Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 7 No. 149

Marketing and Sponsorship

Coca-Cola agreed to its biggest U.K. sponsorship deal by becoming the Premier League's "seventh and final commercial partner," according to Bill Wilson of the BBC. It will become the official soft drink partner of the league, joining other sponsors Barclays, Carling, Cadbury, Nike, Tag Heuer and EA Sports. The three-and-a-half-year agreement starts in January. The financial details were not revealed. As well as using the deal to promote its mainstream Coca-Cola drinks, the firm will also use the deal "to promote other drinks it owns," including sparkling soft drinks, water, fruit-based drinks and low- and no-sugar drinks (BBC, 9/13). MARKETING WEEK's Molly Fleming reported Coca-Cola is "in the early stages of planning activations" but there will be digital and physical elements to the campaign as well as a U.K.-wide Premier League trophy tour. Coca-Cola Great Britain GM Jon Woods said, "This partnership will allow us to accelerate growth on low sugar variants faster and is the beginning of more multi-brand campaigns. It allows us to bring the whole portfolio to life." This is not Coca-Cola's "first foray into football." It already sponsors the World Cup and previously aligned with football in the U.K. through a sponsorship of the English Football League and the Coca-Cola Cup. Woods said that Coca-Cola is returning to football in the U.K. "because of the Premier League's popularity among a broad demographic." He said, "First and foremost, we want this partnership to be always-on because I want to be part of a regular conversation" (MARKETING WEEK, 9/13). CAMPAIGN LIVE's Ben Bold reported Coca-Cola released a 20-second teaser video announcing the deal and featuring 20 brands owned by the soft drink company, including the flagship Coca-Cola brand. The video also includes a reference to Coca-Cola's #CokeDunks recycling campaign, a TV ad which launches this weekend. Announcements are due between now and the end of the year "regarding most of the Premier League's current sponsorship deals, such as those with Carling and former title sponsor Barclays" (CAMPAIGN LIVE, 9/13).

Paris St. Germain launched its partnership with Jordan Brand on Thursday. The club and brand created more than 90 performance, training and lifestyle products. The Jordan Jumpman logo will also be featured on PSG’s home and away jerseys during the Champions League this year. Michael Jordan said, “Jordan Brand and Paris St. Germain share a distinct position in sport and style, so to partner with the club is a natural fit.” PSG striker Neymar said, “It is a huge responsibility to carry Jordan’s name on a shirt and we look forward to an excellent season.” (PSG). ESPN.com’s Chris Wright reported PSG and Jordan have been working together for several years “but this marks the first time the pair have produced a special edition football kit that will actually be worn in competitive matches.” Jordan also “released a line of branded boots” as part of its partnership with PSG. The club will debut its new Jordan-branded kit in its Champions League match against Liverpool next Tuesday (ESPN.com, 9/13). 

CREATING BUZZ: CNBC’s Lauren Hirsch reported Jordan Brand distributed some of its new co-branded gear to a few “media influencers” to “create some buzz online” ahead of the formal release. Singer Justin Timberlake was “spotted in a black and white PSG and Jordan jacket in early July” and rapper Travis Scott “wore one of the tanks while performing at a festival in France in late August.” The collection will include items like basketball jerseys and sweatshirts. Nike execs said that they are “confident” the Jordan name will extend well in Paris, where it already has a dedicated Jordan store in the Bastille. The brand has been involved with France’s national basketball tournament, Quai 54 (CNBC, 9/13).

FedEx Express inked a three-year extension with UEFA to remain the official sponsor of the Europa League, according to Ashish Khanna of INSIDE SPORT. The deal was signed in May '15. The deal will run through the Europa League final in '21. Throughout the deal, FedEx and UEFA have worked together to create experiences for fans, including the FedEx Performance Zone on UEFA.com, the Player Mascot program on matchdays and building pitches across the world as a part of the global FedEx Cares CSR initiative. FedEx Express is the Europa League's sixth sponsor for the '18-21 cycle, joining Amstel, Hankook Tires, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Kia Motors and Molten (INSIDE SPORT, 9/13).

Nissan hopes having Osaka as a face of the company will appeal to younger drivers and boost sales
Photo: NISSAN

Nissan signed US Open champion Naomi Osaka as its next brand ambassador, "tapping the tennis star's youth, drive and Japanese roots to appeal to younger customers," according to Tajitsu & Foster of REUTERS. Osaka attended a contract signing event at Nissan's Yokohama HQ, and the automaker said that she will "appear in global promotions and advertising in its three-year contract." Adding Osaka is something of a "branding departure for a firm whose popular GT-R sports car attracts men aged 40 and older." Usain Bolt promoted the GT-R from '12-16. Nissan joins a "growing number of companies" in Osaka's portfolio, including adidas, Yonex, Nissin Foods, media company Wowow and Citizen Watch. Having Osaka as a "face of Nissan" gives it "an edge in appealing to younger drivers as it looks to boost sales of its Leaf all-battery electric car, and promote automated and connected-driving technologies" (REUTERS, 9/12).

ISLAND TAKEOVER: The AP's Wade & Yamaguchi reported Osaka's "mixed-race profile, her appeal in the huge Asian market, and her links to Japan's world-wide brands should drive her long-term earning potential." Tokyo-based Nissin is "launching a new noodle cup to commemorate her victory." A spokesperson for Windsor Corp., which operates tennis shops in Tokyo, said that customers are "asking to buy the same racket that Osaka uses" (AP, 9/13). In Japan, Joel Tansey reported Osaka has been on the cover of "newspapers and magazines across the country, been the subject of TV specials and had every aspect of her life dissected by talk-show personalities." The fervor around Osaka has "rapidly spread across the nation and people involved in the sport are witnessing that firsthand." She has also "appeared on 'Today' and the 'Ellen DeGeneres Show'" (JAPAN TIMES, 9/13).

La Liga side Eibar announced a sleeve deal with Japanese firm Hitachi Power Tools Ibérica. Starting Oct. 1, the company will relaunch as Hikoki, and the Hikoki logo will appear on the sleeve of the Eibar shirt for the first time during Saturday's game against Atlético Madrid. The deal will run throughout the current season (Eibar).

English football's fifth tier, the National League, will be rebranded as the MANarama National League for the next month of the season in a partnership with Prostate Cancer UK. Title sponsor Vanarama gave up its naming rights to "celebrate Prostate Cancer UK becoming the league's first official charity partner." The league will be rebranded until Non-League Day on Oct. 13 (BBC, 9/13).

EPL side Fulham announced Tempobet as its U.K. betting partner for the '18-19 season. Tempobet's logo will be featured on Fulham's website and on LED perimeter advertising at Craven Cottage (Fulham). 

Lima 2019 Pan American Games Organizing Committee announced Atos as its official IT provider. Atos will be responsible for the delivery of technological solutions. Atos will also be the timing, scoring and results provider for Lima 2019 (Lima 2019). 

Serie A side AS Roma partnered with video game company Electronic Arts. One of the primary objectives of the two-year deal is to bring the EA Sports FIFA franchise closer to Roma fans through marketing and commercial collaboration (AS Roma). 

PC hardware manufacturer ADATA Technology signed a sponsorship deal with Taiwanese esports organization Flash Wolves. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. ADATA is also a sponsor of the upcoming Int'l e-Sports Federation (IeSF) World Championship. The event will be hosted in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, in November (THE ESPORTS OBSERVER, 9/12).
For more coverage of the business of esports, visit our partners, esportsobserver.com.