Sony Ericsson takes on sponsorship chief

Sony Ericsson has appointed Calum Macdougall as its global sponsorship chief. He replaces Julian Mack, who is thought to have left to set up his own sponsorship agency.

Macdougall, who takes the title of global director of sponsorship, will be responsible for all of the handset manufacturer’s sponsorship activity, including its £50m partnership with the women’s tennis tour.

He joins Sony Ericsson from an overseas telecoms company, thought to be Caribbean-based Digicel,and will report to corporate vice president and head of global marketing Dee Dutta in his new role.

Sony Ericsson is looking to broaden its sponsorship portfolio, which is currently based around its deal with the WTA Tour.

The company is understood to be close to signing a deal with the UEFA Champions League, which would mark its first move into football (MW November 29, 2007).

It is also thought to have been in talks with TEAM, UEFA’s rights-selling agency, about becoming the official mobile partner of the Champions League. Insiders say that this would only be the first step and that the company may want to increase its involvement and become a top-tier sponsor in the future.

The main Sony brand and Sony PlayStation are already two of the six headline sponsors of the tournament, and it is unlikely that UEFA would be keen to have three Sony brands as top-tier partners.

But Sony Ericsson could look to increase its involvement, should one of the other two brands decide to endtheir involvement with the Champions League.

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