No Chelsea kit for Sports Direct

Adidas has banned Sports Direct from selling Chelsea kit next season. It wants to reposition the kit as a premium product. Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley is reported to be particularly irked by Adidas’s implication that Sports Direct stores are too scruffy.

Instead of selling the shirt at Sports Direct, adidas is thought to be looking to sell the Chelsea kit through the football club and its own shops and website. It is thought this is the first time that a sports brand has tried to limit the supply of a leading football team’s kit in the UK.

United top social media table

Manchester United are the fastest growing club across a variety of social media platforms according to SportSocial, a new platform for measuring social media activity in sport. The Red Devils have achieved a larger MoM growth between November and December on all the platforms they are active on than any of their competitors.

Emirates tops naming rights rankings

Emirates’ sponsorship of Arsenal FC is the most recognised amongst sports fans in the UK, a new study finds.

New findings from Repucom’s Sponsorlink study has found that amongst people attending sports events in the UK, 88 percent are aware that Emirates own the naming rights to Arsenal’s home stadium. Awareness of Arsenal’s shirt sponsorship deal with the Dubai based airline was also the highest of all Premier League clubs with 62 percent of people being aware of the partnership.

Is personal care and laundry partnership a first?

One has to admire the ingenuity of the marketing team at Manchester United in terms of thinking up new forms of sponsorship. A personal care and laundry partnership is a new one on me. At any rate is not as inappropriate as the Greek amateur team that responded to the financial crisis by obtaining sponsorship from two local brothels.

Big sponsorship deal for PSG

Paris Saint-Germain have officially announced their sponsorship deal with the Qatar Tourism Authority which will net the Ligue 1 champions up to €200 million a year. Mooted last season, the agreement was publicly confirmed on Tuesday making PSG the first club to be sponsored by a state.

Income from the deal, which will reportedly be retroactively paid back to 2012, is said to increase incrementally year-on-year through to a reported maximum €200m come 2016.

African leagues ‘need to commercialise’

Globalisation in football marches on with the spread of commercial principles to all parts of the world. The need to commercialise the game will be at the forefront of this year’s Soccerex African Forum with Saer Seck, President, Senegal Professional Football League, Jack Oguda, CEO, Kenyan Premier League and Stanley Matthews Sports & Commercial Director for Africa, SuperSport, all speaking on the important subject in Durban at the beginning of October.

Can United Do $1bn Nike deal?

New Manchester United chief executive Ed Woodward has come under some criticism for the club’s relative lack of activity in the transfer window, although they would claim their great success was holding on to Wayne Rooney who had evidently wanted to leave.

All the more important that Woodward secures a possible $1bn kit deal with Nike. There is time pressure on Woodward and his commercial staff because the big sports clothing companies, with whom United are now free to negotiate, generally need 18 months’ notice to deliver a new kit range.

The shirt on your back

I was travelling on the train to Charlton last Saturday and a very intelligent lad of about ten was sitting opposite me and talking to his much older brother who was evidently already in work.   The lad noted that Andrews Air Conditioning were Charlton’s shirt sponsors and asked if air conditioning units were for sale in the club shop.

The perils of sponsorship

Fans of Merthyr Town FC are going to have get used to calling their club ground the Cigg-e Stadium. The non-league team has just signed a sponsorship deal with the brand of electronic cigarettes, which will run for the next three seasons.

Some have raised eyebrows at the name change, but it’s not the first such relationship to be struck in UK football. E-Lites has just become the official partner of Derby County, while Birmingham City have a shirt sponsorship deal with Nicolites.

Universities use Premiership clubs to attract students

Having a local Premiership club can help a university to attract students. The evidence suggests that lower profile universities can derive particular benefits. The competition’s huge global audience estimated at 643 million students can provide a basis for recruitment, particularly in Asia.