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Volume 6 No. 264

Marketing and Sponsorship

Italian America's Cup challenger Luna Rossa confirmed a "massive" NZ$109M ($80M) sponsorship for the next event, according to Duncan Johnstone of STUFF. The €65M ($80M) sponsorship comes from fashion house Prada, the team's long-term supporter, and will be paid over four installments through '21, when the event is scheduled to be raced in Auckland. The sponsorship confirms the "level of intent from the Italians who are the challenger of record, working alongside America's Cup holders Emirates Team New Zealand to shape the 36th edition of the regatta." In a statement, Prada said, "The sponsorship of Luna Rossa's participation in the America's Cup is in line with the company's communication strategy to promote the Prada name and brand. The company has taken into account many factors, including the size of the competition and the expected amount of press coverage of the competition, which will attract massive attention all around the world and tremendous press coverage from both the traditional ones and the new technologies media" (STUFF, 1/23). The NEW ZEALAND HERALD reported the sponsorship is "likely to be one of the biggest" for the Auckland event which will be decided in the waters of the Hauraki Gulf in '21. The figure does not include Prada's sponsorship of the Cup proper or the Prada Challenger Series, which will bring the total to "well over" NZ$150M ($110.3M) (NZ HERALD, 1/23).

Horse racing operator The Jockey Club signed coach operator National Express as a sponsor, according to the BBC. As well as running 15 racecourses, The Jockey Club "stages the high-profile Cheltenham Festival and Grand National meetings each year." National Express will provide coach services "direct to all major events" in The Jockey Club's race calendar. The size of the deal has not been revealed "but it is understood to be" a six-figure sum. National Express and The Jockey Club will also offer travel tickets and combined travel and racing packages to major events (BBC, 1/23).

McLaren Formula 1 announced a new sponsor in global news network CNBC, "which has switched from the Sauber team after three seasons together," according to Ryan Wood of MOTORSPORT WEEK. McLaren said that the new multi-year deal will be used to "unlock the potential of the network’s powerful audience of business leaders and investors," as it seeks to boost its fortunes "following a dismal few seasons" (MOTORSPORT WEEK, 1/23). THE DRUM's John McCarthy reported CNBC "will look to highlight the innovation underway at both brands." With "bespoke content and commercial activity lined up" to publicize the multi-year deal, McLaren "will tout the veracity of CNBC’s business and financial networks." In return, "the auto brand benefits from" the news brand's global audience of some 301 million people per month (THE DRUM, 1/23).

Mastercard "is not averse to the idea of evaluating tennis sponsorships in India," where the tournaments "have vanished off the calendar due to lack of corporate and government support," according to the PTI. Mastercard Senior VP, Global Sponsorships Michael Robichaud was "categorical in stating that someone has to approach them with an idea or project, which would also be relevant to them." He said, "We are open to evaluate it. India is a very important market to us and the community is extremely passionate about sports, entertainment and in particular movies. ... We are definitely open to evaluate sports sponsorship in India and it has to be relevant to our target audience." He added, "We had worked on it a couple of years ago but maybe it did not work out. Someone has to approach us, whether it is individual or tournament" (PTI, 1/23).

Brasileiro side Recife partnered with Under Armour. The U.S. brand will supply kits to the club through '23. Under Armour will provide training and travel wear for players, as well as for the club's grassroots teams. Brazilian news outlet Globoesporte.com reported the manufacturer will pay R$12M ($3.7M) per year (SOCCEREX, 1/23).

EPL side Newcastle United removed online betting firm FUN88 from the club's youth team shirt. The sponsor's logo was "deemed by the club as a potential breach of FA regulations" and comes after "growing pressure" on the U.K. government to "look harder at the gambling advertising from betting companies in broadcast media and club sponsorships" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 1/22).

Süper Lig side Fenerbahçe partnered with Acibadem Healthcare Group. The company's logo will be featured on the front of the team's playing shirts. The deal will run through the end of the '17-18 season, and financial terms were not made public (SOCCEREX, 1/23).

Vita Coco Coconut Water announced a long-term ambassador partnership with rugby player Maro Itoje. As its ambassador, Maro will be featured in a "wide range of media elements to create a disruptive consumer engagement campaign" (SPORT INDUSTRY, 1/23).

The Sunday Times and The Times, Ireland Edition partnered ahead of the first Pro14 Final at Dublin's Aviva Stadium on May 26. The Sunday Times and The Times, Ireland Edition will act as the official media partners for all six games in the Pro14 Final Series in '18 (Pro14). 

The Int'l Triathlon Union named insurance company BF&M as a main sponsor for the ITU World Triathlon Bermuda. The island is one of eight countries on the global circuit of the ITU World Triathlon Series and the local event will be hosted in Hamilton in April (ROYAL GAZETTE, 1/23).