JSP Engages in the World of Rugby

JSP has signed up to attend the Rugby Expo taking place at iconic venue, Twickenham on 23-24 November.
“The Rugby Expo is the business world of rugby under one roof, over two days and is the world’s leading rugby convention”.
“The event combines a conference programme, master class workshops and live exhibition to produce the ideal environment for learning the latest developments in the game, networking and creating new business opportunities from the world of rugby”.

Dominic Jordan Founder and Managing Director of JSP stated ” We are delighted to be attending this years Rugby Expo, It is a chance to meet with the most influential people in the game, debate the most topical issues and understand more about the latest commercial developments, all designed to support the ever growing professional and grass roots games”.

“Most of all, it is a unique opportunity to meet senior executives from all over the globe and all areas of the game in a relaxed atmosphere with unrivalled access to the key decision makers from the world of rugby”.

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Santander board quits club

La Liga crisis club Racing Santander has suffered a fresh setback after its entire board, with the exception of owner Ahsan Ali Syed, resigned.

Syed bought the club in January but his tenure has been controversial. Racing applied to the courts in July to enter voluntary administration amid debts in excess of Eur33 million. The club finished 12th in La Liga last season, but has found itself in serious financial difficulties following Syed’s takeover.

The Indian businessman, founder and chairman of investment company Western Gulf Advisory, had previously failed with a move for English Premier League club Blackburn Rovers before completing a deal for Racing. Club president Francisco Pernia, who angered the club’s fans last week after revealing on Spanish radio that he had bought a luxury car at the club’s expense, is one of the executives to have resigned.

The club, which picked up its first win of the season with a 1-0 victory against Real Betis on Sunday, has stated it will move quickly to appoint a new board. “Members of the Racing Santander board (with the exception of the WGA company, represented by Ahsan Ali Syed) have decided to tender their resignation,” read a club statement. “The motive for this decision is to avoid placing the club in a situation of conflict and tension that could jeopardise its unity.”

Swansea’s Liberty Stadium losses continue

English Premier League newcomers Swansea FC’s Liberty Stadium is continuing to make losses, leading to an estimated deficit of over half a million pounds.
The draft figures contained in a Swansea council report show a projected loss of £118,000 for 2010/11, meaning the stadium now had a cumulative loss of about £533,000.
The stadium, run by Swansea Stadium Management Company (SSMC), is the home of Swansea City and the Ospreys. The clubs moved to the £27 million Liberty Stadium in 2005 after the council paid most of the money to build it.

Hong Kong tennis event called off after sponsor setback

The annual Hong Kong Tennis Classic has been postponed due to a lack of sponsorship, organisers of the event confirmed on Tuesday.

The exhibition event, which was due to be staged in January 2012 at the start of the tennis season, has featured top stars such as Roger Federer, John McEnroe, Maria Sharapova, Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniaki in previous years. The 35-year-old tournament, though, has failed to secure a title sponsor.

“We have been forced to postpone the event in January owing to a lack of sponsorship,” Ian Wade, the Hong Kong Tennis Patrons’ Association president said in a statement. In today’s financial environment, finding a sponsor has been difficult, and this has proved to be the case.”

According to AFP, co-tournament director Terry Catton added: “I hope this is a temporary glitch and that a sponsor will step forward to assume the reins.” Organisers did not disclose how much the sponsorship would have cost.

FIFA president Blatter unveils reforms

President Sepp Blatter revealed on Friday his long-awaited plan to reform FIFA, with the announcement headlined by the decision to re-open the infamous case concerning the collapse of former marketing partner ISL.

Blatter, who was re-elected for a fourth term in office on the pledge that he would clean up the corruption plagued governing body, also announced the creation of a ‘Committee Good Governance’ along with three new task forces. The Committee Good Governance, which will be established at the next meeting of the FIFA Executive Committee in December, will oversee reforms undertaken by FIFA. It will comprise of representatives not only from the international football family but also from other spheres. However, Blatter stated he has dropped his controversial plan to invite figures such as former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and opera singer Placido Domingo to join this panel.

The three task forces would investigate changes to the FIFA statutes, changes to the ethics committee and means to make FIFA more transparent. They will be added to an existing task force charged with the task of making football more attractive ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. “I believe we have been rather ambitious in our road map, it’s a Formula One model, but we need to move forward,” Blatter told a press conference. “I feel very fulfilled and happy that the executive committee is completely in step with what we want to achieve with the national associations.”

Blatter added: “The good governance committee is a bit of a watchdog and will allow us in 2013, maybe even before, to present an image slightly better than the one we have currently. We want a fair image, which displays the will of the FIFA leadership to not dwell on the past, to face up to its problems and find solutions. Tackling problems is not enough, we need to find solutions. When FIFA is attacked, the president is attacked and I have to defend the institution and myself. I hope this transparency will help put our past concerns behind us.”

Regarding the ISL case, which revolved around the fallout from the collapse of FIFA’s former marketing partner in 2001, Blatter stated that it is his intention to release the case’s full dossier. However, this will only be done after a thorough legal analysis because of the complexity of the matter. The case will be opened at December’s Executive Committee meeting before being given to an independent body for further examination. The BBC’s Panorama programme in November reported that documents relating to a criminal investigation into the ISL collapse are believed to show that senior FIFA officials were paid bribes in return for handing the company lucrative World Cup broadcast and sponsorship rights during the 1990s.

Blatter stated: “This is an issue which has been raised by the national associations and members of FIFA. The executive committee of FIFA has decided that this case should be opened. We will therefore give this file to an independent organisation on the outside of FIFA. That is all I can tell you on this famous ISL file.”

Heineken extends Rugby World Cup sponsorship

Beer brand Heineken has extended its worldwide sponsorship of the Rugby World Cup through to 2015.

Heineken announced the new deal on Thursday ahead of the final of the 2011 tournament on Sunday between France and New Zealand. According to The Associated Press, the agreement has taken the brand’s spending on the sport to more than Eur100 million since becoming involved in the competition in 1995. The 2015 Rugby World Cup will be staged in England, with Heineken hoping the Northern Hemisphere competition will help to boost sales in Europe, its strongest market.

Heineken global brand activation manager Hans-Erik Tuijt said the International Rugby Board “is rightly trying to build rugby around the world and we help them with that”. He added: “The event provides us with a unique opportunity to continue to share stories and further develop our relationship with the growing international rugby audience. The success of our activation, be it on TV, digital and in store during the 2011 New Zealand tournament reinforces Heineken’s decision to continue to partner with the Rugby World Cup.”

ITV and ESPN secure UK Europa League rights

UEFA announced on Monday that ITV and ESPN had acquired UK broadcast rights to the Europa League from the 2012-13 season, bringing an end to commercial broadcaster Channel 5’s coverage of the competition.

Free-to-air ITV has acquired the rights to the top two live matches each match week on digital channel ITV4 followed by a round-up of the match night’s key action. In addition, ITV4 will air a full weekly highlights programme on Fridays each match week, with the potential for certain matches in the latter stages of the competition featuring UK teams being broadcast on main channel ITV1.

Pay-TV channel ESPN has secured the rights to all remaining Europa League matches and will show at least one match per kick-off slot each match week as well as highlights on the network’s premium UK television channel. The rights, which have been awarded on a “platform-neutral basis” to allow for simultaneous online and mobile coverage, will cover the 2012-15 seasons. Channel 5 has aired the Europa League since 2008.

“UEFA is happy to renew its partnership with ITV and ESPN in the United Kingdom,” read a statement from European football’s governing body. “These deals will further develop and promote the competition in the region by providing football fans throughout the UK with an extensive choice of coverage not only on television but also via online and mobile services.”