The FA plans to question Premier League side West Ham United over "the sponsorship of their women’s team by a leading sports management agency," according to Matt Lawton of the London DAILY MAIL. Based on "claims from within the club," the deal to have the logo for Unique Sports Management on the back of the shirts of the West Ham women’s team "is the biggest of its kind in the FA Women’s Super League." It is believed to be worth close to £250,000 ($319,000), although neither the club nor USM will confirm this -- "or whether the deal is just for this season or a number of seasons." West Ham is "unhappy" that an arrangement which supports its women’s team -- when it "remains difficult to secure such levels if sponsorship in the women’s game" -- is being scrutinized. It is "likely" FA officials "will want to know the circumstances in which USM were asked to sponsor the team" which is run by the 19-year-old son of West Ham co-Owner David Sullivan. USM reportedly represents five current members of Manuel Pellegrini’s squad (DAILY MAIL, 1/9).
Marketing and Sponsorship
Nick Kyrgios and NBA Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving are "collaborating to create a new shoe," according to the HERALD SUN. The sneaker is part of the "Kyrie 5" line. Melbourne-born Irving debuted the shoe first, wearing it for Boston’s home game against the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday. Kyrgios will wear a tennis version of the shoe throughout the Australian Open. Kyrgios said to sport and culture website Complex, "Yeah, it’s arguably the biggest moment of my career." Kyrgios and Irving started working on the project early last year, with Nike attracted to Kyrgios' "anti-country club personality." NikeCourt Footwear Product Dir Alex Restivo said, "We started diving into Nick and his interests and personality" (HERALD SUN, 1/8).
The Grifols family "wants to push for the commercial rights to the new name" of Barcelona's Camp Nou, according to Alberto Vigario of EL ECONOMISTA. Barcelona is looking for a naming rights partner to fund the renovations to the stadium. Although pharmaceutical manufacturer Grifols has twice "officially denied being interested" in such a deal, sources say that the offer to Barcelona came not from Grifols the company, but from the family itself and company execs through Scranton Enterprises. The Grifols family's plan reportedly is to "become an intermediary: buy the naming rights and later seek a buyer that would put its name on the stadium." Barcelona has said that the sale of the naming rights to Camp Nou will exceed €300M ($345M) (EL ECONOMISTA, 1/10).
Tour de France owner Amaury Sports Organisation announced the launch of geo-localized partnerships on a country level, giving brands the chance to associate with the Tour de France on a U.K.-only basis from '19. In addition, the rightsholder revealed plans to run a U.K. mass participation sportive alongside the Tour, which will be called L’Etape UK by Le Tour de France. L’Etape UK by Tour de France will be delivered by the U.K. subsidiary of A.S.O, Human Race, and will take place on July 14, on roads in the Chilterns outside London (SPORT INDUSTRY, 1/10).
Premier League side Huddersfield Town renewed its partnership with tailor Owen Scott for a third year. The company offers tailor-made suits along with a range of Orange Label suits (BDAILY, 1/10).
RFRSH Entertainment revealed the next stage in its long-term relationship with Audi. As part of a new three-year deal, the German automobile manufacturer will sponsor RFRSH’s League of Legends team, Origen, and various yet-to-be announced esports and digital projects (THE ESPORTS OBSERVER, 1/10).
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Scuderia Toro Rosso Formula 1 partnered with HR firm Randstad Italia, a leader in human resource services. The Randstad logo will be featured on the drivers’ race suits and pit crew helmets (SPEED SPORT, 1/10).
British Cycling announced University of East Anglia as the official sponsor of the 2019 U.K. National Road Championships, which will be held from June 27-30 (British Cycling).
Serie A sent an official letter to the Italian Ministry of Economy & Finance and the Italian Competition Authority (AGCOM) asking for the "next steps" following the ban of sponsorship and advertisement for gambling operators. The question is if the exception for the existing gambling advertisement deals "can be valid" for sponsorship deals too (AGIMEG, 1/9).