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Volume 7 No. 144

Marketing and Sponsorship

Two potential naming rights deals for West Ham's London Stadium have collapsed.

Nearly £450,000 ($587,800) of taxpayers' money has been spent "trying to find a sponsor" for EPL side West Ham's London Stadium home "but a backer is still being sought," according to Frank Keogh of the BBC. The stadium's owner, the London Legacy Development Corp., has been "accused of wasting cash in its search for a naming rights partner." A sponsorship expert said that "it could take years to secure a deal." Two companies have been paid a total of £447,000 ($583,900) to try to find a naming rights partner. But after two potential deals "collapsed," no discussions are currently taking place. Telecom Vodafone pulled out of a £20M ($26.1M), six-year naming rights deal in May '17, while Indian conglomerate Mahindra had "earlier shown interest." An LLDC spokesperson said, "Two deals with global brands came close to being delivered but this is an extremely competitive and narrow market which requires significant time and effort to identify the appropriate brands able to enter into such major commercial deals" (BBC, 7/17).

Bulmers Irish Cider was unveiled as the new exclusive sponsor of the Cheltenham Gold Cup, according to the IRISH INDEPENDENT. The brand is known as Magners outside Ireland, "so the race will be called the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup" until '22. The four-year agreement between Bulmers and Jockey Club Racecourses will result in the first Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup being run on March 15, 2019. Magners Irish Cider will also "become the presenting partner across all four days of the Festival," which will be recognized as "The Festival, presented by Magners" (IRISH INDEPENDENT, 7/18). RACING POST's Jack Haynes reported prize money for the feature race will remain at £625,000 ($816,400), having increased from £575,000 last season. The Cheltenham Festival attracts more than 260,000 racegoers annually and is the fourth-biggest sporting event in the U.K. in terms of attendance (RACING POST, 7/18).

Endeavor Global Marketing announced the acquisition of U.K.-based sport and entertainment communications agency Clifford French, bolstering Endeavor Global Marketing’s earned media and influencer marketing expertise globally. Clifford French’s client roster includes Electronic Arts, Puma, the NFL, Carlsberg, San Miguel and William Hill. The agency’s approximately 20 employees join the Endeavor Global Marketing team under the leadership of James Clifford and Dan French, who, as SVPs, will report to Endeavor Global Marketing President Ed Horne. Clifford French is based in London (Endeavor).

ManU revealed its "most expensive home kit" and fans have "hit out" at the "extortionate" cost, according to Dubas-Fisher & Duncker of the MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS. The red and black design is "a nod" to the Newton Heath railway workers who founded the club 140 years ago. An adult home jersey is for sale on the adidas website for £64.95 ($84.84). But it is "not just the shirt that will set fans back." Shorts cost £42.95 ($56.10), while socks cost £29.95 ($39.12). If fans want an "actual replica" of the shirt worn by the players with "climachill technology," the price of the shirt rises to £109.95 ($143.61) (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 7/18).

England's World Cup players were "given their own dedicated parking spaces at supermarkets around the country as part of a community initiative" by team sponsor Lidl. The supermarket chain reserved spots for the Three Lions, "ensuring the likes of Gareth Southgate, Harry Kane, Jordan Pickford and Kieran Trippier can shop hassle-free in their hometowns" (SBS, 7/18).

Li-Ning signed NBA player Dwyane Wade to a "lifetime contract" as an endorser. The finalizing of the deal coincided with Wade and the company revealing his latest shoe, the "Way of Wade 7," at an event in Beijing. Financial details of the contract were not revealed, though it is "believed the total value to Wade could reach tens of millions of dollars." Wade has endorsed the Chinese company since '12 (AP, 7/18).

League Championship side Blackburn Rovers announced a three-year deal making online bookmaker 10Bet its principal sponsor. The brand's new visual identity will be featured on the front of the team's home and away shirts and displayed around Ewood Park, on the cover of each matchday program and on the club's website (10Bet).

Juventus revealed the design of its third kit for the '18-19 season, which is "made entirely from recycled ocean plastic." Adidas designer Francesca Venturini, who created the dark gray shirt in partnership with Parley for the Oceans, said that the jersey has "eco-innovation and longevity at its very heart" (BBC, 7/18).

The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) agreed to a deal with wholesaler Assaí, which will serve as the title sponsor of the Brasileiro. Assaí "will enjoy brand visibility across a range of exhibition properties," including in the center of the pitch and on pitch-side advertising boards. The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed (SOCCEREX, 7/18).

Chinese Super League side Beijing Guoan is reportedly "likely to stop its collaboration with Nike and might start looking for a new kit supplier" for the '19 season. After the CSL renewed its Nike contract as kit supplier of the league for the next 10 years, Beijing Guoan expressed "concerns" that the league's sponsorship income "is not good enough" (YUTANG SPORTS, 7/18).

Top14 side Stade Toulousain renewed its partnership with Peugeot through June ’21. The two have been partners for 22 years. The carmaker's logo will be featured on the front of the club's jersey for all league and Champions Cup matches (Stade Toulousain).

Australian Football League side Fremantle Dockers signed a co-major sponsorship agreement with staffing company Programmed for its men's and women's teams through the '22 season. The Programmed logo will continue to be featured on the back of the club's home guernsey and front of the club's clash guernsey (Fremantle Dockers).

Taiwanese badminton equipment manufacturer Victor agreed to title sponsor the China Open, a tier-two event on the Badminton World Federation World Tour -- Super 1000 events. The partnership will last from '18-20. Victor will provide competition equipment, shuttlecocks and professional services (YUTANG SPORTS, 7/18).

French esports organization Team Vitality signed an agreement with the French National Institute of Sport (INSEP) -- an elite academy in Paris which trains Olympic athletes. Two-time Olympic champion and French Sports Minister Laura Flessel also joined the deal, tweeting that the goal of the contract is "to help the training and development of esports athletes" (THE ESPORTS OBSERVER, 7/18).
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