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Volume 7 No. 149

Marketing and Sponsorship

While success on the pitch "no doubt bolsters Liverpool's marketing activity and provides it with a positive narrative," everything the club does "must extend" beyond matchdays if Liverpool "is to tap into" its growing global fanbase, according to Erin Lyons of MARKETING WEEK. Liverpool CCO Billy Hogan said that it is "vital to have the backing of the players and the team in what it does from a marketing and business perspective." He added, "We've had great support from our Manager, Jürgen Klopp, and the first team in terms of how we operate on the business side and how the football side operates. [Klopp] is incredibly supportive of our partners and what that means." Last week, Liverpool revealed a record pre-tax profit of £125M in '18. Hogan, however, said that the resurgence has not "happened overnight." He said, "Our goal is to always have success on the pitch and to compete at the highest level we can, which is something we've been working on since Fenway Sports Group bought the club back in 2010." Liverpool has 28 corporate sponsors, including "female-focused cosmetics company Avon." The Reds' partnerships include a 25-year agreement with Carlsberg and a training kit deal with BetVictor which is about to expire. Liverpool declined to comment when asked whether it would "think twice in the future about partnering with a gambling brand." The club also declined comment on "the commercial opportunities in women's football and what Avon has brought to the club" (MARKETING WEEK, 2/12).

Haas Formula 1's new title sponsor, Rich Energy, "played down concerns it could be forced to change its logo" due to a court case involving another company which uses a similar design, according to Keith Collantine of RACE FANS. ATB Sales Ltd., which produces the Whyte bicycle brand, "has brought a claim" against Rich Energy and its CEO, William Storey, before the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court. The two companies "have registered similar logos featuring antler designs." Storey opposed an attempt by ATB to register one mark in '17. The case is due to be heard on March 12 and 13, with a judgement due on May 1. Storey: "I have no concerns whatsoever. I won’t use the word ‘nonsense’ but it’s really without foundation" (RACE FANS, 2/11).

According to the POWA index, Real Madrid is the leading club in the world in terms of sponsorship value. The Spanish club is second on the latest list, behind only the NBA. Los Blancos are followed in the top five -- the list includes teams and leagues -- by Barcelona, the NFL and the EPL. The POWA index uses AI to assess various factors. It is the only available tool for clubs, leagues, federations and brands to obtain a global assessment of the market. The organizations ranked 5-10 are ManU, the Champions League, La Liga, Liverpool and Arsenal (Real Madrid).

ESL and prepaid online payment company paysafecard extended their partnership through '19. Paysafecard began sponsoring ESL events in '15. Last year, it became the payment method for ESL Shop, ESEA, and ESL Play, with full category exclusivity. Through the extended partnership, paysafecard will support the ESL Pro League, ESL One and Intel Extreme Masters events, the ESL National Championships, European Masters, and ESL Play (THE ESPORTS OBSERVER, 2/11).
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La Liga side Espanyol's recent Chinese signing, Wu Lei, "has already surpassed Borja Iglesias and Marc Roca in jersey sales." Espanyol has already sold 400 Wu jerseys (SPORT, 2/12).

La Liga side Valencia named LG Electronics Spain an official supplier (Valencia).

Second-tier French rugby club US Carcassonne announced it will accept sponsorship from porn site Jacquie & Michel for its match against Biarritz on March 1. A club statement said, "The objective of this partnership is to improve our visibility and our digital notoriety" (CNN, 2/9).