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Chelsea lost official watch sponsor Rotary as José Mourinho wore personal endorsement brand, says club’s Asia boss

Mourinho wearing his Hublot

Mourinho wearing his Hublot

English Premier League champions Chelsea were prompted to change their official time-keeping sponsor after a clash between the club’s official watch partner Rotary and the watch of choice of manager José Mourinho, it emerged at a conference in Singapore yesterday.

Talking at a session on the global football economy at Sports Matters, Adrian New, Asia MD of Chelsea FC, shared that Rotary grew unhappy with Mourinho appearing at press conferences wearing a Hublot watch, and so did not renew their sponsorship deal, which began for the 2013/2014 season.

Subsequently, Hublot, Mourinho’s personal watch sponsor since he signed a deal with the Swiss company last year, took over as Chelsea’s official watch sponsor at the start of this season – and with a more lucrative deal, New said.

Jose Mourinho“Last year our watch partner was Rotary. But next time you watch an interview with José, you will notice that he will sit like that [with his wrist facing the camera], wearing his Hublot. Now our global watch partner is Hublot.”

“José has his own deal. He is the number one. We do what he wants,” New said on the topic of how the big personalities of team managers can affect sponsorship deals. “He is the happy one one today, but he’s always ‘The special one,'” said New, referring to Mourinho’s nickname.

The manager’s comments in the press might have scuppered other sponsorship deals for the club, hinted New, who shared the panel with Manchester United Asia MD Jamie Reigle and Sydney FC CEO Tony Pignata. He referred to Mourinho’s “A Jaguar – you wouldn’t put an L plate on it” comment about rivals Manchester City in February last year.

“Our car sponsor was Audi. And guess what, we don’t have Audi this year,” said New.

Audi signed a three-year sponsorship deal with Chelsea in 2012. The club’s key sponsors are Yokohama, which signed a $300 million shirt-front deal in February, and Adidas. Brand backers in Asia include Indonesia’s BNI Bank, Grand Royal whisky in Myanmar, and Vietnamobile in Vietnam.

From left: Man U's Jamie Reigle, Sydney FC CEO Tony Pignata and Chelsea Asia boss Adrian New

L-r: Man U’s Jamie Reigle, Sydney FC CEO Tony Pignata and Chelsea Asia boss Adrian New

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