The one-year rolling deal, said to be "worth multi-millions," sees Playtika become the club's official shirt sponsor as well as have the "opportunity to advertise around the stadium" and during video segments with the players (CALVIN AYRE, 8/21).

Bundesliga side Werder Bremen extended its partnership with poultry brand Wiesenhof until June '20. The extension makes the company Werder's longest-ever sponsor, having been displayed on the club's shirts since '12 (Werder Bremen).

Rugby Football League and gambling company Ladbrokes extended their sponsorship agreement for the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup for "at least one more season." Last year, a crowd of more than 76,000 people watched Hull FC "pick up the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup" (GAMBLING INSIDER, 8/21).

Cricket Australia confirmed insurance company Jardine Lloyd Thompson Australia will continue as its official risk partner for the next four years. The partnership provides JLT Australia with naming rights for the Sheffield Shield from the '17-18 season as well as brand exposure at men's domestic and int'l cricket matches. JLT will also assume naming rights sponsorship of the One-Day Cup for the upcoming season (CA).

Premier League side Southampton striker Nathan Redmond has become an ambassador for Right To Play, an int'l children's charity that "uses sport and play to improve the lives of vulnerable children in some of the world's poorest communities." Redmond, who made his senior England debut against Germany in March, is now "lending his voice to raise awareness for the movement" (SPORT INDUSTRY, 8/21).

Sportswear retailer The North Face announced a global brand campaign that asks people to rethink the way we look at walls. Walls are places where people in the climbing community come together to test themselves, build trust and strengthen communities. The North Face will be making a $1M donation to The Trust for Public Land to support public climbing walls in more communities (The North Face).

Bundesliga side VfL Wolfsburg extended its partnership with logistics company UPS for another year. UPS will remain as the club's logistics partner and will be Wolfsburg's first sleeve sponsor during the '17-18 season. The company will "continue to have a strong brand presence" at the Volkswagen Arena. Financial terms of the renewal were not released (SOCCEREX, 8/21).

Ligue 1 side Nantes announced U.S. fast-food restaurant KFC as an official partner. Nantes supporters will be able to purchase KFC food for a reduced price at three Nantes-area locations when they show a Nantes ticket, printed online ticket or a membership (Nantes).

ManBetX agreed to become an int'l presenting partner of the Serie A in Asia. Terms of the deal were undisclosed, but it was confirmed that ManBetX branding "will feature in match graphics, idents and virtual goal-mat advertising during all live Serie A games broadcast across Asia." The global gaming company will also have the use of on- and off-line assets with Serie A and activation programs across a number of Asian countries (IGAMING BUSINESS, 8/21).