Mexican Sports Sites Opt for Programmatic Marketing


What: Sites that specialize in sports related content found a way to increase ad revenue grow through programmatic advertising sales.
Why It Matters: $15 billion pesos (aprox, US $900 million) were spent on digital advertising in Mexico in 2015. This was distributed between traditional, native and programmatic, with programmatic showing the greatest growth.

Display ad sales are struggling as programmatic surges. While general digital advertising revenue increased by 36% between 2014 and 2015, traditional advertising revenue went down by 14%, according to IAB Mexico.

Image result for mediotiempo"The biggest challenge is selling display ads, because more money is being pumped into programmatic, taking value out of display," says Javier Salinas, director of, a portal that specializes in sports that went from billing 5% through programmatic in 2014 to 35% in 2015.

While that seems to reflect the trend in the industry, there are still companies that cling to display. This is the case of, a branch of the Carso Group, which runs Carlos Slim and obtained the rights to transmit the Olympic Games in Rio this year.

"The bet is still on direct sales. In the case of both the Rio and Sochi Olympics, alliances with brands were made. Programmatic still isn't our niche," explains a source at, who preferred to remain anonymous due to company policies.

On the other hand, Carla Villafuerte, the Commercial Director of the Media Response Group, an agency that specializes in digital advertising, explained how "if they offer you advertising with a highly segmented audience, and then another that is massive, unless the product is toilet paper, you're going to opt for the segmented audience. That is what programmatic offers: higher effectiveness at a lower cost."

Salinas agrees: "even this year, agencies closed TV and then digital media contracts, but TV is able to sign less and less."

Image result for claro sports brasil 2016To, the key is offering attractive packages to clients that allow them to reduce their  costs. For example, in the case of the Olympic Games in Brazil, the medal winners were sponsored by brands, as "we understand that there aren't Olympic Games every year, but on this occasion we were able to position ourselves and offer packages that no other media was able to put on the table," explained the source.

"Internet penetration will continue to grow in the next years, and while we still don't know enough about the latest trends in digital advertising, in the long term, low costs and audience effectiveness will prevail," adds Villafuerte.

Portales deportivos optan por marketing programático Read this article in Spanish!

Gabriela Gutiérrez contributed to this article. 

Ximena Cassab @xcassab

Ximena is a Swiss-Mexican journalist based in Mexico City where she specialized in business, and travel topics. Graduated from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), she has worked as an editor at the magazines Expansión , Aire and Accent, from Expansion Group. Currently she is working with different media in Spanish and English independently. She is a passionate traveler who does not miss the opportunity to see a new place in the world.


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