December 13 – Sports rights agency IMG has been given the job of finding a headline sponsor partner for the home nation associations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
The three nations, along with England, had previously had car manufacturer Vauxhall as their leading sponsor partner, but Vauxhall announced in March that their deal would end after the 2018 World Cup, when its current agreements expire. Only England have qualified for Russia.
Vauxhall had been lead partner of all four nations since 2011 and said it had “agreed to explore other opportunities to continue its relationship with the FAs beyond the conclusion of the existing contracts”.
Vauxhall Motors inherited the sponsorship from the Nationwide Building Society, a sponsorship that had been running for several years and that made British football history when it became the first organisation ever to sign title partnership agreements with all four associations.
Now Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales will be driving a more independent route separate from England.
The new rights period will begin with the 2018 UEFA Nations League which from a sales perspective comes as perfect timing, providing meaningful competition for sponsors to engage with rather than a diet of friendlies.
The rights period available runs through the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and includes player and national team manager appearances; perimeter advertising; experiential activation; hospitality and tickets; branding on training and leisure wear; digital awareness; and access to social media channels.
Michael Mellor, SVP, football, IMG Media, said: “This is an attractive package and represents a unique opportunity for a partner to contribute to a positive national spirit in each of the three countries, while also generating value through the unified brand image for the fans, media partners and associations.
“It’s a real opportunity for a brand to embed itself in football culture and develop a lasting relationship within each community.”
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