ANALYSIS: What's the League Cup Worth? - Coors Brewers Has Added to Football's Woes by Ending Its Pounds 4m Worthington Cup Deal. What Now for the Tournament, Asks Mark Kleinman

Marketing, April 11, 2002 | Go to article overview

ANALYSIS: What's the League Cup Worth? - Coors Brewers Has Added to Football's Woes by Ending Its Pounds 4m Worthington Cup Deal. What Now for the Tournament, Asks Mark Kleinman


Last week's announcement that Coors Brewers is ending Worthington's involvement in top-class football could hardly have been timed worse for the Football League.

The company's decision to terminate its pounds 4m-a-year title sponsorship of the League Cup, revealed exclusively by Marketing, has sent shockwaves through the sport.

Those heady days of just two years ago, when football rights were changing hands for more than pounds 1bn, are just a distant memory. And now, the comments of Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, that the event should be renamed the 'Worthless Cup', are returning to haunt the League.

In itself, Coors' belief that the sponsorship has taken Worthington as far as it can is not surprising. The association has already been running for four years, a standard period for a major sports property, and the former Bass brand's new owner is keen to engineer a shift in marketing strategy.

But coming as it did in the midst of the League's increasingly fractious dispute with ITV Digital and its owners, Carlton and Granada, the decision raises major questions about the future of the competition and its marketability.

The ITV companies still owe pounds 178.5m out of a pounds 315m broadcast rights deal that includes both League and Cup matches. If the prophecy of the League's chairman, Keith Harris, comes true, more than 30 of its member clubs could be wiped off the map of English professional football forever if this deal is not honoured.

Blue-chip sponsor

At a stroke, this would eliminate one-third of the participants in the League's flagship cup competition; hardly an attractive proposition for a new sponsor. While those clubs would not include the genuine big guns of the game, much of the appeal of cup competitions is derived from the excitement of seeing football's minnows pitted against their more affluent rivals.

When ITV Digital does disappear from the media landscape, the League will be forced to seek a new broadcast deal to salvage some TV coverage for next season. In these circumstances, the League's negotiating position would be a difficult one.

Yet for all the doom and gloom, the League's embattled commercial director, Richard Masters, remains bullish about prospects for future sponsors.

'This is the only title sponsorship currently available in British domestic football, and the only property to include Premiership teams,' he says.

'Average attendances this season were up 20% on the previous year (to around 11,000 per Worthington Cup match), and viewing figures for this year's final shaded those for the FA Cup Final.'

This season, 22 million viewers watched 18 Worthington Cup matches, including 6.8 million for the final itself, shown live on ITV1.

Masters refuses to reveal the share of the pounds 315m broadcast deal that ITV paid for League Cup matches. But the commercial chief does reveal that he has already been approached by 'more than a handful' of companies interested in taking over from Worthington, though he denies reports last week that one of the potential suitors is AXA.

'We have every confidence that we will attract a new blue-chip sponsor. And make no mistake, the League Cup will be shown on TV next season,' he says.

Coors has said that it would be willing to be bought out of the remaining year of its contract if the League can find a sponsor in time for next season's competition. But sponsorship experts believe this scenario is unlikely.

Minor significance

The current uncertainty about the future of clubs and the broadcast package, as well as the time needed for a new backer to develop a sponsorship exploitation programme, make it more likely that the public will still be seeing Worthington Cup matches next season.

Beyond that, it is likely that title sponsorship of the competition will continue, according to Masters, with little possibility of the League deciding to attract a raft of backers instead. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

ANALYSIS: What's the League Cup Worth? - Coors Brewers Has Added to Football's Woes by Ending Its Pounds 4m Worthington Cup Deal. What Now for the Tournament, Asks Mark Kleinman
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.