On the Mexican Soccer Field with BBVA
By Gabriela Gutiérrez M.
What: We talked to Mauricio Pallares, Director of Marketing and Digital Sales at BBVA Bancomer, about why Liga MX' sponsorship is so important to the bank.
Why it matters: Out of BBVA Bancomer's 18 millon clients in Mexico, 80% follow soccer. Which is why to get new clients, the bank is looking to strenghen its connection to soccer.
Six out of every 10 Mexicans – approximately 72 million – are soccer fans. And that's the audience that BBVA has regularly targeted since 2013, when it became the exclusive sponsor of Liga MX, the Mexican first-division soccer league comprising 18 clubs. Since then, Mexico’s main soccer league has been known as Liga Bancomer MX. "By sponsoring soccer, we have [brand presence] coverage in all cities of the [Mexican] Republic," says Mauricio Pallares, Director of Marketing and Digital Sales at Bancomer.
Eighty percent of BBVA Bancomer’s 18 million Mexico customers are soccer fans, so in addition to attracting new customers, the bank seeks to strengthen its relationship with its existing clients.
BBVA Bancomer's strategy has never been aimed at sponsoring a soccer star or a particular team. Instead, from the very beginning, the Spanish bank has sought to sponsor all 18 first-division clubs.
"What we are looking for is not to partner with a particular athlete or club, but with the league as a whole. [By sponsoring] the league, we reach the fans of all the clubs, so that every time a goal is scored or a match begins, [our presence] is there regardless of the team playing," explains Pallares.
What we are looking for is not to partner with a particular athlete or club, but with the league as a whole.
With one exception: the Rayados de Monterrey club. "It's a highly sought after prize. Citibanamex and the local Monterrey banks especially, already have a strong club presence. It helps us in positioning our brand," notes Pallares. The fact is that Nuevo León, the team’s hometown, is recognized nationally for its regionalist culture, so for Bancomer to carve out a brand presence there by way of its league sponsorship was a strategic move.
Bancomer seeks to make the most of its sponsorship deal – inked in 2013 for a rumored $25 million per year – by sending special invitations to its customers to attend games, giving them additional benefits when acquiring their tickets and seeking fan engagement.
80% of BBVA Bancomer clients follow soccer.
The Spanish bank also seeks to strengthen its marketing strategy through joint campaigns with other league sponsors such as Voit, with whom it has created soccer balls “for a cause,” to raise awareness on issues such as education, and breast and prostate cancer, says Pallares.
The challenge for any sponsorship, including that of Liga Bancomer MX, explains Pallares, is to make it profitable and keep improving the show so that more people get on board and increase the brand’s impact: "Being a soccer sponsor is not cheap. If you decide to put your logo on a team jersey, there are so many brands already on it that the impact is diluted. You always have to look for a way to make each impact count, in order to get a return on your investment."
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With that in mind, Bancomer also decided, in 2015, to sponsor the Liga de Ascenso, in hopes of further supporting and developing soccer in Mexico, he explains.
Bancomer’s league sponsorship contract with the Mexican Football Federation runs through 2019.
The favorite and most disliked teams of Liga Bancomer MX
|Mexico’s Favorite Liga MX Clubs|
Source: Consulta Mitofsky, 2017