Chivas Sets Brand Integration Record… of Sorts

What: A Chivas press conference received some social media exposure for its excessive product placement in front of coach Jose Cardozo.
Why it matters: The almost comical number of items, coupled with a mic flag and step-and-repeat logo got a few laughs and actually provided some basically harmless extra exposure for the Liga MX team and a few of its partner brands.

Much has been made about the strong growth of both Mexican football and Liga MX (@LIGABancomerMX), the most viewed football week in, week out in North America. Brands like Wells Fargo (@WellsFargo), Allstate (@Allstate) and Verizon (@verizon) have used Mexican football as a key way to engage with a diverse and passionate Latino audience, not just a Mexican audience, across North America.

However sometimes sponsorship can maybe go a little too far—or maybe it’s a little more than innovative. This past week Chivas (@Chivas), one of the most revered football sides in North America set a new bar which frankly drove some great buzz in social media but maybe went a bit too far.

Now Chivas may not have a sponsor on the front of their shirt like others in the sponsorship-cluttered world of Mexican soccer (though Tecate (@tecate) is on the back, but they found a new level of postgame brand integration that certainly was different.

...[T]he social space gave Chivas a tremendous bump of recognition on a quiet summer Sunday where no one probably outside of their loyal fans would have noticed

Following a Sunday home loss in what has been a dismal season, coach Jose Cardozo gave the usual post-match press conference, telling the media the problems that losing clubs have. However the presser was record setting not because of word, but because of product. Almost a dozen products. Cereal, organic cereal, chocolate milk and Coca Cola were placed either side of the microphone, which also had a beer logo on it (Tecate, claro). Then throw in Powerade, Puma, Colavita and another half dozen brands on the wall behind Cardozo, and you have some kind of record for brand integration. Luckily the coach of the 17th place club played along and didn’t go on a sampling binge with the media as he spoke, but maybe that will be next?

Now all was not lost on the moment, as the social space gave Chivas a tremendous bump of recognition on a quiet summer Sunday where no one probably outside of their loyal fans would have noticed. While the club admitted that the product placement was to help bring in added value for its brands, the result was really buzz for partners that was unexpected, and traveled well beyond expectations globally.

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Now is this type of bump something that the growing, prosperous league needs more of? Exposure and activation for ROI is great, but replicating what was an unusual circumstance probably isn’t the way the elite of Liga MX will be going.

Still for one week, intentional or not, Chivas was all the talk again, albeit for an unusual reason. A sponsorship record that probably won’t be broken anytime soon, especially for a losing club in any sport.


Joe Favorito @joefav

Joe Favorito has over 32 years of strategic communications/marketing, business development and public relations expertise in sports, entertainment, brand building, media training, television, athletic administration and business. The Brooklyn, New York native has managed the day-to- day activities in strategic communications for: Two of the world’s hallmark sports and entertainment brands (the New York Knickerbockers and Philadelphia 76ers), the world’s largest professional sport for women (the WTA Tour), the world’s largest sports National Governing Body (the United States Tennis Association) and the world’s largest annual sporting event (the US Open). He also oversaw the strategic planning, investor relations, communications and digital business development of the International Fight League during its two year run as a Mixed Martial Arts venture and a publicly traded company. Favorito serves on the boards of the Weinstein Carnegie Group, New York Sports Venture Capital, the National Sports Marketing Network, the Drexel University Sports Business program, and Columbia University’s Sports Management program (where he is an instructor in Strategic Communications and Director of Industry Relations). Joe also maintains a well trafficked blog on the sports marketing and publicity field, “Sports Marketing and PR Roundup,” on the website joefavorito.com, as well authoring the first- ever text on the sports publicity industry (“Sports Publicity” published in August 2007 by Reed Elsevier and updated in 2012 by Taylor Publishing with a third printing coming in 2018), which is used in over 60 sports management programs in the U.S. He has been a guest speaker on sports marketing, social media and communications at a host of institutions, including Princeton University, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, the University of Florida Law School, New York University, the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and many others. He is also a frequent spokesperson on the industry for publications ranging from Ad Age and The New York Times to NPR and CBS News. A graduate of Fordham University, Joe, his wife and two children reside in River Vale, New Jersey.

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