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Volume 7 No. 146

Marketing and Sponsorship

The French Professional Football League (LFP) expanded its partnership with Fiat for another season. Already a sponsor of the Coupe de la Ligue for two seasons, Fiat extended its partnership to Ligue 1 and Ligue 2. The official vehicle of the Coupe de la Ligue, the Fiat Tipo retains its in-stadium visibility on LED boards, big screens and interview backdrops. The automaker will now also have its logo featured on the jerseys of clubs playing in the Coupe de la Ligue. Pregame and halftime activations provide fans with the opportunity to win tickets to Ligue 1, Ligue 2 and Coupe de la Ligue matches. Fiat will also release a special "Ligue 1" series of cars for its Fiat 500L, Fiat Tipo and Fiat Panda brands (LFP).

A-League side Melbourne Victory announced Metricon Homes as its principal partner for the '18-19 season. Metricon Homes was the team's front-of-shirt partner during the 218 Asian Football Confederation Champions League campaign and now takes the same position for the '18-19 A-League season. In addition to apparel branding, the partnership will provide the homebuilder greater IP across all club assets including signage, in-stadia activation and digital, allowing Metricon to build a stronger association with members, fans and the community. Melbourne Victory will debut the new playing kit on Oct. 20 against Melbourne City at Marvel Stadium (Melbourne Victory). 

New sports technology business Fanbox launched a behavioral marketing platform for clubs that it says "will change the way they interact with fans," according to Paul Nicholson of INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL. Fanbox’s digital platform generates data sets of behavioral analysis from the real-time combination of digital and physical actions by its users. Those actions give each fan a ranking (FPI -- Fan Performance Indicator), "which will indicate to the club that fan’s potential value." The technology not only holds data on who the fans are and where they are located, "but also on what they are doing and how they are interacting with the multiple touchpoints available." Fanbox is a joint venture between digital loyalty specialist Advice Group and AWE Sport Int'l, a sports marketing agency. Advice Group CEO Fulvio Furbatto said, "This new company allows us to finally bring progress marketing in sport, thus applying behavioral loyalty techniques to a sector that is still unripe. We are talking about monetizing undervalued relationships inside already-existing vertical communities." The Fanbox technology integrates with existing CRM technologies "with the aim of delivering a deeper relationship and ‘managed’ pathway of the that relationship between the club and the fan" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 10/11).

Serie A side Napoli announced a deal with betting brand KTO, with the company becoming a regional betting partner in Latin America and Africa. The timing of the arrangement "comes as no surprise, with KTO looking to break into the two regions," both of which are experiencing growth in the gaming industry (SOCCEREX, 10/11).

Chinese sportswear brand Li-Ning was named an official partner of esports organization Edward Gaming's League of Legends team for the 2018 LoL World Championship. The partnership "can be understood as Li-Ning's effort in giving the brand a youthful image and connecting with the young generation (YUTANG SPORTS, 10/11).

La Liga renewed its agreement with Mazda as a sponsor and official vehicle of the league. The brand will be present in football stadiums and the different platforms and social networks of the first and second division competitions (LA VANGUARDIA 10/10).

The organizing committee of Tokyo 2020 announced AOKI Holdings as an official supporter, the third domestic tier of the Tokyo 2020 sponsorship program. The company has been attributed the "Business & Formal Wear" category. Its addition brings the total number of Tokyo 2020 domestic partners to 54, including 15 gold partners, 30 official partners, and 9 official supporters (Tokyo 2020).

The MotoGP German Grand Prix announced HJC Helmets as its title sponsor in '19 and 20. The first HJC Helmets Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland will take place at Sachsenring on July 7, 2019. HJC previously partnered with the 2016 Czech GP as well as the 2017 and 2018 French GPs (RIDE APART, 10/8).

Nippon Professional Baseball League club Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks partnered with Fanatics. The partnership, which will run for 10 years from March '19, is the first for Fanatics in Asia and will provide fans with a greater range of products executed through Fanatics' vertical manufacturing model for the sports merchandise industry (Fanatics). 

Esports organization Ninjas in Pyjamas and betting company Betway renewed their partnership for the next three years. The seven-figure agreement will result in the online bookmaker appearing on jerseys "along with onsite branding at the NiP training facilities and content usage rights" (THE ESPORTS OBSERVER, 10/10).
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