Sibur take pole position as new sponsor with Caterham F1 Team & Petrov

Jarno Trulli’s surprise sacking as driver to Caterham F1 team came a lot clearer today as his replacement Vitaly Petrov has brought a new sponsor to the team.

Sibur have become official team partners to Caterham for the 2012 season after the Russian petrochemical company were personal sponsors to Petrov last year.

Caterham caught many people off guard by bringing in well-backed Petrov to replace JarnoTrulli just weeks before the start of the new Formula One season.

“We are delighted to welcome Sibur into our team and to help them continue their relationship in F1 with Vitaly, and now with Caterham F1 Team,” team principal TonyFernandes said..

“F1 is a truly global sport, and Sibur’s investment in our sport is proof of the value F1 can bring, on a national and international level, so we are looking forward to working closely with (Sibur CEO) Mr (Dmitry) Konov and his team at Sibur to help them realise maximum benefit from this partnership.”

The Sibur logo will appear on Caterham’s CT01 cars as well as Petrov’s racing overalls


Ireland looking at host bid for 2023 Rugby World Cup

Irish Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar will meet soon with the IRFU to decide if Ireland will make a bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Varadkar’s very public declaration of support for the project is likely to give significant impetus to the Union’s ambitions. Government support would be essential to a bid given that Japan had to guarantee the 2019 World Cup to the tune of €115million ($152m) and that is likely to increase by 10% for the 2023 staging. One senior source has said: ”The Minister wants to see it happen but would first need to see if it is feasible.”

IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne has confirmed that the project has been considered: ”Coming back from New Zealand and seeing what they were able to do there, we (the IRFU) said it would be worth looking into. If the Government don’t get involved though, then it won’t happen.”

The IRFU have until February 2013 to formalise a bid for 2023 with the 2015 global rugby event being held in England and 2019 in Japan. Though top political support would be invaluable, a source close to Minister Varadkar said that ”any initiative would have to be led by the IRFU.” Importantly, Mr. Varadkar’s relations with the IRFU are far warmer than those that existed during the rein of his predecessor, Eamon Ryan. The Minister has in the past admitted to being ”a closet Leinster fan” who also played ”very bad rugby as a child but continued to keep an interest.”

The IRFU spokesperson also added that the success of the recent New Zealand World Cup ”proves small countries can hold such an event.” They noted that when it comes to grounds we ”already have the Aviva Stadium and the RDS, Croke Park has been used for rugby in the past, Ravenhill is currently being refurbished and there are a number of other historic grounds around the country including Limerick’s Thomond Park.” If the GAA got on board, with stadia like Semple Stadium Thurles and Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork due to be refurbished; Ireland wouldn’t need other Celtic nations (or England) to host some games.

A World Cup attracts hundreds of thousands of visiting fans, 2,500 international media and up to 5,000 corporate and VIP guests throughout the competition. It is believed that the 2007 Rugby World Cup brought in over 450,000 additional visitors to France and delivered a total economic impact of over €4billion ($5.3bn

Manchester City odds on with Paddy Power

Barclays Premier League leader Manchester City has signed up Paddy Power as its official UK betting partner.

The deal will run through to the end of the 2012-13 season and will see the two parties collaborate across a wide range of commercial activities. Paddy Power will offer its market-leading range of innovative betting products to City fans via the club’s official website and also a specially created City microsite. Paddy Power is a major player in the gambling world with strong operations in the UK, Ireland and Australia. Thursday’s news follows on from August’s announcement that the Mansion Group would become the club’s international betting partner.

“We wanted to wait for the right partner with the right principles, especially when it came to how they intended to engage with our biggest asset, our fans,” said Ian Cafferky, Manchester City’s chief brand and commercial officer. “Not only do Paddy Power and football go hand-in-hand but, with their dynamic match-day odds and Money-Back Specials, we believe this partnership will provide real added value to our supporters’ match-day experience.”

Paddy Power himself added: “There are a lot of similarities between Manchester City and Paddy Power, with us both having established reputations for putting our fans and customers first, whilst rising to the top of the table in our respective fields. Paddy Power specialises in surprising and delighting punters and I really look forward to sharing our unbeatable betting value with the Manchester City fans.”

Rangers Go into Administration

Scottish soccer champions Rangers FC went into administration today, Tuesday 14th February, after running into financial problems and will incur a 10-point penalty which will effectively surrender the league title to Glasgow rivals Celtic as they fight for their future.

Rangers, one of the best supported clubs in Britain, are in dispute with Britain’s tax authorities and could face a bill of more than £50 million ($79 million).

Corporate restructuring specialists Duff & Phelps have been appointed by the club to run its affairs, and cost-cutting to try to balance the books is now inevitable.

Rangers will be docked 10 points by the Scottish Premier League, leaving them 14 adrift of Celtic.

The crisis facing such a big club, champions a world record 54 times, has sent shockwaves through British soccer where many smaller teams face a precarious existence.

The Scottish club had warned on Monday that it was likely to go into administration over the next few days but the tax authorities hastened the move when they took court action on Tuesday.

The focus for the tax authorities is believed to be unpaid payroll taxes, rather than the larger dispute which is due to be settled by a tribunal.

Rangers chairman Craig Whyte, who bought the club for a nominal one pound last year, vowed on Monday that they would emerge as a “stronger and financially fitter organisation”.

Rangers sold Croatian international striker Nikica Jelavic to English Premier League club Everton last month, but this was obviously nowhere enough to stave off administration.

MasterCard & UEFA- Continue winning combination in the Champions League

MasterCard has extended its long-standing commitment to the UEFA Champions League by signing a new sponsorship deal to cover the tournament’s 2012-15 cycle.

The three-year deal also includes rights to the Super Cup – season curtain-raiser between the winners of the Champions League and UEFA Europa League – in 2012, 2013 and 2014, and will see MasterCard continue as the official payment systems provider of the two competitions. Monday’s announcement comes ahead of this week’s commencement of the Champions League knockout stages. MasterCard joins Heineken, UniCredit and Ford as the fourth official partner for the 2012-15 seasons besides Adidas, which is the official supplier. Sony and its PlayStation brand are the only current partners that have yet to commit to the new cycle.


Rangers give notice of impending administration

Historic Scottish club Glasgow Rangers, champions of Scotland on 54 occasions, have lodged a notice to go into administration according to reports.

STV and BBC Scotland both report that the Court of Session in Edinburgh has confirmed the club’s solicitors have given notice of Rangers’ intention of appoint administrators.

That means the Glasgow club now have 10 days to formally announce that the running of the club has been taken over by administrators.

At present Rangers are awaiting a verdict in a tax tribunal with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) that could land the club with a bill of £49 million.

If they lose their case then it is feared the historic club could enter liquidation, a development which would have huge repercussions for the Scottish game.

Rangers will be hit with a 10-point penalty if they do enter administration. They are currently four points behind great rivals Celtic in the table.

South Africa to host richest event in Golf

The International Federation of PGA Tours has announced that its sixth sanctioned event, the Tournament of Hope, will be hosted by South Africa’s Sunshine Tour beginning in 2013 and will have a prize fund of US$8.5 million.

 The new Tournament of Hope will be the centrepiece of a worldwide effort to be undertaken by the Sunshine Tour and partner promoter SAIL Rights Commercialisation to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in Africa and across the world. With the enormous prize purse, it has also been described as the single richest event in golf.

The Tournament of Hope will be staged in South Africa for the first time in 2013, with dates of November 25 to December 1 planned to coincide with World AIDS Day. In addition to the tournament, the promoters have stated they will organise other awareness functions in South Africa and around the world during the week of the event.

Organisers have stated that the tournament will be a “major international competition” for the world’s best professional golfers with eligibility similar to that of the four World Golf Championship (WGC) events. This is based primarily on the Official World Golf Ranking and supplemented by the individual money lists and Orders of Merit of the various Tours that make up the International Federation of PGA Tours.