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Mondelēz defends Cadbury and English Premier League sponsorship deal

By Oliver Nieburg+

27-Jan-2017
Last updated on 27-Jan-2017 at 11:31 GMT2017-01-27T11:31:54Z

Richard Masters, Premier League MD and Francesco Vitrano, Cadbury brand director, celebrate Cadbury's three-year sponsorship deal from start of 2017/18 Premier League season. Photo: MDLZ
Richard Masters, Premier League MD and Francesco Vitrano, Cadbury brand director, celebrate Cadbury's three-year sponsorship deal from start of 2017/18 Premier League season. Photo: MDLZ

Mondelēz International says its sponsorship deal between Cadbury and the English Premier League is not at odds with its responsibility to address public health concerns.

The company this week signed a three-year sponsorship deal with the Premier League beginning from the 2017/18 season.

It marks Cadbury UK's first soccer tie-up, although the leading UK confectioner did have a sponsorship deal with the London Olympics in 2012, which included a soccer tournament.

Programs for school children

A Cadbury spokesperson told ConfectioneryNews: We know we have a responsibility, along with the rest of the food industry, to help address public health concerns. 

Mondelēz on the ball

iStock

In 2013, Mondelez announced sponsorship deals with the US soccer team, Mexican club team Chivas and three American players including Clint Dempsey ahead of the 2014 World Cup.

“That’s why, as part of this sponsorship, we are teaming up with the Premier League to deliver a bespoke element of Mondelēz International’s existing community program Health for Life, which is currently focused on making a sustained difference to the lifestyles of 60,000 school children.”

They said the company would create tailored modules to promote healthy lifestyles among school pupils, together with the Premier League.

‘A marketing ploy,’ claims National Obesity Forum

Tam Fry, a spokesperson for the National Obesity Forum, said: "If the sponsorship means that a host of kids will be encouraged to exercise and kick footballs to kingdom come but didn't come near a bar of chocolate, the Forum might regard it as money well spent. 

“But since the Premier League is rich enough to do this on its own anyway and Cadbury could be looking at a downturn in the confectionery market, we regard this as little more than a marketing ploy.”

Fry, who is an expert advisory team member to lobby group Action on Sugar, added: “As children currently consume two to three times more sugar than they should, we would welcome the deal only if Cadbury produced a sugar-free product".

Mondelēz’s spokesperson said the company had supported over 2,000 community sporting events through its partnership of the London Olympics in collaboration with the organizer.

They said the company hopes to create similar programs with the Premier League. There will be no Cadbury branding within schools under the community element of the partnership, added the spokesperson. The program will be branded as Health for Life.

Health for Life is a £3.1 million ($5m) five-year programme funded by Mondelēz, launched in September 2011. It runs healthy lifestyle programs in communities and schools throughout the UK.

No retail element

The Premier League sponsorship deal includes rights for Cadbury to sponsor the competition’s Golden Boot and Golden Glove awards, which rewards the league’s top goal scorer and top goalkeeper respectively.

Mondelēz will not reveal the full details until closer to the start of the 2017/18 season.

But it says there will be no retail element within stadiums. Products sold within stadiums will remain at the discretion of each club.

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