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Volume 7 No. 80

Marketing and Sponsorship

Some of ManU's "biggest stars," including Alexis Sánchez, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata are featured in a new video promoting the film "Deadpool 2," which was released in the U.K. on Tuesday, according to Matthew Smith of the London DAILY MAIL. It forms part of ManU's "unusual promotional deal" with 20th Century Fox, for which players have previously appeared in ads for "X-Men: Apocalypse," "Kingsman: The Golden Circle" and the original "Deadpool." Somewhat "surprisingly, however, this promotion has the feature of being quite funny rather than very awkward," giving the players a chance to "show off their comedic acting talents." It starts with a young supporter "being shocked" by a "huge banner featuring Deadpool hung on the outside of Old Trafford." The video then cuts to the ManU dressing room, where all the players "are instructed to wear shirts with 'Deadpool' and the No 2 on the back as part of a marketing deal." The video "ends with a cameo by Deadpool himself, played by Ryan Reynolds," angrily declaring, "What in the Pogba" -- referring to the midfielder, absent from this film -- as he sees the players are not wearing "the official Deadpool kneepads," and says that he will "have Jose [Mourinho]'s head for this" (DAILY MAIL, 5/14).

PICKING UP THE PACE: Fox is ramping up its "The World Becomes the FIFA World Cup" ad campaign 30 days from the start of the tournament in Russia. A new ad, "This Summer," rolled out on Wednesday across multiple Fox-owned TV networks. The spot stars David Beckham, U.S. women’s int’l Alex Morgan, former boxer Evander Holyfield, NBA Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid and Reynolds. In a nod to the famous incident of Mike Tyson biting his ear, Holyfield watches Uruguay forward Luis Suárez, who is known for biting players, and critiques his past controversial tactics (Fox Sports). CREATIVITY-ONLINE's I-Hsien Sherwood reported the 90-second "star-studded spot ... plays up the amazing things to come" in the event. Lionel Messi becomes an anime "god" with blue hair, while ManU teammates Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial "become rivals as avatars" in the EA Sports "FIFA" video game. Other spots in the campaign touch on Mexico's "curse," the rivalry between Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and Ronaldo's scoring ability (CREATIVITY-ONLINE, 5/15).

Pirelli is "keen" to extend its Formula 1 deal beyond next year but will not be forced into a "bidding war," according to Scott Mitchell of MOTORSPORT. The Italian tire manufacturer has been F1's sole supplier since taking over the role from Bridgestone in '10. It is understood Pirelli Exec Vice Chair & CEO Marco Tronchetti Provera told shareholders on Tuesday that its participation beyond '19, the end of its current agreement, "is not guaranteed." Provera said that Pirelli's participation in F1 had "worked well but it would not be held to ransom" and the company is "seeking similar commercial terms to its present deal." He explained that it was "not essential" for Pirelli to stay in F1 "given its huge presence" in int'l motorsport. As well as being the sole tire supplier to the World Superbike Championship, Pirelli claims to support 460 car and bike events each year. A Pirelli spokesperson said, "As we have always said, Formula 1 is a good match for us and we are happy and honored to stay there. But if it comes down to a bidding war, we would not stay at any cost" (MOTORSPORT, 5/16).

Renewable green energy supplier Planet-U signed a three-year sponsorship deal with Super Rugby side Leeds Rhinos, according to Nick Hill of BDAILY. The Leeds-based energy provider will be the "sole supplier" of all energy used at the Emerald Headingley Stadium. As part of the deal, Planet-U will be featured on the back of the Leeds Rhinos shirts through '21. Founded by entrepreneur Grant Nicholson, Planet-U is a "gas and electricity supplier which works with multiple household names," such as Yorkshire Building Society and Wembley Stadium (BDAILY, 5/16).

ITV signed Budweiser, Volkswagen and Screwfix to sponsor its coverage of this summer's World Cup. Budweiser will receive 50% of the sponsorship idents, with the other two brands getting 25% each. Each match will feature all three brands. ITV will show half of the tournament's 64 games (CAMPAIGN LIVE, 5/15).

UEFA signed a three-year agreement with Hankook Tire, which will continue as an official partner of the Europa League through the '21 edition (UEFA).

ManU extended its partnership with mattress and pillow provider MLILY. The company's ability to work with the club's elite coaching staff and sports science team has allowed it to create bespoke sleeping environments for each player (ManU).

Bundesliga side Schalke will be the official club of U.S.-based grassroots football tournament Kick It 3v3. The club will reach more than 30,000 youth players through more than 65 events (Schalke).

The German FA (DFB) announced Samsung as its official technological partner. The company will support Germany's men's and women's national teams and get involved with the DFB's academy in Frankfurt (DFB).

Online sportsbook and casino brand MansionBet was announced as the title sponsor of two races at York Racecourse. The sponsorship begins with the MansionBet Yorkshire Cup on Friday and will be followed by the MansionBet Sprint on May 26 (SBC NEWS, 5/16).

French esports organization Team Vitality announced an exclusive partnership with Infront. Team Vitality competes in League of Legends, Call of Duty and FIFA tournaments, among others (Infront).

Indian esports organization Nodwin Gaming selected London-based sponsorship agency Hugh Holland to sell its int'l esports sponsorship rights for events through February. The move follows a majority investment in Nodwin by Indian mobile game developer Nazara Technology (THE ESPORTS OBSERVER, 5/16).
For more coverage of the business of esports, visit our partners, esportsobserver.com.