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Volume 7 No. 82

Marketing and Sponsorship

Barcelona will on July 1 recover its retail and licensing rights, 17 years after ceding them to Nike-owned FCBMerchandising, according to SPORT. Starting next season, the club's retail operation will be run by its own organization, Barça Licensing & Merchandising. Barcelona will "directly manage" the control of its brand: sales, official licensing and the commercialization of all its products. This is expected to mean "greater economic profitability." Barcelona's current merchandising business consists of three stores it owns and 15 licensed stores. There are more than 7,000 licensed Barcelona products, which generate around €65M ($76.3M) per year in sales (SPORT, 6/11).

Arsenal signed a £1M ($1.34M) deal with Jay-Z's music streaming service, Tidal, according to Dave Fraser of THE SUN. Club members "can now access Tidal's extensive music library," with Danny Welbeck, Héctor Bellerín and Reiss Nelson "already joining forces" to share their playlists. Arsenal's Platinum and Gold members will receive a six-month subscription to Tidal's "Hi-Fi" service. Meanwhile, Silver and Red members will be given access to the "Premium" service. Tidal is a subscription-based service "much like Spotify." It is the "brainchild" of Jay-Z, "who got famous pals Kanye West, Rihanna and Daft Punk on board" to publicize the company (THE SUN, 6/11).

Wimbledon's agency of record, McCann, London, created some "beautiful new animated work" celebrating the Grand Slam event's history, and the trailer is an "amuse-bouche to a broader creative content play" that celebrates the 150th anniversary of the All England Club, according to Doug Zanger of ADWEEK. The timeline -- from "bedecked-in-long-pants-and-dresses through to the TV age and more contemporary winners like Billie Jean King, Bjorn Borg, Chris Evert, John McEnroe, Pete Sampras, Steffi Graf, Serena Williams and others -- is both anthemic and epic, befitting a tournament of such stature." The work is also a continuation of Wimbledon’s "In Pursuit of Greatness," brand position, which is in its third year (ADWEEK, 6/11). THE DRUM's Kyle O'Brien reported three versions of the trailer with "different player combinations have been produced for various broadcast and fan markets, and the trailer will be followed by a series of content films rolled out across social media that focus in greater depth on three key areas of Wimbledon: the gardens, the Ticket Resale Scheme and the famous Queue" (THE DRUM, 6/12).

The GIRLGAMER Festival partnership marks Sephora's first foray into the esports market.
Photo: SEPHORA

The upcoming GIRLGAMER Esports Festival partnered with Sephora, "marking the beauty retailer's debut into the industry," according to Jordan Fragen of THE ESPORTS OBSERVER. This is the second iteration of the GIRLGAMER Esports Festival. It will be hosted in Lisbon from July 20-22. The first was held in Sept. '17 in Macau. The event is organized by Grow uP eSports and has "brought on several additional partners," including Kaisun Energy Group, sports content licensing agency Metta Sport, the Portuguese Institute of Sport & Youth and the Portugal-China Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Sephora "may not seem like a natural sponsor for esports at first glance." Esports have been an "attractive avenue" for marketers to reach young men, not Sephora’s target demographic of young women. However, GIRLGAMER Esports Festival’s mission to celebrate and promote women’s esports competitiveness "makes the event a logical fit for the beauty brand." Sephora Marketing Dir Paula Rocha said, "We believe that, just as in the beauty market, gaming is no longer represented nor limited by genders." The partnership marks the second entry into esports by Sephora's parent company, French luxury brand LVMH (THE ESPORTS OBSERVER, 6/11).

For more coverage of the business of esports, visit our partners, esportsobserver.com.

AvaTrade was previously one of the club's regional partners.
Photo: MAN CITY

Man City named AvaTrade its official online trading partner in a multi-year deal. The new agreement is an expansion of AvaTrade’s previous role as the club's regional partner in China, Asia and Latin America. AvaTrade will offer its worldwide customers as well as its business partners exclusive Man City-related promotions, prizes and VIP trips to Etihad Stadium (Man City).

Tottenham named Hotels.com its official accommodation partner. The deal will begin with the '18-19 season. Hotels.com will have a presence across digital signage at the team's stadium and on its website and digital channels (Tottenham).

Sponsorship and hospitality platform iXpole agreed to a partnership with business accelerator Gumption to target sports clubs in Europe. Gumption will provide its entrepreneurial framework and "inject capital into iXpole to enable the Hasselt-based company to increase its development capacity" and grow its sales and marketing strategy abroad (SOCCEREX, 6/12).