Sony signs up boxing ‘Prince’

Boxing star “Prince” Naseem Hamed is about to sign a six-figure advertising and sponsorship deal with Sony to support the launch of its PlayStation games machine.

The flamboyant World Boxing Council international super bantam-weight champion asked his brother to conduct negotiations with Sony. His brother confirms negotiations are underway, but adds: “We are still at the final stages of drawing up contracts. It has not been 100 per cent agreed.”

If the deal is signed, Hamed is expected to appear in ads for Sony PlayStation and make personal appearances to promote the game.

The Hamed sponsorship will be one of two Sony sponsorship deals. Sony has chosen and signed up another deal but will not give details of it other than to say that it is an event.

Sony PlayStation ads are handled by Simons Palmer Denton Clemmow & Johnson.

The 21-year-old millionaire, Yorkshire-born champion is in the midst of withdrawing from his ad deal with German car manufacturer Audi, handled by Bartle Bogle Hegarty. In the Audi ads he appears in his signature leopard-skin boxing costume.

His promoter Frank Warren has an exclusive deal with Sky to show all of his boxers’ fights.

“Several other” sponsorship deals with Hamed are being negotiated. “Everybody wants a piece of him,” says his brother.

Sony will not confirm that it was in talks with Hamed. UK head of marketing Simon Jobling says Sony is in negotiations with someone, but adds: “I won’t say who it is, but I’m on tenterhooks waiting for the answer.”

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