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Volume 6 No. 192

Marketing and Sponsorship

The Wales national rugby team named Subaru its away shirt sponsor. The Welsh Rugby Union announced a four-year partnership that will see Isuzu featured on the red home jersey until '21, but will switch branding for the away kit. The switch to Subaru is possible because the WRU's partnership is with automotive importer IM Group, which incorporates the Isuzu and Subaru brands. The away strip will be worn for the next two seasons by Wales senior men's and women's teams as part of the biggest shirt sponsorship deal in the WRU's history. The team will wear its new away shirt for the first time against Georgia at Principality Stadium on Saturday (WRU).

The NFL Jacksonville Jaguars named Ocean Holidays its official travel supplier in the U.K. The two-year partnership means customers of Ocean Florida -- Ocean Holidays' Florida specialist -- will be able to buy Jacksonville Jaguars travel packages, which include tickets and transfers to see the Jaguars at their home stadium, EverBank Field, during the '18 and '19 NFL seasons. This is the first time such a package will be offered by a U.K. travel agency. The team and travel agency will run a range of marketing activities giving U.K. holidaymakers the chance to win exclusive Jaguars prizes and experiences in both the U.K. and U.S. Ocean Holidays will also become the new corporate travel partner of the Jaguars through its luxury travel management company, Winged Boots (Jacksonville Jaguars).

Chris Satterthwaite will step down as CEO of Chime after 15 years in charge, according to Gideon Spanier of CAMPAIGN LIVE. Creative agency VCCP's Adrian Coleman and Matthew Vandrau of Chime Sports Marketing will take over his duties as co-CEOs in January. Satterthwaite has "more than quadrupled operating income and headcount" since he became CEO in '03 and turned Chime from a public relations business into an int'l sport, entertainment and communications group. He oversaw the sale of a majority stake to Providence Equity Partners in '15 in a £374M deal that has "helped to fund further expansion." Satterthwaite said, "This is the right time for the next generation to take control. It is two years since the buy-out and I get a real sense that the group is working closer together and I want to go off and do new things." Coleman will retain his role as CEO of VCCP and Vandrau will remain CEO of Chime Sports Marketing in addition to their co-CEO group roles. Chime "has made a string of other appointments to its management team." Chime Specialist Group CEO Joanne Parker was named COO of Chime. VCCP CMO Stephanie Brimmacombe was appointed group managing director of Chime. VCCP Chair Charles Vallance was named Chime's head of strategy (CAMPAIGN LIVE, 11/12).

Tourism Malaysia announced it signed a one-year partnership deal with Barcelona striker Luis Suárez, according to THE STAR. The contract "was inked between Tourism Malaysia and Mediapro," the Asian representative for the Uruguayan footballer (THE STAR, 11/10). ASIA SPONSORSHIP NEWS reported Tourism Malaysia "hopes to hedge on the global popularity" of Suárez to "drum up interest in Malaysia as a tropical holiday destination of choice, particularly for millennials." Suárez "is an interesting choice: his footballing skills are inspiring but the Uruguayan does not come without any baggage." The controversy of biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini in the 2014 World Cup has "dogged the 30-year-old’s image despite a relatively incident-free three years at Barcelona." Tourism Malaysia is "clearly pushing hard into Spain." As of Oct. '15, the European country ranked 28th for inbound tourists into Malaysia. Its deals with with La Liga, Sevilla and now Suárez "are clearly trying to move the needle with what is arguably seen as a cool youth-culture platform" (ASN, 11/10).

The French Basketball Federation (FFBB) partnered with Jordan Brand. The partnership starts with the '17-18 season and will see the Jumpman logo featured on all FFBB equipment (FFBB).

Serie A side AC Milan announced an extension to its partnership with Giorgio Tesi Group. The gardening company will be the club's technical supplier for the '17-18 season, and "will maintain the pitch for AC Milan's training facility," the Milanello Sports Center. Giorgio Tesi will also "provide the greenhouse and plants for the ground" (SOCCEREX, 11/13).

Rugby Canada announced a partnership renewal with global equity dealer Velocity Trade, which will remain a signature partner and official partner of Rugby Canada's men's sevens team in the World Rugby Sevens Series for the next two years. The company will be the front-of-jersey sponsor for the sevens team during nine of the 10 stops on the series, while also being featured on the back of the team's shorts for the remaining stop, in Vancouver (Rugby Canada).

World Sailing and gas company Gazprom EP Int'l mutually agreed to the early termination of their sponsorship arrangements, which were due to expire in Dec. '19. Gazprom elected to exercise its right to terminate the agreement in December. The organizations are currently finalizing the financial arrangements (World Sailing).

Rugby Africa appointed media relations consultancy APO Group as its official partner in a multi-year agreement. The company will be associated with the 10 major int'l competitions throughout the continent, including the Africa Gold Cup -- which in '18 doubles as a qualifier for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan -- and the Africa Rugby 7s tournament, which is a qualifier for the 2020 Olympics (APO Group).