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Volume 6 No. 248

Marketing and Sponsorship

Brasileiro side Corinthians announced a new partnership with Valle Express for the '18 season, according to SOCCEREX. The financial services firm’s logo "will appear on the left sleeve" of the São Paulo-based team’s shirts, and the company "will also benefit from promotion across the club’s social media channels." The news follows Valle Express' two-year, front-of-shirt sponsorship with Brasileiro side Fluminense (SOCCEREX, 1/22). SOCCEREX also reported Brazilian orthodontic firm Orthopride partnered with Brasileiro clubs Cruzeiro and Atlético Mineiro. Orthopride's branding will be featured on both teams' shirts during the '18 season. The "length and financial details of the agreements have not been disclosed." Atlético Mineiro also signed a three-year deal with Universidade Brasil, whose logo will be displayed on the shoulder of the club’s shirts (SOCCEREX, 1/22).

MASTER SPONSOR: Online gaming brand Bodog announced it will be an official sponsor of Brazil's domestic football tournament, the Copa do Brasil, in a seven-figure deal (Bodog).

A FIFA exec said that video replays will be used at the World Cup for the first time "and talks are underway with potential sponsor branding to appear when the technology is used," according to Rob Harris of the AP. Football's rule-making panel met Monday to "assess recent trials" ahead of video assistant referees being officially approved by FIFA later this season for use in Russia in June and July. FIFA CCO Philippe Le Floc’h said, "Definitely VAR will happen. It’s great to have technology in football because this is also a fair(ness) thing." Video replays "could lead to delays in games in Russia as different angles are reviewed," presenting an opportunity for FIFA to "brand up the segment on the global broadcast feed." Floc'h: "We are talking to various technological companies who are very interested with what we are doing on the technology side of things" (AP, 1/22).

Qatar Airways announced it enhanced its sponsorship of Formula E. The new three-season deal will see Qatar Airways continue its title sponsorship of the Paris ePrix and also become the title sponsor of the New York City ePrix, which will take place from July 14-15. Qatar Airways will also be the official airline partner for the Rome ePrix on April 14 and the Berlin ePrix on May 19 (Qatar Airways). Formula E’s expanded deal with Qatar Airways is worth around $5M annually, according to a source (Adam Stern, SportsBusiness Journal).

India has "become a hotspot for football with major football clubs targeting its marketing potential," according to Taruka Srivastav of THE DRUM. Leading "the count of the most number of fans in India" is ManU, with a fan base of 35 million. The club's #ILOVEUNITED event in India "has gained quite prominence among fans as well." ManU Dir of Partnerships Sean Jefferson said of the marketing strategy behind the event, "We are proud to have a global following of 659 million fans and we feel it is important to take the club to the fans as often as we can. ... Our partners are fully integrated into the international strategy and we work closely with them to select cities, venues, and activations which work for them and our fans." He added, "The last fan party we hosted in Mumbai during the '16-17 season saw over 4,000 fans attend the event." ManU's Indian partners include Apollo Tyres and HCL. Previously, Chevrolet "did a lot of sponsorship activation too," but General Motors' departure from India last year has "limited" its engagement in the country. Meanwhile, Gulf, adidas and Apollo have intensified ManU's promotion in India (THE DRUM, 1/19).

Volvo Ocean Race named Stena Recycling its official sustainability program partner. Stena Recycling will provide an expert speaker on sustainability at Volvo Ocean Race Ocean Summits (Volvo Ocean Race). 

Serie A side Udinese expanded its partnership with Bluenergy Group. The gas and electricity supplier, which signed a two-year deal with the club in '17, will "now serve as a premium partner of Udinese." The new agreement sees Bluenergy become the back-of-shirt sponsor of the team for two seasons (SOCCEREX, 1/22).

The Nigerian Football Federation announced Wapic Insurance as the co-sponsor and official insurance service provider of the country's national football team for five years (COMPLETE SPORTS NIGERIA, 1/19).

Tour operator Sports Tours Int'l secured a £60M ($83.7M) contract with Club La Santa, a sports and active holiday resort in Lanzarote, Spain. The deal will see the Manchester-based company "remain the Danish-owned resort’s sales agent" in the U.K. and Ireland for a further eight years (BDAILY, 1/22).

The European Tour and eGull partnered to develop short golf formats in order to grow participation. The eGull "Play and Pay by the Hole" Application aims to resolve the "time pressure" issue by enabling golfers to fit in as many holes as their schedule will permit. This will also help golf clubs to generate revenue from tee times which are frequently vacant such as midweek periods and late evening (European Tour).