Sports sponsorship is a global business worth an estimated $60 billion in 2021. Each week we bring the Sport for Bussiness network a look at some of the biggest deals and trends that are continually reshaping the ways in which sport and commercial partners interact.

Today we highlight major new deals in Rugby, Football and Golf, with DHL, Castrol and BMW, and we report on why ITV is pushing for a fast renewal of its rights deal with British racing in order to seal a sponsorship extension…






DHL Express has become the latest addition to the commercial portfolio of European Professional Club Rugby as an official partner of the Heineken Champions Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup.

The agreement will see DHL provide customised logistics solutions for both tournaments while enhancing EPCR’s current suite of commercial partners which includes Heineken, Tissot, the Financial Times, Gilbert and Kappa.

As a long-standing global sponsor of rugby-related partnerships including Munster Rugby, the British and Irish Lions, the Rugby World Cup and Rugby Sevens Series, DHL are well positioned to support the further development of both the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup as EPCR looks to extend its reach into new markets.

Following the new EPCR shareholder agreement which was concluded earlier this year, and ahead of next month’s opening round of matches in the 2021/22 season, there are a number of initiatives underway, particularly on new digital platforms, to build on the reach of an overall TV audience of close to 32 million last season.







BMW has renewed its title sponsorship of the PGA Tour’s second FedExCup playoff event for five more years.

The extension with the PGA Tour and the Western Golf Association runs from 2023 until 2027. The agreement covers extensive branding for BMW across the tournament, product placement and presence in digital content.

It also includes other activations which include one of our favourites in recent years, the provision of free parking on site if you turn up driving a BMW.

BMW has been a partner of the European Ryder Cup team since 2006, remains title sponsor of the DP World Tour event at Wentworth in the UK, and a partner of the Irish Open which will be held next year in Mount Juliet.






ITV is reported in the Financial Times this week to be nudging British Racing authorities towards an early extension of its partnership to show the main horse racing events including the Cheltenham Festival, the Derby and the Grand National.

The rights which ITV holds are also the enabler of Virgin Media carrying those marquee UK racing events in the Republic of Ireland.

It is understood to be seeking a back to back sponsorship for the coverage with Paddy Power and is keen to get a deal signed before any additional restriction comes into play in the UK around gambling promotion and advertising.

Racing in the UK was said by a betting industry sponsored report earlier this year to be in receipt of around £350 million of revenue from betting through sponsorship, media rights and the levy which is placed on all horseracing bets placed in the UK.






Castrol has long had a presence in football through partnerships with the World Cup and Cristiano Ronaldo. Now from January, it will be a partner of the English Premier League.

“We are excited to be partnering with Castrol, a business with a proud heritage of supporting some of the best-known football and sporting competitions,” said Richard Masters, chief executive of the Premier League.

“Castrol is a truly international brand and we look forward to working with them to engage Premier League fans all over the world.”

Part of the activation will include the headline naming rights on a new series of awards.





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