WH Sports appoints ex-F1 Sporting Manager to fulfil key management role

Multi-faceted sports agency WH Sports has appointed Enzo Mucci as its Sporting Director, with the former single-seater and sportscar racer set to head up the organisation’s driver development programme going into 2021.

Mucci began his motorsport career behind the steering wheel, winning multiple national championships prior to specialising in sport-specific performance coaching in 2004.

Between 2004 and 2006, Enzo served as a BMW Scholarship Programme Coach, stepping up to the role of BMW European Chief Coach for the following two years. From 2008 to 2010, Mucci was a Performance Coach for Gravity Sport Management, before joining Lotus Renault F1’s Junior Team as Sporting Manager between 2010 and 2012.

Over the past two decades, the 44-year-old Briton has worked with drivers that have competed in Formula 1, North America’s IndyCar Series, the FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC), the pan-European DTM touring car series and FIA Formula E, including 2020 F1 stars Esteban Ocon and Romain Grosjean, two-time DTM Champion Marco Wittmann, fellow DTM front-runner Christian Vietoris and Formula E race-winner Alexander Sims.

Mucci leverages his experience and expertise to help drivers improve their mental strength, technical understanding and performance both inside and out of the cockpit, teaching them the specific personal skills required to win in motor racing and forge a successful long-term career in the sport.

His appointment by WH Sports adds to the kudos of an organisation that has already carved out an enviable reputation in the industry for spotting and nurturing the next generation of motorsport stars, while simultaneously brokering high-profile sports sponsorship agreements.

 

Enzo Mucci, Sporting Director, WH Sports, said:

“I have always admired the way in which WH Sports has helped drivers over the years. The WHS team offers a truly professional service, which is evident in the outstanding results its drivers have achieved across a variety of championships and disciplines.

“For a driver to succeed, it is imperative that they have the right people around them. They need a team of people who are commercially astute, have a large network and can help to improve their overall performance. In joining WH Sports, I can confidently say that we can give drivers everything they need to develop and maintain a successful racing career.”

 

Chris Harfield, Director, WH Sports, added:

“We are immensely proud to confirm Enzo as WH Sports’ new Sporting Director. He has been a leading professional in relation to developing top-class drivers for more than two decades, and he brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the table, to assist both our current and future drivers.

“As Sporting Director, Enzo will be overseeing the ‘on-track’ aspects of our drivers’ careers and ensuring that the environments in which we place them, provide them with the opportunity to succeed. Whilst as an agency, we believe we are an industry leader in the commercial and sponsorship space, Enzo’s appointment will enable us to provide our drivers with an edge on the sporting side, which is something we are all really excited about.”

ICM.com Become The Official Sleeve Partner of Newcastle United

WH Sports are delighted to announce a new shirt sleeve partnership with between global investment house ICM.com and Newcastle United Football Club.

The Magpies’ first team will bear the award-winning firm’s ICM.com branding on their shirt sleeves over the 2020/21 Premier League season, while ICM.com will also benefit from a number of additional commercial benefits including high profile advertising and hospitality.

ICM.com is the official website of ICM Capital – an international online Forex and CFD trading firm established in 2009.

It is regulated in seven jurisdictions around the world and offers a diverse range of trading products including foreign exchange, commodities, futures and indices.

ICM.com’s Civil Liability Insurance Programme, which protects ICM clients against losses caused by any error, omission, negligence, fraud, or the failure to perform its activities or services, covers up to £5,000,000 (terms and conditions apply).

Dale Aitchison, head of commercial at Newcastle United, said: “I am delighted to welcome ICM.com to our growing roster of leading, forward-thinking partner brands. ICM.com is already an established name in the trading industry, with 20 global awards to its name. We look forward to building on that success together with campaigns, competitions and content that deliver value to our supporters.

Shoaib Abedi, founder and director of ICM.com, said: “We are really excited to partner with Newcastle United, a world-renowned English Premier League football club. “We are looking forward to see ICM.com on the players’ sleeves in the Premier League and we will be watching on and celebrating the team’s successes with our clients and fans.”

Plus500 Become Main Sponsor of Atalanta B.C

Plus500, a leading technology platform for trading contracts for difference internationally, has signed an agreement with Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio (‘Atalanta B.C.’), to become its sole and exclusive main sponsor for a three year period beginning 1 September 2020. The deal was brokered by WH Sports, who have represented Plus500 on multiple sports sponsorship acquisitions, including main sponsorship deals with Atletico Madrid, Young Boys and Australian rugby team The Brumbies.

Atalanta B.C. are in a hugely exciting phase of their history, finishing in the top four of Serie A three times in the last four seasons. In the UEFA Champions League, the team qualified for the 2019-2020 Final-8 tournament in Lisbon and will participate in the 2020-2021 UEFA Champions League season starting from the group stage.

As part of the agreement, the Plus500 logo will feature on the front of the Atalanta B.C. jersey for both national and international games and, in addition, Plus500 will have access to branding rights.

Plus500 has derived significant returns to date through sponsorship of successful sports’ teams internationally, increasing brand recognition globally, growing brand awareness in important markets and expanding the customer base of the company in new and existing territories.

David Zruia, Chief Executive Officer of Plus500, said:  “We are pleased to be partnering with Atalanta B.C., a club that is full of soul and has a special place in the hearts of the people of Bergamo. Atalanta is a rising power in Italian and international football, and we look forward to supporting them as they continue to grow and progress, particularly as they enter another season in the UEFA Champions League. This partnership, alongside our existing sponsorship agreements, adds to the fantastic strength of our sponsorship programmes globally. It also strengthens our presence in Italy, an important market with good growth potential, and supports the international brand recognition of Plus500 and our ability to increase customer base globally.”

Luca Percassi, Chief Executive Officer of Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio, said:  “We are really happy to announce the partnership and thus welcome Plus500, a leading international company, which will be Atalanta’s main sponsor for the next three seasons. It is a great satisfaction for us to be able to collaborate with such a prestigious brand that will undoubtedly and significantly contribute to the Club’s growth. It is also a source of pride for us that Plus500, to help develop and strengthen its brand in Italy, has decided to forge this partnership with Atalanta.”

Libertex adds Getafe CF to LaLiga kit portfolio

WH Sports are delighted to announce a second La Liga kit branding partnership for Cyprus-based forex trading platform Libertex with Getafe CF, following the back-of-shirt deal with Valencia CF, announced in early August.

Under the deal, Libertex will have branding on the front-of-shorts at Getafe in domestic fixtures (LaLiga and the Copa del Rey) and the front-of-shirt in this season’s UEFA Europa League.

Getafe qualified for the Europa League after finishing fifth in LaLiga last season – one point behind fourth-place Valencia – after an outstanding first season following promotion from Spain’s second-tier division, LaLiga 1|2|3 (now rebranded as LaLiga SmartBank).

Libertex will get static signage and LED perimeter board advertising rights at Getafe’s Coliseum Alfonso Pérez stadium and training camps, and brand exposure at club events and across the club’s digital and social channels.

Getafe fans will also benefit from promotions and exclusive offers via the Libertex platform, and access to player appearances and other behind-the-scenes experiences.

Libertex is investing in European football to increase its brand recognition both in Spain and internationally, with a focus on emerging markets in Latin America and Southeast Asia.

Libertex Inks Sponsorship Deal With Valencia CF

WH Sports aligns online trading platform provider Libertex with Valencia CF, becoming the new Premiums Plus Partner of the Spanish football club until the 30th of June 2021.

Under the agreement, Libertex and Valencia CF will hold promotions, exclusive offers, meetings with the players and more, the statement said. The partnership adds to the trading provider’s list of sports sponsorships.

Commenting on the agreement, President of the football club Anil Murthy said he is: “very satisfied with the agreement reached with Libertex, another multinational company that joins Valencia CF to continue growing both locally and globally.

“Libertex is an example of a serious and solvent company in a very competitive market that wants to increase their position as a reference in its sector, the same way as Valencia CF has also looked for it throughout its history.”
Libertex continues to invest in football

The forex broker Libertex has previously shown an interest in sponsoring high profile football stars, especially of high calibre. The company has been sponsoring Colombian football player James Rodriguez since 2016.

Michael Geiger, CEO of Libertex

“Valencia CF is a top-level club internationally, with a long and successful history, with whom we share a common feeling in terms of emotions, passion and success stories,” added Michael Geiger, the CEO of Libertex. “Valencia CF is the perfect partner to deliver our brand, our message and our services to potential customers to continue growing in the market. We believe it will be a great and ambitious season for both of us and we will support each other.”

Newcastle United seals sleeve deal with StormGain

Premier League club Newcastle United has signed a new sleeve partnership with cryptocurrency trading platform StormGain.

Under the deal, StormGain will have branding on the left sleeve of all Newcastle United first-team kits during the 2019-20 season.

StormGain will also have physical signage rights at Newcastle’s St. James’ Park stadium and training ground, and will get other branding and digital activation rights.

In official statement, Newcastle said that StormGain will offer ticket give-aways, match-day hospitality experiences, signed merchandise and VIP meet-and-greets with first-team players.

The StormGain platform allows users to trade futures for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, and can also act as a e-wallet for cryptocurrency holdings.

The deal was brokered by London-based agency WH Sports, which also brokered a similar cryptocurrency sleeve partnership between Wolverhampton Wanderers and CoinDeal last season.

WH SPORTS GROUP UNITE MR. GREEN & PDC IN PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP DEAL

WH SPORTS GROUP UNITE MR. GREEN & PDC IN PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP DEAL

The award-winning online gaming operator Mr Green has partnered with the Professional Darts Corporation as title sponsor of November’s ‘The Mr Green Sport Players Championship Finals’ in Minehead. WH Sports Group are delighted to have worked with Mr Green and PDC to bring the deal together.

A field of 64 top professional players will compete in the Mr Green-sponsored tournament at the Butlins Minehead Resort in Somerset from November 24-26, with reigning champion Michael van Gerwen looking to lift the trophy for the third successive year.

To celebrate Mr Green’s first darts partnership there will be a series of price boosts and promotions running in social media and on Mr Green’s website. Alongside the UK, both Germany and the Netherlands will specifically benefit from the deal with strong broadcasting reach on TV and local media. Jesper Kärrbrink, CEO, Mr Green Ltd, comments: “This is a great opportunity to partner with a major sporting event and we know darts is very popular in some of our key markets. The event promises to be a fantastic occasion with lots of passionate darts fans who we can start to build a relationship with as a brand.”

PDC Chief Executive Matthew Porter said: “We’re delighted to welcome Mr Green as the new title sponsors of the Mr Green Sport Players Championship Finals. This exciting tournament which will give their new sportsbook product worldwide exposure as well as great interaction with a capacity crowd in Minehead.”

The Mr Green Sport Players Championship Finals will be broadcast live in the UK through ITV4 from November 24-26, with play being held across six sessions.

JONES SEALS ‘ROOKIE OF THE YEAR’ SPOILS AT GATEWAY MOTORSPORTS PARK

JONES SEALS ‘ROOKIE OF THE YEAR’ SPOILS AT GATEWAY MOTORSPORTS PARK

Ed Jones clinched the coveted Verizon IndyCar Series ‘Sunoco Rookie of the Year’ crown at Gateway Motorsports Park last weekend (25/26 August), courtesy of a hard-fought 13th-place finish in the Bommarito Automotive Group 500.

The reigning Indy Lights Champion has enjoyed an impressive maiden campaign at the pinnacle of US open-wheel competition this year with Dale Coyne Racing, starring with a top three finish in the iconic Indianapolis 500 and invariably holding his own against rivals with far more experience than him – not to mention glittering career CVs.

Jones continued to catch the eye by lapping fifth-quickest during free practice on his first visit to the 1.25-mile, egg-shaped Illinois oval. Although he found himself unexpectedly plagued by oversteer in the twilight qualifying session, 12th on the grid amongst the 21 high-calibre contenders represented a very solid starting position as the talented Dubai, UAE-born ace led the charge for DCR at an average speed of 182.9mph – outpacing the likes of heavy-hitters Graham Rahal and Ryan Hunter-Reay for good measure.

The floodlit 248-lap race began under yellow flags following an early spin for one of Jones’ competitors, and once the action belatedly got underway, the 22-year-old Brit advanced a couple of spots. After threatening the top ten for a while, he ultimately took the chequered flag 13th as his 720bhp Dallara-Honda single-seater faded in the closing stages – but that was nonetheless enough to put the destiny of the ‘Rookie of the Year’ laurels beyond doubt. With no time to rest, Jones will return to the fray this coming weekend (1-3 September) for the IndyCar Grand Prix at the Glen – the penultimate outing on the fiercely-disputed series’ 2017 schedule.

 

After testing at Gateway earlier this year, I was really excited to go back for the race – they did a tremendous job to get the facility ready to welcome IndyCar,” praised the former European F3 Open Champion. “I really liked the track with the new surface; it’s smooth and a lot of fun to drive, and already one of my favourite ovals.

We knew the weekend might be a little challenging with our short oval aero package, but we had a solid first practice. Unfortunately, the conditions then changed significantly before qualifying with the drop in temperature, and that really made a big difference. We had a bit too much oversteer and I had to save the car from spinning a few times, which killed the speed a bit.

We were still hopeful of being able to move forward from there, but it was a tough race. We ran with a lot of downforce and early on we had some good battles, but later, the pace of the car wasn’t quick enough so it was a bit frustrating. It was a shame I didn’t have the speed at the end, because it was a fantastic event and it was great to see so many fans come out to support us.”

TAN SHOWCASES RAW PACE AGAIN IN CHINA

TAN SHOWCASES RAW PACE AGAIN IN CHINA

Weiron Tan proved that the podium is within reach in the latest outing of the fiercely-disputed China GT Championship at Zhuhai International Circuit last weekend, with an impressive performance around a track that was far from ideally suited to his Bentley Continental GT3.

After finding himself out-of-luck at the same circuit three weeks earlier, Tan returned to Zhuhai eager to continue his eye-catching rate of progress with Absolute Racing in what is his maiden full sportscar campaign.

Picking up from where he had left off, the 22-year-old Chinese ace – working in tandem with Korean team-mate Andrew Kim – snared pole position for both contests amongst the 12 high-calibre GT3 class contenders, meaning the #05 crew have claimed the top spot on the starting grid for half of the rounds in 2017 to-date. With the nature of Zhuhai International Circuit playing more to the strengths of some of Bentley’s rivals, however, Tan and Kim struggled to maintain that same level of pace in the races, battling hard before ultimately finding themselves forced to give best.

A gritty effort nonetheless earned the pair fifth place at the chequered flag in the first encounter and fourth in the next, just a handful of seconds adrift of victory after an hour’s flat-out competition. Notwithstanding the obvious disappointment of having come so close only to miss out by the narrowest of margins, the Williams Harfield Sports Group protégé and erstwhile Caterham F1 Academy member is bullish about his prospects for the remainder of the campaign, beginning in Shanghai on 8-10 September.

I was actually pretty pleased with the weekend, even though we didn’t get the results we deserved,” reflected Tan. “We secured a double pole position to make it three in a row, and with this being my rookie season in GT3, that’s a pretty big achievement for me.

We knew we had the speed, but we also knew that winning in Zhuhai wouldn’t be easy for the Bentley as the circuit just doesn’t suit our car over longer runs – it’s too small, our brakes overheat and the tyres degrade too quickly. We’re good for the first few laps, but after that it’s all about trying to hang on. It was especially tricky towards the end of stints.

Saying all that, I thought I executed the weekend very well.”