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Volume 7 No. 82

Marketing and Sponsorship

China’s oldest beer brand, Harbin, "has won over the elusive audience" of males aged 18-29 through a series of collaborations and sponsorships of China's esports leagues, according to Danielle Long of THE DRUM. The Anhueser-Busch InBev-owned brand "has targeted the rapidly emerging sport over the last few years." This year, Harbin sponsored five Chinese teams, creating the Harbin Beer eSports Legion. AB InBev APAC North Senior Marketing Dir of Mainstream Brands Joseph Lee said, "Back in 2015, we started a passion points study to understand 18-29 year old males and we learned that beside food, traditional sports and music, this group really likes esports. In fact, they had the highest affinity rate with esports, which was very surprising to me at the time." This year, Harbin sponsored the entire China Team for the TI7, which is the World Cup for esports. The activity "coincided with the brand's historic high in terms of brand metrics across 24 cities in China." Harbin has "the advantage of being one of the first brand movers" in China’s esports sector. While there are a few int'l brands involved, such as Red Bull, BMW and Sprite, "many are still yet to embrace the sport" (THE DRUM, 11/21).

Formula 1 reporter Christian Sylt claimed the next change by Liberty Media will be the "arrival" of former Fox Sports exec David Hill, according to GMM. Among his "touted changes are new television graphics and local virtual advertisements." F1 CEO Chase Carey said, "We do a professional job today but I think too much of what we do is probably not that different than it was 10 years ago, whether that's graphics, sound or camera angles." Another headline change that is in the cards is the "replacement of F1's current official logo," which features a black F and a 1 drawn out by a red flash. Russia's Sportbox reported Formula One Licensing registered three potential black logos to replace it (GMM, 11/21).

RETURN TO SENDER: REUTERS' Alan Baldwin reported FIA said that it returned the entry fee "paid a year ago by the now-defunct Manor team." FIA added that it decided to return the entry fee, less administrative costs, "to the entity within the Manor Group in administration as a gesture of goodwill to assist in payment of outstanding debts" (REUTERS, 11/20).

Gatorade "released a new Serena Williams ad that appears to show the tennis star cradling her nearly three-month-old baby," according to E.J. Schultz of AD AGE. It was created by TBWA\Chiat\Day, L.A. The brand used women's style and lifestyle site Refinery29 "for research." In the spot, Williams is "portrayed as addressing her newborn," but the brand "had to arrange for a baby body double at the last minute." Williams says, "I won't mind if you play tennis badly. I won't mind if you never choose to pick up a racquet. But I beg you in this game of life please keep playing." The ad is part of a new campaign called "Sisters in Sweat," which "encourages girls to keep playing sports," even if they do not have "professional ambitions" (AD AGE, 11/20).

French brands Accor Hotel Group, JCDecaux, Moët Hennessy, Mouton Cadet and Nestlé will provide a range of services to the 2018 Ryder Cup, which will take place at Le Golf National in Paris from Sept. 25-30. Accor Hotel Group will provide official hotel accommodations for the 250,000 fans attending the event. JCDecaux will provide a range of solutions to support the promotion of the event. Nestlé’s products will be served and sold during the 2018 Ryder Cup at public catering outlets and private hospitality. The partnership with Moët Hennessy will see its champagnes and spirits served and sold throughout all public and privately-catered facilities. Mouton Cadet will be the official wine of the 2018 Ryder Cup (Ryder Cup).

General Mills granola bar brand Nature Valley "staged a tennis match at Westfield London," pitting British No. 1 Johanna Konta against former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash. The activity, which took place on Friday, is part of Nature Valley's "The Court is Yours" campaign -- "aimed at getting more people back into playing tennis." The match also celebrated the brand's partnership with the movie "Battle of the Sexes" (CAMPAIGN LIVE, 11/20).

La Liga side Valencia extended its contract with Inspiresport for a further two seasons. The U.K.-based company offers training-based trips for schools and clubs around the world. In recent years, Valencia has become the most-requested Spanish destination by British schoolchildren (Valencia).