Visa Extends Partnership with MLS
Soccer United Marketing, Major League Soccer’s marketing arm, is extending its partnership with Visa.
Under this agreement, Visa will continue to be the official payment services company until 2014 for MLS, U.S. Soccer and the Mexican National Soccer Team’s tour of the U.S.
“As the U.S. Men’s National Team prepares for Brazil 2014, the renewed (Soccer United Marketing) sponsorship agreement which supports Visa’s FIFA partnership, will help connect Visa and our clients to a multicultural and passionate soccer fan base across the USA,” said Alex Craddock, Visa’s head of marketing for North America. 
Visa will continue to have exclusive promotional rights at MLS events and will be entitled to targeted marketing and the use of various intellectual properties. 
Champions League to See More of Sony

Sony Ericsson will better leverage its UEFA sponsorship during this Champions League season. 
Sony Ericsson will take its Champions League sponsorship online this season. (Getty Images)
“Social media will now become an additional investment in our Champions League sponsorship,” the company’s head of global marketing partnerships Stephan Croix told Marketing Week.
“We will dial up the volume to help build the brand and continue to drive commercial success.”
The sponsorship will retain its focus on the Xperia range of mobile phones, but a new Facebook application will deliver extra content as well as exclusive promotions around Europe’s top club competition.
According to Marketing Week, the new Champions League campaign takes its inspiration from a recent tennis sponsorship – aptly titled Hot Shots – that brought Sony almost a million Facebook fans and more than 3 million YouTube hits.

Hyundais a Plenty for Beach Soccer World Cup
Organizers of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup just underway in Ravenna, Italy will be driving Hyundai vehicles for the duration of the 10-day tournament.

The fleet of 50 vehicles provided by the Korean car manufacturer to the local organizing committee includes the new i40, the compact crossover SUV ix35, the mid-size crossover SUV Santa Fe, the multi-purpose vehicle ix20, and the H-1 minibus for transporting larger groups of officials, referees and media as well as entire national teams.
Hyundai first sponsored FIFA more than a decade ago and is signed on as one of its top partners through the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Firsts All Around for Everton, Best Buy

Best Buy will be the official technology partner of Everton FC, a first for both parties.
The US retail giant first opened a store in the UK last year, and the new deal represents its maiden voyage into British sports sponsorship.
“We know how important the club is to the supporters and we hope we can use our partnership to create an amazing match day experience for fans both in the ground and in their living rooms,” Best Buy UK sponsorship manager Ian Boynton was quoted by Marketing Magazine.
The arrangement is also a first for Everton FC, whose never before had an official technology partner.
The club’s fans will have the opportunity to win an $800 gift card to Best Buy each matchday when a camera zeroes in on one lucky Evertonian.

Bolton Now Linked with Landmines, Activists Say

Bolton Wanderers have come under fire for their latest sponsorship. (Getty Images)
A sponsorship deal truck last week between the Bolton Wanderers and a Chinese company has some landmine activists up in arms, according to a report in The Bolton News. 
“The current agreement is with Hanwha Solar. This is a business which operates only and exclusively in the renewable energy sector,” says a spokesman with the Premier League side.
“The Chinese-based company was acquired by Hanwha 12 months ago, and
the club has no direct dealing or relationship with any other Hanwha Group company.”
According to a report by an activist organization, a Hanwha business group produced 10,000 mines in 2007.

Zimbabwe Tournament Bankrolled by Diamonds
Mining firm Mbada Diamonds is launching Zimbabwe’s largest ever knockout competition.

A draw on Sept. 16 will follow this week’s announcement of the $1 million tournament for clubs in the country’s Premier Soccer League.
“The tournament will see the winners pocketing $75,000, a floating trophy and $150,000 worth of accommodation and air tickets sponsorship subsidy to participate in the CAF Confederation Cup,” Mbada media consultant Ignatius Mazura said during the tournament’s unveiling.
“Further this subsidy shall be used to procure $25,000 worth of kit sponsorship bearing the Mbada Diamonds logo for use during the 2012 CAF Confederation Cup tournament while the runners up will pocket $50,000.”
By INSIDER’s Matthew Grayson

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