England’s national football team players held talks with their legal advisers and the FA at St. George’s Park Tuesday night in an attempt to agree to "a new commercial deal for the squad," according to Hughes & Woods of the LONDON TIMES. The players are seeking to take control of their sponsorship activities while on int'l duty by ending a deal with 1966 Entertainment to negotiate on their behalf, although "some members of the squad are unhappy with how the process is being handled." Negotiations between players, agents and lawyers have been going on for several months "amid disgruntlement about falling income from commercial deals," which has dropped to about £150,000 ($198,060) a year for each player. While 1966 is being blamed by some, others "accept that the smaller fees reflect commercial reality and the lack of star appeal" within Gareth Southgate’s squad. The FA is also "still searching for a headline sponsor to replace Vauxhall," whose £6M-a-year deal with the Home Nations expired after the World Cup. The commercial discussions have "created more interest than usual because of a dispute in Denmark" that led to the int'l team going on strike before a friendly against Slovakia "in a row over bonuses last month." The FA is, however, "working with the players to resolve the situation" (LONDON TIMES, 10/10).
Marketing and Sponsorship
Scottish Premiership side Rangers won a "long-running legal battle against a street trader" who wanted to stop the club from trademarking its "RFC" logo, according to Stuart MacDonald of the SCOTSMAN. The club applied to register the letters as an official trademark for selling merchandise and to "stop others cashing in on them." However, Rangers faced opposition from Russell Campbell, a street vendor in Glasgow who sells unofficial Rangers merchandise. He claimed the letters "RFC" were not exclusive to the Glasgow club "as they had been used by rugby football clubs for many years" and said that the club "should not be allowed a monopoly on them." Campbell also claimed he "could face criminal prosecution if the club were allowed to trademark the initials." The U.K. Intellectual Property Office ruled in favor of the Ibrox club last year and ordered Campbell to pay Rangers £800 toward its legal costs in the case. He challenged that decision and was "granted an appeal hearing" by the IPO but the lawyer overseeing the appeal, Daniel Alexander, has "thrown out the case." The IPO's decision means Rangers "may be able to take action against any traders" selling goods with the "RFC" logo on them without permission (SCOTSMAN, 10/10).
The group behind Premiership Rugby club Wasps and the Ricoh Arena named AXS an exclusive ticketing partner. Wasps Holdings signed the deal which will see the company become the ticket partner "for a wide range of live events at the Ricoh Arena." The four-year deal will cover Wasps Rugby, Wasps Netball, concerts, exhibitions and other live events at the venue (INSIDER MEDIA, 10/10).
EuroLeague Basketball announced a three-year partnership with ENEOS motor oil, which is owned by JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy. The league also named urban mobility data and analytics company Moovit its official mobility partner for the '18-19 season (EuroLeague).
Polish football club Legia Warsaw signed a three-year deal with Toyota Motors Poland. Toyota will be the official automotive partner of the club through '21. The deal includes the promotion of Toyota and Lexus brands at the Legia Stadium as well as joint marketing campaigns, competitions for fans and special events (Legia Warsaw).
The Bundesliga partnered with official licensee EA Sports to launch a "Player of the Month" award. Fans will vote for their player of the month on the EA Sports FIFA 19 website (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 10/10).
Swedish table tennis brand Stiga will sponsor six Chinese Table Tennis Super League teams for the '18-19 season. Stiga will provide the teams with competition outfits for the new season (YUTANG SPORTS, 10/10).
The ATP Paris Masters announced Vicomte A. as its official clothing provider until ’20. The French brand will outfit the ball boys and girls as well as the line judges. This year's tournament will be hosted at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris from Oct. 29-Nov. 4 (SPORTBUZZ BUSINESS, 10/10).