IAAF confident in search for new Diamond League sponsor after Samsung pull out

Friday, 05 April 2013
By Duncan Mackay

Mo Farah Diamond League Monte CarloApril 5 - A search for a new sponsor for its flagship Diamond League has been launched by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) after Samsung decided not to renew its $4.5 million (£3 million/€3.5 million) deal for the upcoming 2013 season.

The South Korean electronics giant, who are one of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) TOP partners, had sponsored the League since its launch in 2010 but have decided against the option of taking up a fourth year.

"We are in discussions with various possible replacements for Samsung," Nick Davies, the IAAF deputy general secretary, told insidethegames.

"We should know more in the coming weeks."

The Diamond League is made up of 14 of the world's top meetings in 11 countries across three continents, encompassing 32 individual disciplines, with $480,000 (£314,000/€370,000) in prize money available at each event. 

This year's circuit is due to open in Doha on May 10 before travelling to Shanghai on May 18 and then two meetings in the United States before arriving in Europe, at the Golden Gala in Rome on June 6.

Samsung Diamond League DohaDoha has become the traditional opening event of the Diamond League

The top three athletes at each meeting are awarded points, and in the case of the final meeting of the discipline the points are doubled.

The athlete with the highest number of points in each discipline at the end of the season wins "The Diamond Race", earning a Diamond Trophy created by jeweller Beyer and a $40,000 (£26,000/€31,000) cash prize. 

Samsung's decision to withdraw is believed to have been partly motivated by the fact that the fragmented nature of the Diamond League means that each individual meeting has its own sponsor, who usually enjoy a greater projection than they do.

Usain Bolt with Samsung cameraSamsung have announced a sponsorship deal with the world's fastest man, Usain Bolt

But Samsung will remain involved in athletics as they recently announced a new sponsorship deal with Jamaica's Usain Bolt, the six-time Olympic gold medallist, coinciding with the launch of its  new NX300 camera.

A major advertising campaign featuring Bolt is due to be launched worldwide on April 15. 

Samsung also last year extended their sponsorship of European champions Chelsea until the end of the 2014-2015 season. 

Samsung is also a sponsor of the Asian Games and its current deal with the IOC lasts until Rio 2016. 

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Related stories
January 2012: Samsung extends sponsorship of Diamond League for 2012
June 2010: Samsung to sponsor IAAF Diamond League
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