The FA signed a five-year deal with retailer Fanatics, which begins this month. Fanatics will have the rights to manufacture official merchandise and partner products across a range of categories and will also operate the official online England store, www.englandstore.com, and run all physical retail sites at Wembley Stadium. The FA will utilize Fanatics’ "vertical-commerce" model. Fanatics recently added the German FA (DFB) and Chelsea to its int'l portfolio, which already included Real Madrid, ManU, Man City, Everton and the European Tour. Fanatics Int'l President Steve Davis said, "The encouraging performance of the England men’s senior team at the World Cup this summer and the resulting feel-good factor felt by their fans around the world demonstrated that there is a strong bond between England and their supporters ... We are significantly growing our global capabilities, with manufacturing and distribution centers around the world and no matter where England fans are, they will be able to buy the latest official England products and merchandise."
Marketing and Sponsorship
GambleAware Deputy CEO Iain Corby insisted the Scottish Professional Football League, Scottish FA and clubs "must accept greater responsibility to help deal with problem gambling" among fans and players if they are "earning significant money from the betting industry," according to Mark Wilson of the London DAILY MAIL. He "has warned that public attitudes could turn against those lucrative tie-ups unless more is done." Bookmakers provide title sponsorships for the Premiership, Scottish Cup and League Cup, while Celtic, Rangers and Hibernian are among the teams to have the names of betting firms on their shirts. Corby argued it is "time for an open debate about whether the current state of affairs is healthy." His organization launched the "Can We Have Our Ball Back" initiative, which it is promoting in a new partnership with the Scottish Football Supporters Association's 2018 National Fan Awards. Corby: "We are concerned about the relationship between Scottish football and gambling. We don't think it's a sustainable relationship. I think anyone who is making money out of gambling, whether that be a gambling company, a football club or a league, needs to consider what their responsibilities are" (DAILY MAIL, 12/17).
The World Surf League's official beer, Corona, announced Gabriel Medina as a global ambassador. Medina recently clinched his second world title (WSL).
La Liga side Espanyol reached an agreement with Turisme de Barcelona. Through the partnership, the club is looking to attract tourists to its matches, as it is currently "having attendance issues" -- its average crowd this season at its 40,500-capacity stadium is 18,574 (Espanyol).
Gurgaon, India-based sportswear brand Six5Six will replace Nike as the official kit sponsor of the Indian national football team starting with the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. Six5Six is also the kit sponsor of Indian Super League clubs Kerala Blasters and Pune City. Nike's contract with the All India Football Federation as kit sponsor ended earlier this year. Six5Six and the AIFF agreed to a five-year deal, which was facilitated by IMG-Reliance-owned Football Sports Development (ECONOMIC TIMES, 12/17).
The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) named Iberia the official airline of the RFEF and its national teams until '21, with an option to extend for an additional two years. Iberia will provide transportation for the RFEF's travel (AS, 12/18).
Bundesliga side Hoffenheim partnered with fashion brand Falke through '20. Falke is now the official fashion partner of the club. Falke will have an extensive presence in club media and promotional campaigns (Hoffenheim).
League Championship side Stoke City named Total Motion Vehicle Management its official vehicle partner. The new partnership allows Total Motion to promote personal lease deals for Stoke City supporters (Stoke City).