SPORTS MONTH: Sector Guide - Licensing.biz

SPORTS MONTH: Sector Guide

From football to ultimate fighting, we look at some of the key brands.
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Engage Super League

The elite division for Rugby League in Europe, ESL features 14 teams battling it out over the course of a 27-round summer fixture season to reach the eight-team play-off series.
The play-offs culminate in the Grand Final, which is held each year at Old Trafford.
The international popularity of Super League is growing, while the game is expanding outside of its traditional heartland of northern England. There are also now teams based in London, Wales and France, and during the 2009 season matches were played in England, Wales, France, Spain and Scotland.
Attendances across the board have risen year on year since 2001, while two games are broadcast live each week on Sky Sports. The 2009 Super League season was viewed by over ten million people, while last year's Grand Final was the most viewed Super League game ever.
CPLG Sport was appointed the exclusive licensing agent for the brand earlier this year. To date it has secured deals with Elisabeth the Chef and MBI to use the logo and club crests. It is also developing other categories including apparel, interactive, souvenirs and publishing.

Fédération Equestre Internationale

The international governing body for equestrian sport, the FEI is the sole controlling authority for all international events in Dressage & Para-Equestrian Dressage, Jumping, Eventing, Driving & Para-Equestrain Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining.
Equestrianism is one of the world's most successful sports, and one of the very few in which men and women compete on equal terms. It has three Olympic disciplines: Jumping, Dressage and Eventing.
CPLG Sport signed a global rights deal with the FEI earlier this year and will be targeting product categories including apparel, publishing, toys, games and interactive.

The FA

The Three Lions is one of the most recognised brands in global licensing, demonstrated by an extensive programme developed between The FA and its agent, CPLG Sport.
Official licensed England Football product is sold in most major grocers, department stores and sports specialists in the country. Indeed, the breadth and depth of the licensing programme, along with the retail penetration over the past few years, has seen the brand move from primarily tournament-based to a year-round offering.
With the UEFA Euro 2012 Championships on the horizon, there is still scope for brand extension.

FIA World Rally Championship (WRC)

The Championship comprises a series of 13 rallies in different countries. Over three million fans attended WRC events last year, with TV coverage aired in over 120 countries on 264 broadcasters worldwide.
In 2009, WRC achieved a total TV audience of over 570 million viewers, with a further 12 million visits to the official website and a growing social media network.
Recent developments in the sport include the announcement of Mini entering the WRC from 2011, lining up with the established Ford and Citroen teams.
Agent CPLG Sport is looking to sign new licensees across a range of different categories to build on the existing programme.

NBA

The National Basketball Association features 30 teams across the US and Canada, with merchandise having been present in Europe for over 20 years. Indeed, the business has doubled over the last five years.
The NBA now has over 65 licensees in the region covering categories from apparel, interactive games, school supplies, DVDs, collectibles and eyewear. It also has longstanding relationships with firms such as Adidas, Electronic Arts, Panini and Spalding.
The firm is looking at a number of growth opportunities, including in Russia, Turkey and the Middle East. It is also expanding into new categories such as consumer electronics, food and automotives, as well as seeing some strong developments for its children's products.
The NBA recently revealed that the first regular season games to be played in Europe will take place at London's O2 Arena on March 4th and 5th 2011. Pitched as NBA Games - London 2011, the New Jersey Nets will play the Toronto Raptors in back to back games.
The games are part of a growing intitiative through the UK to promote basketball in the build up to the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Prior to this, the NBA will be back in Europe as part of NBA Europe Live presented by EA Sports, which kicks off on October 3rd.
Adidas has also extended its global partnership with the NBA, giving it the exclusive rights to all apparel in Europe, beginning with the 2010/2011 NBA season. A comprehensive court collection will launch in October including replica and swingman versions of NBA player jerseys, plus warm up merchandise, practice wear and Adidas Techfit undergarments. On top of this, NBA Soul swingman jerseys, featuring some of the most popular NBA legends, will also launch under the Adidas Originals brand.

St Andrews Links

Widely known as the 'home of golf', as a public golfvenue, all seven Links courses are open to visitors. Around 240,000 rounds of golf are played annually on the St Andrews Links courses.
St Andrews Links is also synonymous with the prestigious Open Championship - with this year marking the 150th anniversary of the competition.
Partners including Allianz, Brooks Brothers, Montegrappa, EA and Callaway Golf have all been signed up by CPLG Sport.

Ultimate Fighting Championship

Established in 1993, UFC was acquired for $2 million by Zuffa LLC in 2001. Headquartered in Las Vegas and with offices in Los Angeles and London, the UFC says that it is the fastest growing sports organisation in the world, worth an estimated $1.2 billion.
The UFC provides over 15 pay-per-view events annually, is broadcast in 147 countries in 17 languages and reaches almost half a billion homes worldwide. It also produces over 25 live arena events around the world, breaking attendance, box office and merchandise stand records through the US, as well as in Britain, Ireland, Canada, UAE, Australia and Germany.
In 2005, UFC introduced reality TV show The Ultimate Fighter, where the best unsigned mixed martial artists participate in a single elimination tournament, with the winner earning a six-figure contract with the UFC.
The company will be making its debut at Brand Licensing Europe in September, showcasing its wide range of existing licensed product, which includes trading cards, action figures, training and fitness equipment, video games, bedding and apparel.

West Ham United

CPLG Sport has brokered a series of new deals for West Ham. Joining the programme are UR In the Paper for personalised photographic prints; USBMAN for West Ham branded USBs; and Kamtronik for football board games.
In addition, New Era has extended its caps licence, while Bafiz has renewed its existing footwear deal.
Over 35 licensees are on board with the club, including Danilo, Aykroyds TDP, Pyramid Posters and Home Win.

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