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Volume 7 No. 108

Marketing and Sponsorship

Barcelona and Estrella Damm have been partners for more than 25 years.
Photo: Barcelona

Barcelona renewed its sponsorship with beer brand Estrella Damm for the next four seasons. The club's relationship with Estrella Damm dates back more than 25 years. Under the new agreement, effective from July 1, the brand will become one of Barcelona's global partners, while remaining the official beer of the club (Barcelona).

BAD LOOK: ESPN.com's Gabriele Marcotti wrote Barcelona is "dealing with a PR disaster after the dramatic 5-4 defeat away to Levante" on Sunday and, above all, the decision to "rest" Lionel Messi ahead of a friendly match in South Africa on Wednesday. This is "a situation where optics matter" and from Barcelona's perspective, "they are frankly atrocious." To the world, it looks as if the club "threw away the chance to make history by agreeing to play a friendly match before the end of the season" so that it could "rake in some extra millions" (ESPN.com, 5/14).

CRACKING DOWN: In Madrid, Xavi Hernández reported after a large-scale operation involving 120 club staffers, almost 3,000 Barcelona members "have been suspended" for "falsifying season tickets" for El Clásico. The fraud is "said to have cost the club somewhere in the region" of €1.5M ($1.8M). Barcelona spokesperson Josep Vives said, "It is the largest and most forceful action against fraud and resale that has been carried out" (MARCA, 5/14).

Pictures of Egyptian footballer Mohammed Salah's bearded face are "boosting sales" for retailers ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, according to Mohamed Zaki of REUTERS. Manufacturers "have plastered his image on traditional Ramadan products" ranging from pillows to lanterns "famous" and paper cutouts as they try to "cash in on his success to offset economic hardships caused by the government's financial reforms." Essam, a shopkeeper who did not give his last name, said, "The Mohamed Salah lantern is the highest selling lantern this year." Other shopkeepers at a market in Cairo's Sayeda Zainab neighborhood said that "Salah mania" was also helping them sell. A shopper named Omnia said, "Mohamed Salah is a role model for all Egyptians at the moment" (REUTERS, 5/15).

Tottenham extended its partnership with bookmaker William Hill, which became the club's official betting partner for Europe at the start of the '16-17 season. William Hill will continue to have a presence across the club's digital channels and LED perimeter advertising boards. Fans will be able to place bets on the William Hill app and mobile betting site via the stadium's Wi-Fi. Over the last two years, the company has provided a six-figure grant to fund the Tottenham Hotspur Elevator Programme, which has since helped young people in Haringey find employment (Tottenham).

The European Tour named consulting firm RSM an official supporter for the next year. RSM first partnered with the European Tour in '16. As part of the new deal, the consulting firm will sponsor this year's BMW PGA Championship. The partnership between RSM and the European Tour will focus on a series of behind-the-scenes stories of key personalities and roles on the European Tour. Launching in June, "Inside the Tour" will run as a six-part series concluding in November. Additionally, RSM will partner with the European Tour on the Winning Formula content strand. Each Monday throughout the season, Winning Formula will help portray the key performance metrics of the previous week’s winner (European Tour).

Chinese automaker Wey announced Cristiano Ronaldo as a brand ambassador. Both parties "will conduct deep cooperation to integrate sports and Chinese-styled luxury" (GASGOO, 5/14).

Although Hamburg was relegated to the 2nd Bundesliga for the '18-19 season, Emirates Airline "will fulfill its sponsorship contract" with the club. The deal is set to expire in June '19 (XINHUA, 5/15).

Eurosport launched its first e-commerce platform -- Eurosport Shop -- giving fans direct access to clothing, footwear, equipment and accessories. The platform, which is powered by online sports retailer SportPursuit, is now live in France, Germany and the U.K. (Eurosport).

Bundesliga side VfB Stuttgart will begin a four-year partnership with sportswear company Jako from the start of the '19-20 season. Jako will operate as an official partner and presenter of the VfB School of Football (VfB Stuttgart).

The FA of Ireland partnered with Maldron Hotels, which becomes title sponsor of its Emerging Talent Programme. The hotel chain will support the program by providing funding for coaching, training and kit for players (FAI).

The ASEAN Football Federation Cup renewed its sponsorship agreement with industrial equipment manufacturer Yanmar for the '18 edition. The company's branding will be prominently displayed on official tournament print material and in every stadium for the event's 28 matches (AFF Cup).

BSI Speedway agreed to a multi-year renewal to its deal with Monster Energy, which will continue as presenting sponsor of the FIM Speedway Grand Prix series. The drinks company will also serve as title sponsor of for the FIM Speedway of Nations, which will launch in June (IMG).

Singaporean Olympic Gold Medalist Joseph Schooling will serve as brand ambassador for Japanese probiotic drink company Yakult until '20 (Yakult).

Ligue 1 side Strasbourg Alsace partnered with adidas, which signed a four-year contract to be the club’s official kit provider. The new home, away and third adidas jerseys will be unveiled in July (Strasbourg).

The Rugby Champions Cup tournament is "likely to be renamed" the H Champions Cup. The H stands for Heineken, which is "expected to be announced" as the naming sponsor by European Professional Club Rugby at the start of June (JOURNAL DU DIMANCHE, 5/13).