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Volume 7 No. 80

Marketing and Sponsorship

Hong Kong Telecommunications confirmed on Tuesday it would return as title sponsor of the Formula E Hong Kong ePrix in December, "despite the inaugural event losing tens of millions of dollars and being beset by teething problems," according to Noel Prentice of the SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST. That cost was "brushed aside" as "irrelevant" by Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag last year and HKT "is more than happy to keep investing in the future -- and electric cars in Hong Kong." HKT Group Managing Dir Alex Arena said that it was always the organization's "intention" to continue as title sponsor but it wanted to see what "lessons had been absorbed" and what improvements had been made. Arena: "Last year was a bold experiment and everyone was feeling their way. We weren't sure about the timing. It was early October and to be frank it was a bit hot. We wanted to see what the new lineup would be." The introduction of the doubleheader -- racing on Saturday and Sunday -- along with the positioning of the event between the Hong Kong Golf Open (Nov. 23-26) and the Hong Kong Int'l Races (Dec. 6 and Dec. 10) made the event "even more appealing." Arena added, "I don't think anyone really knows how to track the cost benefit of this sort of sponsorship." Arena called electric cars "a smartphone on four wheels" because of the "clever innovation, technology and networking." He said, "I think a city like Hong Kong is going to be one of the first in the adoption of electric cars" (SCMP, 10/17).

World Rugby named security firm SECOM an official sponsor of Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan. SECOM is partnering with the event for the first time, but is a long-standing partner of rugby in the host nation through the Japan Rugby Football Union, Super Rugby team Sunwolves and the Top League. SECOM will provide security expertise to World Rugby to support operational delivery for the tournament that will be played across 12 host cities from Sept. 20-Nov. 2. The Rugby World Cup 2019 commercial program now features a full inventory of six worldwide partners: Emirates, Heineken, Land Rover, Mastercard, Société Générale and DHL (World Rugby).

Infront Sports & Media extended its partnership with BMW Germany for a number of biathlon, bobsleigh, skeleton and luge events through the '21-22 season. BMW will remain the title sponsor of the Int'l Biathlon Union World Cup Biathlon, presenting sponsor of the IBU World Championships Biathlon and the IBU's car partner. BMW also renewed its deal as the Int'l Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation's technology partner and will remain the title sponsor of the IBSF World Cup and the IBSF World Championships. BMW will serve as a partner of the Int'l Luge Federation (FIL) through a number of roles including main sponsor of the FIL World Cup, main sponsor of the FIL World Championships and European Championships and automotive partner of the FIL. A comprehensive hospitality offering and further advertising and promotional rights will supplement these agreements (Infront).

The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, which each January launches the Desert Swing as part of the European Tour, was renamed as part of a deal with Emirates Global Aluminium. EGA is the largest industrial company in the UAE outside oil and gas and one of the world’s biggest "premium aluminium" producers. The tournament, held at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club, will be known as the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA. The deal means that EGA is now backing both UAE championships on the Desert Swing -- the other being the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. EGA is the only company to sponsor both events. The '18 championship will run from Jan. 18-21 with Abu Dhabi Sports Council looking to top this year's turnout of more than 69,000 spectators. The '17 tournament increased the championship's social media following by over 65% and the HD TV coverage attracted almost half a billion viewers (IMG).

Football Federation Australia announced Australian sporting and leisure equipment retailer rebel as a supporting partner of the W-League. Rebel will also be the naming rights partner for the Play Football campaign and Female Football week for the next three years (W-League). 

League Championship side Brentford renewed its partnership with telecom Boosh 365. The two parties have worked together for five years (Brentford). 

McLaren Formula 1 announced a four-year partnership with luggage company LAT_56. The Scottish brand joins McLaren in a multi-faceted agreement that will see the team carry LAT_56 luggage items during the '18 season (McLaren). 

Serie A side Juventus signed a regional partnership with including the use of the brand and image of the team for promotion of its services in Asia (excluding China, Vietnam and Thailand). The deal will last through '20. The partnership will involve competitions such as "Fly with the Team," which will allow some fans to travel with Juventus for a European match (Juventus). 

World heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua signed with Unilever-owned deodorant brand Lynx to "launch a new limited-edition range." Dovetailing with a fan participation campaign led by TMW Unlimited, the fortnight-long campaign "will encourage people to track down cans of the limited-edition deodorant which have been secreted around the country to win tickets for Joshua’s next fight" (THE DRUM, 10/17).

Australian Football League side Richmond announced a partnership with VicHealth. One of 13 sporting organization selected, Richmond will support VicHealth's This Girl Can-Victoria campaign by working with the health promotion foundation to raise the profile of women's sport (Richmond). 

The Pro League Committee, the organizer of the Arabian Gulf League, announced a partnership with sports data and technology firm Sportradar. The deal sees the PLC house Sportradar’s regional office and become the company’s regional partner, while Sportradar "will provide statistics for all PLC competitions and provide content for PLC’s social media channels" (GULF NEWS, 10/17).

South African Premier Soccer League side Mamelodi Sundowns entered a three-year partnership with Hyundai. The deal will see Hyundai's logo featured on the club's sleeve. The company will also sponsor the club's dugout, while the ball boys and girls at home matches will wear shirts with Hyundai's logo (Sundowns).