Soccer New & Notes, October 25, 2010

Chelsea and adidas sign multi-million pound deal
Monday, October 25, 2010

English Premier League champions Chelsea and sportswear giants adidas have agreed what is understood to be the world’s second-biggest kit deal in club football.

According to UK newspaper The Telegraph, the eight-year contract is worth 160 million pounds, an 8-million-a-season pound increase on the previous four-year deal and just behind the 300 million pounds Nike is thought to pay Manchester United under a 13-year agreement.

"Both organisations are highly ambitious and want to continue in partnership to develop globally and for us, grow in our key market territories across Asia and North America," said Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay. "The increased value of the deal reaffirms adidas’ belief in the club’s growing status in world football."

Chelsea and adidas plan to roll out their UK-based Blues Pitches grassroots programme internationally, after launching last year the Hong Kong branch of the project, which encourages kids to participate in sport.

Source: SoccerEx Business Daily

Russia pull out of 2022 World Cup race
Monday, October 25, 2010

Russia officially pulled out of the race to host the 2022 World Cup on Friday, concentrating solely on their bid for the 2018 event. Last week, England officially withdrew from bidding for the 2022 tournament after the United States had pulled out of the running for the 2018 event.

"Russia is setting its sights exclusively on being awarded the right to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup and has formally withdrawn its bid for the 2022 edition of the world’s biggest and most important single sports event," the Russian bid committee said in a statement.

"We hope to be entrusted with the hosting of FIFA’s flagship event and are ready to inspire the global football family in 2018," said Russia’s bid chairman and sports minister Vitaly Mutko.

Russia and England are bidding to stage the 2018 World Cup along with joint bids from Spain/Portugal and Belgium/Netherlands while Japan, South Korea, Qatar, United States and Australia are candidates for 2022.

Source: SoccerEx Business Daily

Man United "needs to give Rooney image overhaul"
Monday, October 25, 2010

The public image of striker Wayne Rooney will need to be given a complete overhaul if Manchester United is to recoup his salary rise through commercial deals, according to sports marketing experts.

Rooney signed a five-year deal on Friday, widely reported to earn him £200,000 per week, after his agent told the club he wanted to leave. Months of negative press following speculation over his private life and the handling of his United contract talks have weakened his brand appeal and both Coca-Cola and Tiger Beer dropped him from advertising campaigns this month.

"One of the things United will be seeking to do in order to offset the cost of his contract is to use him for commercial purposes but as the Hublot advert kind of demonstrates, the Rooney brand has in many ways got limited appeal," Simon Chadwick, professor of sports business at Coventry University, told Reuters. "It doesn’t augur well for the club and what the club are going to have to do is think very carefully about how they use Rooney now. He will need to go quiet now for six months to a year and his advisors will have to re-launch the Rooney brand. It will have to be much more stable and conformist.

"We will perhaps see Rooney re-emerge in a year’s time, in commercial terms at least, as a stable family man with children and all the kinds of stories we’ve seen will have to disappear if his brand is to be commercially successful."

Source: SoccerEx Business Daily

Seattle Sounders Extend Brand Beyond MLS Into A Global Force
Sounders Set Another Single-Season Attendance
Record This Year, Averaging 36,173 Fans A Game

The MLS Sounders in their second season have "already become a flourishing brand that resonates globally and serves as a model for franchises in all sports," according to Joshua Mayers of the SEATTLE TIMES. Led by a "driven ownership group, picture-perfect marketing and impeccable timing," the Sounders’ fan support at Qwest Field is "on par with some of the most prestigious clubs in Europe." The team set an MLS record in home attendance this season, averaging 36,173 fans per game, and that total "would be top 10 in the EPL, top five in Spain’s La Liga and top three in Italy’s Serie A." SI soccer writer Grant Wahl said, "The distance Seattle has put on the (MLS) field is stunning." MLS Commissioner Don Garber said, "There’s little doubt amongst anyone in the professional sports community, here or even abroad, that this was one of, if not the, most successful launch of a professional sports expansion team in history." Mayers notes Sounders fans have "done their part as consumers." The team’s merchandise sales "top MLS and are more than twice that of the No. 2 team, the Philadelphia Union." The Sounders also were "one of two" MLS teams to make a profit in ’09. In addition, Sounders games on ESPN "lead the league in local ratings." With franchises in Portland and Vancouver joining MLS next season, "an impassioned three-way Pacific Northwest rivalry will be reborn." Still, Sounders Owner Joe Roth said that "becoming stagnant" is his "greatest fear." Roth: "That’s my number-one concern and what keeps me up at night. How do we keep growing?" Sounders investor Drew Carey said, "I want to sell out Qwest Field totally — with no tarps at all. I don’t know how many years it will take us — 20, 25, 50? I just want to be alive to see it. That’s what I’m dreaming about" (SEATTLE TIMES, 10/24).


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