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Volume 10 No. 25

Marketing and Sponsorship

ManU signed a deal with Lancashire-based sports nutrition company Science in Sport, according to Richard Bell of BDAILY. The agreement, which runs through May '21, will make Nelson-headquartered SiS the club’s official sports nutrition partner in Europe. ManU "will be provided with a dedicated performance nutritionist, who will advise on nutritional strategies." SiS will "also install a Fuel Station" within the club’s AON Training Complex, giving players and staff "direct access to SiS products every day." SiS currently has relationships with more than 40 English and Scottish clubs, including nine in the Premier League (BDAILY, 1/18). ManU and Yanmar unveiled a new co-branded tractor. Yanmar, one of the club's global partners since '12, installed its new YT359 tractor at the beginning of the '17-18 season to help the club’s grounds team keep the pitches at Aon Training Complex and Old Trafford in perfect playing condition. To further promote the partnership, Yanmar launched a promotional video of the tractor on its global website (ManU).

Football shirt advertising by betting companies has risen "dramatically" since legislation was relaxed, "new research has found," according to the PA. Researchers found that 95% (75/79) of football shirt sponsorship deals with English clubs included in the study were struck since legislation was passed in '05. Before '05, "they could only find four shirt sponsorship deals between English clubs and gambling companies in their dataset." The researchers, from the University of Glasgow and Healthy Stadia, "warned that gambling is a public health issue with potential for harm" and called on U.K. legislators and governing bodies of sport to "urgently revisit the relationship between football and gambling industry sponsorship." The University of Glasgow's Chris Bunn said, "The number of gambling firms sponsoring the shirts of major football clubs has increased dramatically since legislation was relaxed in 2005. The intensification of the relationship between football and gambling advertising is highly likely to contribute to the normalization of gambling, or what some have called the 'gamblification' of sports" (PA, 1/18). In Edinburgh, Kevan Christie reported the findings are published in journal "Soccer & Society" in a report titled "Shirt Sponsorship by Gambling Companies in the English and Scottish Premier Leagues: global reach and public health concerns." Healthy Stadia Dir of Research Robin Ireland said, "We need to be clear that gambling is a public health issue with a significant burden of harm associated with it. The Gambling Commission estimate that the number of British adults with gambling problems is in excess of 400,000, with a further 2 million at risk of gambling-related harm" (SCOTSMAN, 1/18).

Toyota Motor North America signed on as the newest sponsor of Activision Blizzard's Overwatch League, agreeing to become a "North American launch partner" for the first season. It is the carmaker’s first foray into esports, and the league’s first non-endemic sponsor. Terms are not known. Toyota plans sponsored content, streaming integrations and a vehicle presence at Blizzard Arena. The automaker was already mentioned on last Saturday's opening week OWL stream, but league officials would not confirm the precise nature of the arrangement until Wednesday. Toyota joins HP and Intel in the Overwatch League sponsor portfolio. UEG advised Toyota on the deal.

For more coverage of the business of esports, visit our partners, esportsobserver.com.

WWE’s global sponsorship revenue has "quadrupled" since '10, and last year increased 29% over '16, according to A.J. Katz of ADWEEK. WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon said, "We wanted to attract blue-chip advertisers, and we have accomplished that feat by adding 70 new advertisers over the past three years alone." Mattel recently "created a fashion doll line" of female WWE athletes in response to the growing female audience, which represents 40% of its viewers. WWE athletes also have "appeared in Snickers’ popular 'You’re Not You When You’re Hungry' campaign," and KFC has used WWE talent to "play Colonel Sanders, which was part of a larger campaign that included celebrities taking turns as the colonel." Dolph Ziggler and John Cena also have "starred in Cricket Wireless commercials" (ADWEEK, 1/16).

The Nigeria Football Federation and Coca-Cola Nigeria Ltd. agreed to a five-year, $4M partnership making the beverage company the "Official Soft Drink and Co-Sponsor of Nigeria National Teams." Coca-Cola's West Africa Business Unit comprises 33 countries with 45% of Africa's population (BUSINESS DAY, 1/18).

The Asian Football Confederation partnered with United Way Worldwide to further the education and health of children and young people in Asia. Cooperation between the organizations will take place under the auspices of the AFC Dream Asia Foundation (AFC).

League of Legends team Unicorn of Love extended its collaboration with gaming accessories manufacturer Trust Gaming for one year, with an option for '19. The company will equip the team with custom mice, keyboards and mouse pads and will appear on the players' jerseys. The deal was brokered by Lagardère Sports (Lagardère Sports).

StubHub teamed up with Eurosport to become its online ticketing partner. The partnership means fans visiting eurosport.com will be able to directly purchase tickets via StubHub for events including int'l football matches, tennis tournaments and rugby matches (Eurosport).

Netball Superleague side Manchester Thunder partnered with Stockport-based firm C&C Insurance for the '18 season. C&C will provide the club with "financial support and other services," and have its logo featured on the team's kit (BDAILY, 1/18).