Soccer News & Notes, August 27, 2011

High Rent District: Combined EPL Jersey Sponsorship Up 20% For ’11-12 Season

Published August 25, 2011

Jersey sponsorship income for the 20 EPL clubs for the ’11-12 season "has jumped almost 20 per cent" from $164.5M (all figures U.S.) to $192.5M, according to Alex Miller of the London INDEPENDENT. The $192.5M total "does not include any future sums that will accrue to Manchester United" from their deal with DHL to sponsor the team’s training jerseys, which is valued at $16.5M per season. The sponsorship values have been "ratified by informed sources at each of the 20 clubs, among whom only one club — Blackburn Rovers — will see a year-on-year decline in shirt income" from $2.5M to $0 after the club donated the branding space on their kit to England’s national charity. Thirteen of the other 19 clubs "have maintained the same levels as in 2010-2011, while six have registered increases." Manchester City’s previous deal with Etihad Airways was worth $12.3M a year, but the new "record 10-year sponsorship deal" with Etihad sees a $20.5M increase to $32.8M a year. Man City, ManU and Liverpool are all now making at least $32.8M, or £20M, per year "from first-team shirt deals." Aston Villa registered the "biggest leap" next to Man City by changing their $8.2M-a-year deal with FxPro to a $13.1M deal with the casino company Genting (London INDEPENDENT, 8/24).

Manchester United Aon Corp. $32.6M Aon Corp. $32.6M
Liverpool Standard Chartered $32.6M Standard Chartered $32.6M
Manchester City Etihad Airways $12.2M Etihad Airways $32.6M
Chelsea Samsung $22.5M Samsung $22.5M
Tottenham Hotspur Autonomy $16.3M Autonomy^ $16.3M
Aston Villa FxPro $8.2M Genting $13.0M
Arsenal Emirates Airlines $9.0M Emirates Airlines $9.0M
Fulham FxPro $6.5M FxPro $6.5M
Everton Chang Beer $4.2M Chang Beer $6.5M
Newcastle United Northern Rock $4.1M Northern Rock $4.1M
Wolverhampton Sportingbet $1.8M Sportingbet $1.8M
West Bromwich Homeserve $1.2M Bodog Europe $1.8M
Swansea City** n/a n/a 32Red $1.8M
Sunderland Tombola $1.6M Tombola $1.6M
Stoke City Britannia $1.6M Britannia $1.6M
Wigan 188Bet $1.1M 12Bet $1.6M
Bolton 188Bet $1.2M 188Bet $1.2M
Norwich City** n/a n/a Aviva $569,855
Blackburn Crown Paints $2.4M Prince’s Trust*** —-
West Ham United* SBOBET $2.8M n/a n/a
Birmingham City* F&C Investments $976,817 n/a n/a
Blackpool* Wonga $813,330 n/a n/a
Queens Park Rangers** n/a n/a none^^ —-

NOTES: n/a = Not applicable. * = Team relegated following ’10-11 season. ** = Team promoted to EPL following ’10-11 season. *** = Shirt deal part of charity work. ^ = Autonomy’s mobile platform — Aurasma — is being featured on Tottenham’s shirts during the ’11-12 season. ^^ = While QPR began the season without a shirt sponsor, it is widely speculated that new owner Tony Fernandes will put his company, AirAsia, on the shirts.


Liverpool takes to India with academy project

Liverpool has made further efforts to connect with its global fan base by launching its first football academy in India, with plans to open similar facilities throughout the world.

The Barclays Premier League club on Wednesday signed a contract to establish its first Indian academy on the outskirts of New Delhi. Four more academies are set to be introduced in the country by 2012, with a view to having a presence on every continent by 2014.

"We want to have footprints in every continent in the next three years," said Steve Turner, head of Liverpool FC International Football Academy, in quotes reported by Reuters. "China is next and we are also in discussions for potential partnerships in South America, United States, Canada, Vietnam and also Malaysia."

Former England and Liverpool midfielder Steve McMahon, who is well known to Indian fans as a TV pundit, will be head coach of the Delhi academy which is named after him. In a country in which cricket dominates the sporting landscape, McMahon said that the project aims to develop Indian football with the national team currently a lowly 158th in the FIFA rankings. "It’s going to take time but we are not here for a quick-fix," he added. "We are here for a long time."


Liverpool Opening First Soccer Academy In India With Plans For More
Published August 25, 2011

Liverpool aims to have a footprint in every continent within three years

EPL club Liverpool yesterday announced the launch of its "first official soccer academy in India, as it aims to spread the ‘beautiful game’ in a country where cricket is by far and away the dominant sport," according to Will Davies of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The Steve McMahon Football Academy, named after the former Liverpool player who is a partner in the venture along with the club and India’s Carnoustie Group, will open this October in Noida, to the east of Delhi. Liverpool "hopes to enroll about 500 students aged eight to 16 who will be trained by professional coaches." McMahon said that Liverpool also is "looking for another campus in Delhi, and hopes to expand to Mumbai and Goa, as well as south and northeast India next year." He added, "One of our goals as a team is to get the next Indian footballer to play, hopefully, for Liverpool Football Club." Liverpool Int’l Football Academy Head Steven Turner, also at yesterday’s announcement, said that the club "wants to have ‘a footprint in every continent in the next three years,’ and has plans to expand its academy network to South America and countries including the U.S. and China, where he is visiting later this week." He also indicated that Liverpool "might tour India in 2013" (, 8/24). BLOOMBERG NEWS’ Mehrotra & Katakey noted Liverpool "already has a partnership with an academy in the western India city of Pune." The club is "further entrenching itself in Asia after playing exhibition matches in China and Malaysia in July, a year after Standard Charter PLC, which gets more than three-quarters of its profits from Asia, signed a sponsorship deal with the club" worth $134M. McMahon said, "This is not about the money, this is about me giving something back to the game" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 8/24).


UEFA’s Michel Platini Issues Warning On Future Of Pro Soccer

UEFA President Michel Platini today said that he "fears" for the future of pro soccer "if the game does not urgently clean up its act." Platini: "I can see lots of red lights flashing and I am afraid for the future of football which is going pear-shaped in some areas." Platini has concerns "about the money flooding into the game and the viability of clubs to survive." He said that UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules were "vital in ensuring that some degree of accountability was introduced to the leading clubs" (REUTERS, 8/26).


Umbro gives Canadian marketing a kick with new AOR
August 25, 2011 | Kristin Laird

Umbro Canada has appointed Toronto communications agency AmoebaCorp as its first agency of record, and tasked it to develop a 2012 marketing program featuring its new uniform for the Canadian national soccer team.

AmoebaCorp pitched against four other agencies during the review, which wrapped up earlier this month. This is the first formal agency partnership for Umbro Canada, a sportswear company.

In the past, Canadian marketing efforts for the brand were handled through Mississauga, Ont.-based sportswear distributor RMP Athletic Locker Ltd.

A lot of the advertising was "global in tone and voice," said Umbro Canada’s marketing manager, Karen Stemmler, who joined the company a year ago to help build the brand in Canada.

The decision to hire an agency of record stems partly from Umbro Canada’s partnership with the Canadian Soccer Association, said Stemmler. The sportswear brand is outfitting Canada’s National teams until 2014.

Umbra will use this partnership as a way to make the U.K.-born brand more relevant in Canada, said Stemmler.

"Now that we’ve got an AOR, [the advertising will] really reflect what soccer means in Canada," she said, adding that with Amoeba on board the Umbro brand will have a greater presence online and in retail.

The agency has experience in the sports and entertainment category, having worked on Nike, Sims Snowboards and multiple Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) brands – including a Toronto FC branding project.

"Amoeba really grasped at first blush what I was trying to do to get Umbro Canada defined as a football culture brand for this country," said Stemmler.

AmoebaCorp will also handle media buying duties.


Rogers Shifts Gears By Partnering With Quebecor On French-Language Net
Published August 25, 2011

Rogers Communications is teaming with Quebecor Inc. "to boost its new sports channel, TVA Sports, when it launches in mid-September," according to Susan Krashinsky of the GLOBE & MAIL. The agreement will see Rogers Sportsnet and the French-language TVA Sports "unite for co-productions for both channels, and most importantly, to act as a meaningful bidder against BCE Inc.-owned TSN and its French-language counterpart, RDS, in the fierce competition over the rights to broadcast sports events in Canada." Rogers Media President of Broadcasting Scott Moore said that in Canada, "rights deals are often predicated on the broadcaster being able to offer distribution of the sports events in both languages and a nationwide reach." Krashinsky notes prior to this partnership, the "only broadcaster that was able to offer that was TSN." The deal with Quebecor is a "change in strategy for Sportsnet, which has been working recently to build a sports media empire under a single brand" and was granted a license to start its own French-language sports network. But with TVA Group’s "existing market base as the largest broadcast network in Quebec, competing with both RDS and a new TVA-branded sports channel presented a challenge." TVA Sports will broadcast Blue Jays games in French, and the agreement also gives the network "regional rights to Ottawa Senators hockey games in French" (GLOBE & MAIL, 8/25).


Fox Reportedly Will Air Network TV’s First Live EPL Game On Super Bowl Sunday
Published August 26, 2011

Chelsea-ManU on Super Bowl Sunday could air on Fox instead of Fox Soccer

Fox will televise the first ever live EPL match "on free-to-air television" in the U.S. on Feb. 5, according to a source cited by The Chelsea-Manchester United matchup "will be shown live on Super Bowl Sunday" at 10:30am ET. In addition, Fox will air three EPL matches on tape delay during the ’11 NFL season: ManU-Chelsea on Sept. 18; Tottenham-Arsenal on Oct. 2; and Chelsea-Liverpool on Nov. 20. All three tape-delayed games "will air adjacent to live NFL games" starting either at 2:00pm or 4:30pm, "depending on local NFL/Fox programming." Previously, "the biggest Premier League match on Super Bowl Sunday had been shown" on Fox Soccer. February’s Chelsea-Liverpool game was the "most-watched Fox Soccer broadcast of all time with 418,000 average viewers." Fox’s coverage of a "live Premier League match on US television will give MLS and NBC some competition" (, 8/24). The Chelsea-ManU game reportedly airing on Fox is scheduled for Feb. 4, but could be moved to Feb. 5 to accommodate television coverage (THE DAILY).

KICKING IT UP A NOTCH: MULTICHANNEL NEWS’ Mike Reynolds noted Fox Soccer reached a multiyear deal with UEFA to broadcast its Europa League tournament. The deal, financial terms of which were not disclosed, kicks in with the ’12-13 season and extends through the ’14-15 tournament. The exclusive contract makes Fox Soccer the "only network in the U.S. and the Caribbean to air both the top-flight UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League." DirecTV and Gol TV "currently hold Europa League rights, concluding with the end of this campaign" (, 8/24).


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