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Volume 7 No. 109

Marketing and Sponsorship

Borussia Dortmund named Thailand-based Bangkok Airways a regional partner. The deal includes a variety of advertising and promotional components of the co-branding campaigns in Thailand, Southeast Asian countries, Mainland China, Hong Kong, India and Bangladesh (Borussia Dortmund). GOAL reported the deal with Bangkok Airways is for two years and includes the use of player images, social media communications, player appearances and marketing activation such as BVB branding at Bangkok Airways’ airports in Koh Samui, Trat and Sukhothai in Thailand (GOAL, 3/12).

Barcelona and Nike launched a new campaign titled "The Ball Makes Us More," which features players from the men’s and women’s teams and fans of the club. The idea is to present the club as the soul of the city and showcase how everyone is united by Barcelona's style of play. The campaign coincides with the 20th anniversary of the partnership between Nike and Barcelona. The accompanying film was directed by Wally Pfister, who won the 2010 Academy Award for Best Cinematography for "Inception." The original music for the campaign was composed and performed by Catalan percussion band Kaboom, featuring special guest Rosalía, the Barcelona-born Latin Grammy nominee. The voiceover is by actor Carles Francino, who is well-known for being a Barça supporter. The film also features 20 Barça supporters as extras (Barcelona).

The Indian Premier League named mobile wallet brand Paytm its official umpire partner, from '18-22, according to Urvi Malvania of the Indian BUSINESS STANDARD. Paytm is also the title sponsor of India Cricket. CEAT Tyres will continue its association with the IPL as the official timeout partner for the next five years. Star India, the media rights holder of the IPL from '18-22, also announced that 34 brands in total have signed on as commercial partners for coverage of the tournament. While Vivo, Coca-Cola and Jio signed on as co-presenting sponsors, Polycab, Parle Products, AMFI, Make Amy Trip, Vimal Pan Masala, Asian Paints and Dream 11 are associate sponsors. The co-presenting sponsors have forked out an estimated Rs 800M ($12.3M) each for the association while associate sponsors would have paid around Rs 400M ($6.2M). Sources said that Star India set itself a target of Rs 20B ($310M) for this year’s IPL. Star won the global media rights to the IPL for five years for a bid price of Rs 164.38B ($2.53B) (BUSINESS STANDARD, 3/12).

Cape Town sports associations are "opposing changes to the legislation that could see alcohol advertisements banned in sport," according to IOL. This follows a statement released by the Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance announcing its "support for the ban on alcohol sponsorship of sport." A Liquor Amendment Bill which seeks to ban alcohol advertisements in broadcasting and also raise the legal drinking age to 21 is currently "before cabinet." SAAPA said that it is "aware of many other industries that would love to fund sport." The organization said, "The return value on the investment has been demonstrated by Sunfoil’s sponsorship of cricket. The alcohol industry can support sport -- but, by paying their tax to government and letting government sponsor and invest in sport." Provincial sports associations have disagreed. South African FA Cape Town President Bennett Bailey said that sport "would suffer should this ban go through to legislation." He said, "If there is a ban on advertising, that means alcohol companies would withdraw from sport. Sport will suffer because it’s difficult to get funding, especially in amateur sports" (IOL, 3/12).

IMG announced an expanded roster for its 2018 AJ Bell London Triathlon and Bloodwise Blenheim Palace Triathlon events. Hoka One One signed a long-term deal to become the official footwear partner of both through '20.  Active Life and Protect signed on as Blenheim Palace event's official health and life insurance partner (IMG). 

Indian Premier League side Mumbai Indians announced online travel company Goibibo as its principal sponsor for one year. The partnership will see a "high-decibel 360-degree co-branded campaign." Goibibo's logo will be featured on the back of the team's jersey this season (INSIDE SPORT, 3/12).

Australian Football League side St. Kilda Saints signed a five-year sponsorship deal with Australian office paper brand Reflex. The company becomes a major sponsor of Victorian Football League Women's team Southern Saints in '18 and '19, before continuing its support as a major sponsor of St. Kilda's inaugural AFL Women's team for at least three years (St. Kilda). 

Former gymnast Beth Tweddle renewed her partnership with British Gymnastics. Her "Total Gymnastics" venture has been an official British Gymnastics delivery partner since May '17 (British Gymnastics). 

U.K.-based cricket simulator company Batfast appointed Promote PR to manage its U.K. consumer and trade public relations and social media with immediate effect. Batfast, which has clients including the England & Wales Cricket Board, designs, builds and manufacturers cricket simulators. Promote PR will increase awareness of the company as it looks to secure additional investment (Batfast).