Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 6 No. 212

Marketing and Sponsorship

Infront is evolving from a football-centric media rights agency into a full-service provider offering digital, marketing, media and production solutions to more than 170 rights holders across 25 sports. Over the past decade and as part of President & CEO Philippe Blatter's strategic plan, Infront has diversified its portfolio and broadened its expertise. While Infront will continue to innovate in its core markets of football, winter sports and summer sports, it is also placing a sharper focus on personal & corporate fitness, virtual sports and community sports. Infront has a strategic focus on enhancing its digital portfolio and entering emerging sports to exploit new opportunities. Following the acquisition in '15 of N.Y.-based digital agency Omnigon, Infront will invest heavily in an Infront Digital Competence Centre. Infront is introducing a new red logo. It is designed to embody momentum and forward movement. In addition to the logo, Infront added a new tagline, "All about sports" (Infront).

Shanghai-based digital marketing agency Mailman announced a strategic partnership with Weibo Sports to deliver the next generation of technology in China’s digital sports market. Mailman’s new sports marketing platform, Mailman Pro, will give global organizations, leagues, clubs, athletes and brands more insight and data about their fans in China and allow them to grow their fanbases. Mailman will have access to Weibo Sports' exclusive data and information to allow its clients and subscribers to obtain more in-depth data about their fans. Access to data on fans is becoming more important to understanding sports fans in China, in particular the millennials and generation-Z. The partnership consists of three main pillars: content promotion, commercial promotion and data insight. It will give Mailman an opportunity to leverage the resources provided by Weibo Sports. Mailman Pro will be available via subscription on a monthly or yearly basis (Mailman).

India’s leading ATP event will be called the Tata Open Maharashtra 2018, following conglomerate Tata Sons "deciding to associate with the competition via a five-year sponsorship," according to Nandakumar Marar of THE HINDU. Adar Poonawalla "has come in as presenting sponsor," using the Jan. 1-6 tournament at the Balewadi sports complex to showcase the Clean City Initiative. The sponsorships enabled the Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association to upgrade the tennis facility at the Balewadi stadium and launch five tennis academies across the state (Pune, Mumbai, Aurangabad, Solapur, Nagpur). The '18 competition has attracted four top-50 players in Croatia’s Marin Čilić, South Africa’s Kevin Anderson, Spain’s Roberto Agut and Robin Haase from The Netherlands. The event is being hosted in Maharashtra for the first time after it was moved from Chennai (THE HINDU, 12/6).

French cycling team FDJ will be called Groupama-FDJ next season after signing a sponsorship agreement with the insurance company, according to Gilles Simon of L’ÉQUIPE. The deal is for three years and “sees the team’s budget increase by 30%” to between €16M ($19M) and €20M ($22.4M). Team Sporting Dir Marc Madiot said, “The team will now have the means to be stronger and more competitive.” The increased budget will “allow for the creation of a reserve team as well,” which will compete in the third-tier professional cycling tour (L’ÉQUIPE, 12/6).

Adidas is "increasingly confident" of sealing a multi-million pound boot deal with Romelu Lukaku. The ManU striker signed with Nike while at Everton and is in a matching rights period, "allowing him to sample other brands." Lukaku, who can expect to command around £1M ($1.3M) a year from any new contract, has been "switching between" Nike and adidas boots for matches over the last three months (London DAILY MAIL, 12/5).

The Rugby Football League partnered with Catapult Sports. The analytics company will supply the RFL with 390 S5 tracking units and embed its systems within Super League clubs and the England national team. The devices will be used across training and matches in '18 (Catapult Sports). 

Lagardère Sports signed a management and commercial representation agreement with Italian golfer Edoardo Molinari. Molinari's victories include three European Tour wins, five Challenge Tour wins and one win on the Japan Golf Tour (Lagardère Sports). 

Global Champions Tour and Longines announced a long-term partnership. Longines will renew and extend its status as title partner and official timekeeper of the Longines Global Champions Tour circuit (Global Champions Tour). 

Cisco Systems entered into an athlete ambassador agreement with Japanese table tennis players Kasumi Ishikawa and Tomokazu Harimoto. Cisco will provide its latest technology to support the two players (Cisco Systems). 

Grassroots sports search and booking portal MyLocalPitch signed an agreement with the London FA to become its official bookings partner. The partnership will provide a simple means for London FA's members to search and book football facilities in London either online or through the app (London FA).