About half a year ago we wrote a blog article about so-called “currency exchange scammers” in sports. There it said:
“The perpetrators appear as sponsors who want to book the most expensive sponsorship package without much negotiation. Often, they are foreign companies who are supposedly based in London. A meeting abroad is suggested to initiate the sponsorship, for example in Paris, Amsterdam, or Milan. By covering travel expenses for flights, accommodation or hotels, the mistrust is reduced.”
A few days ago, Sponsoo received an email from a sports team represented on the platform that had received an inquiry from Milan:
An international business contact by the name of Markus Falke (not his real name) sent various sponsorship requests to sports teams on behalf of an investment company from Bahrain that wants to expand first to Germany and then to Europe as a whole. The company from the UK was very interested in sports teams that still needed a main sponsor for the coming year and offered 150,000 euros in return.
Due to the size of the club, a sum of 150,000 euros seemed disproportionately high to the person responsible, whereupon he made a counteroffer of 50,000 euros for the main sponsorship of all 6 teams in addition to the club’s exposé and sent it to Mr. Falke. He immediately agreed and invited the entire board of directors to Milan for a meeting with the company’s vice president. A certain Mr. Haddad (name also changed) is only in town “for a week or ten days” and needs to meet immediately to complete the deal.
However, after extensive research, no helpful information could be found either about the company or about its “board members”. The freelance mediator Falke was also not known. Sponsoo took over and tried to get additional information about the company and its employees, but without success. It quickly became clear: the request had all the signs of a planned RIP deal. We contacted the sports club and advised them to politely cancel the meeting and not to travel to Milan.
If you too receive a dubious request and are not sure whether it is serious or not, please contact our sponsoring experts immediately.
With our years of experience in the field of sports sponsorship we can help you and give you advice regarding your sponsorship inquiries.
If you are seriously interested in supporting our athletes and clubs, please send us an email to email@example.com, or click through our portfolio. We would be happy to advise you on the selection of suitable athletes or sports projects.
Update: We received a call today (April 21, 2017) from the actual company in Bahrain. The company is a legitimate company that has been successfully in business for many years and currently works with the authorities to prevent unauthorized use of the company name by strangers.