Sports Ticker #103: Paralympics' media reach, Super League trade mark, and Red Bull Padel – a speed read of commercial updates from the sports world

Published on 15 March 2024

In a fortnight which saw Wimbledon recognised as having the highest ad engagement for women's sports events in 2023, the FIA President investigated for alleged race interference, and world No 1 Novak Djokovic knocked out of the Indian Wells tournament by world No 123 "lucky loser", we bring you updates on media deals for the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games, attempts to register an EU trade mark for "The Super League", and the partnership between F1 and Tommy Hilfiger.

As always, if there are any issues on which you'd like more information (or if you have any questions or feedback), please do let us know or get in touch with your usual contact at RPC.

Paralympics' Global Reach

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has signed media deals in over 160 countries for the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games. Live coverage from over 22 sports will be broadcast during the Games - an increase on the 19 shown at Tokyo 2020 and 15 at Rio 2016. The Paris Paralympic Games will be broadcast in more countries and territories than ever before, with 2024 President Tony Estanguet commenting on the importance of increasing the visibility of Para sports and Para athletes. According to IPC Global Media Rights, interest in the Paralympic Games has more than doubled in the last eight years and this is reflected by the media deals agreed ahead of Paris 2024. The IOC added that overall revenue raised from these increased media rights sales has increased 20% on the Tokyo Games, which was shown across 154 countries with a total viewership of 4.1 billion.

Off-pitch victory for Denmark's Superliga

The European Super League (ESL), a planned breakaway elite European club tournament, has been told by the European Union Trade Mark Office that it cannot register a trade mark for "The Super League" in the EU – due to existing rights owned by Denmark's Superligaen. The Danish Superliga, known as 3F Super League, is made up of 12 teams and has an annual domestic broadcast income of just £37 million. No other football league or competition in Europe will be able to use the name "The Super League" in Europe without infringing the Superliga's trade mark. Claus Thomsen, chief executive of the Superligaen said they were "very happy that the EU's trade mark authority has agreed that the "Super League" brand in the EU will violate the value that Danish clubs have invested in the 3F Super League".

"Fast" Fashion: F1 x Tommy Hilfiger

The F1 Academy, an all-female development platform for emerging talent, has partnered with American fashion label Tommy Hilfiger in a collaboration which aims to promote diversity in motorsport. The partnership will cover the 2024 season and will see Spanish driver Nerea Martí's racing attire and car showcasing Tommy Hilfiger's famous red, white and blue. As well as liveries, Tommy Hilfiger will outfit all F1 Academy staff with custom uniforms. Separately, Formula 1 has recently announced a ten-year partnership with beIN SPORTS to exclusively broadcast F1 racing in the Middle East, North Africa (MENA), and Turkey. The deal includes broadcasting all F1 race weekends and forming a regional content production partnership, to engage with the growing F1 fanbase in the region.

Chase banking on football

Online bank Chase has been announced as the Official Banking Partner of the Home Nations football teams in a four-year deal that will see the Chase logo appear on training kits worn by all men's and women's teams. The partnership will also build on Chase's ongoing investment in community-based programmes and its current work with the National Literacy Trust, with initiatives that help people build pathways to employment through the growth of transferrable skills. Through its partnership with the Football Associations of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, Chase will provide fully funded coaching qualifications and other free development resources for UK individuals from low-income backgrounds. Deborah Keay, UK Chief Marketing Officer at Chase, highlighted football's "unique ability to drive positive societal change" and expressed excitement at the opportunity to use the power of football to support individuals and communities.

Castore cues up World Snooker partnership

World Snooker Tour (WST) has announced a five-year partnership with Castore which will see the global sportswear giant become the Official Technical Partner of the WST until 2029. Castore was ranked second on the Sunday Times list of the UK's fastest growing companies in 2023 after achieving 285.8% growth since 2020. WST will be in excellent company alongside Castore's current partners which include McLaren F1, Oracle Red Bull Racing, and Rangers FC. The sportswear company plans to work with WST and in consultation with players to develop performance garments to be worn at selected events, beginning with the Riyadh Season World Masters of Snooker and continuing with the upcoming World Mixed Doubles. The partnership aims to develop the innovation and technical performance elements of snooker and includes the launch of a brand-new online store.


Extra time...

......and finally, Premier Padel, a leading padel tour backed by Qatar Sports Investments, has announced a groundbreaking deal with Red Bull thought to be worth tens of millions of pounds. Red Bull TV, a free-of-charge streaming service run by the Austrian-based energy drink company, will broadcast live matches in selected territories. The platform's coverage will begin from the quarter-final stages onwards across each of the tour's 25 tournaments. Red Bull will also become a main partner of the tour and will create and stream new promotional content on its platforms. The partnership is set to last until 2027 and marks another significant landmark in one of the world's fastest growing sports, which now boasts an estimated 25 million players.