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Winners in the air miles league

International pre-season tours are not really about preparing the side for the season ahead. Indeed, all the travelling may fatigue the team and being in different climates may not help that much either.

It's really about marketing, increasing the global profile of the team and creating new opportunities to sell merchandise.

Which team is going to rack up the most air miles this summer? The magazine Four Four Two has provided the answers. Manchester City are way ahead by 39,223 miles on a trip that takes them to Toronto, Houston and Melbourne.

New mascot causes social media storm

Partick Thistle don't normally get a lot of attention, but their terrifying new mascot has caused a social media storm.    If nothing else, it should put a stop to 'Partick Thistle nil' jokes.  However, if mascots are mainly meant to appeal to younger children, this one doesn't fit the bill.   It would probaby give them nightmares.

Ennis-Hill stand no more

Olympic athlete Jessica Ennis-Hill will no longer have a stand named after her at Sheffield United's Bramall Lane ground.   Instead the stand will be named after local estate agents and club sponsors Redbrik.

Ennis-Hill had threatened to have her name removed from the stand if the club had re-signed convicted rapist Ched Evans.   However, the club made no reference to this and said they wanted to continue an association with Ennis-Hill.

Premier League to drop sponsorship

The Premier League is to stop having a named sponsor when its present agreement with Barclays expires in 2016.   Barclays have been sponsors since 2004.

It reflects a desire to have a 'clean brand' like major American sports leagues.   The new television deal means that the league can afford to drop having a sponsor.

New shirt sponsor for Sunderland

Dafabet are to be the new shirt sponsors for Sunderland.   The main markets for the eGaming company are in Asia and the UK.

Until the end of last season, they were the main shirt sponsors for Aston Villa.   They are also shirt sponsors for Blackburn Rovers.

Sponsors could hold key to Fifa crisis

Commercial sponsors could hold the key to the outcome of the crisis at Fifa.   MacDonalds and adidas, two of the headline sponsors for the 2018 World Cup, expressed grave concern at the fresh wave of allegations of systematic corruption within Fifa.

However, the strongest line has taken by Visa.   Any company involved in financial services has a particular interest in not being tainted by allegations of corruption.

In a statement, Visa said: 

Which teams get the big sponsorship money?

There is a lot of detailed and interesting information in this report from Forbes about which clubs get the big sponsorship money and how the picture is changing.

The biggest source of revenue is shirt sponsorship (or jersey sponsorship as this report calls it).   That is followed by stadium naming rights which have become an increasingly lucrative source of revenue.  

Old Trafford's commercial revolution

An article in today's Times describes 'the commercial revolution .... at Old Trafford as an unqualified success story and the envy of English football.'    

It is certainly the case that Manchester United has developed a more sophisticated and better resourced commercial operation that any other club and it has paid dividends for them financially.   Even their training kit is the sixth best selling replica shirt in Europe.

The Emirates FA Cup?

The Football Association have denied that a deal has been reached with Emirates Airlines to sponsor the FA Cup, but it is looking increasing likely.  A mouth watering £30m over three seasons is on the table.   The FA failed to find a sponsor this season after the expiry of a deal with Budweiser.

Row over Premier League sponsorship

Barclays Bank have indicated that they will not renew their £40m a year sponsorship of the Premier League when it ends in 2015-16.   They may well feel that they have extracted all the value they can from it and the association with such a wealthy competition may not be the best one for a bank given recent criticisms of the industry.   At times, they have also felt that their name is not mentioned enough in stories about the league.