Paddy Power targets Wayne Rooney sponsorship deal

Wayne Rooney: approach by Paddy Power
Wayne Rooney: approach by Paddy Power

The decision by Coca-Cola to end its deal with footballer Wayne Rooney has placed the sponsorship industry on alert, with brands considering an approach for the Manchester United and England star.

The soft-drinks company confirmed last week that it had ended its £600,000-a-year deal with Rooney, claiming its marketing plans have 'evolved' to focus on the London 2012 Games.

The decision came in the same week that Rooney was banned for two matches by the FA for swearing into a TV camera after scoring a hat-trick against West Ham.

Irish bookmaker Paddy Power was the first brand to confirm that it is putting together a sponsorship proposal for Rooney.

The decision follows its failure to conclude a £50m deal with golfer Tiger Woods, after he had been dropped by several sponsors following allegations about his private life.

Coca-Cola's archrival, Pepsi, has also reportedly been considering an approach for Rooney. However, sources close to the brand told Marketing that any such deal was unlikely.

Paddy Power considers an association with a high-profile sportsman as the next step in its development. Sources close to the bookmaker said it had identified Rooney as a brand ambassador before the end of his partnership with Coke.

A spokesman for Paddy Power said: 'No direct formal negotiations have been made, but there is an appetite for it at this end.'

The proposed tie-up would, say sources, involve Rooney, whose existing sponsors include Nike and EA Sports, taking part in brand endorsements, appearing in Paddy Power's TV ads and at promotional day events.

Some sport sponsorship experts believe that, despite being dropped by Coca-Cola, the footballer remains a desirable sponsorship property for brands.

'As long as Rooney keeps performing on the pitch, and also not behaving too badly off it, his rebellious, edgy appeal will bring in a raft of new sponsors. Rooney should be sponsored by Red Bull not Coca-Cola,' said Rupert Pratt, managing director of sponsorship agency generatesponsorship.

Angus McGougan, business director at sports marketing agency Fast Track, added that Rooney remained a 'fantastic player idolised by fans around the world', and still offered much to brands.

IN MY VIEW: EXPERT COMMENT - Nigel Currie, Director, brandRapport

Rooney is box-office material, so he will always attract sponsors. Now, however, they are less likely to be family brands and more likely to be 'lads' brands'.

Some sponsors will not worry about Rooney's behaviour, viewing it as part of what makes him who he is. Others, meanwhile, such as EA Sports, may have commitments with Rooney that are more long term, or also involve other major sports stars, making a split harder.

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

Oasis #springasmile digital campaign gets people doing good deeds
Coca-Cola: 'Don't approach bloggers with a fait accompli'
Tesco CMO Matt Atkinson: 'It is so important not to stereotype mothers'
McDonald's gives Ronald a new look ahead of global 'Fun times' social media push
In pictures: BrewDog opens first craft beer shop BottleDog for 'beer aficionados'
Facebook ad revenue leaps $1bn as it invests in targeting
Malteser or Maltesers? Mars takes Hershey trademark dispute to court
Apple Q2 profits top $10bn as iPhone sales soar
Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers